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•A3 voice

Church needs a
in the media,
•B1 ‘A Voice
Unified and Positive
Needs to Be
•C1 Ugnayan
The News Supplement for
says Pope Presented to the Public’ Couples for Christ

3 Kuwait churches hold Church, urban poor

‘simbang gabi’ masses discuss prospects
for OFWs under Aquino gov’t
FILIPINOS in Kuwait will have the chance to THE Catholic Church’s religious men and
attend the traditional Simbang Gabi begin- women under the aegis of the Association
ning December 16 at the Holy Family Cathe- of Major Religious Superiors in the Philip-
dral, Our Lady of Arabia in Ahmadi and the pines and Metro Manila’s urban poor met
St. Therese Parish in Salmiya. This will be the on December 6 to look into the prospects
first time Simbang Gabi will be held simulta- for improvement under the current Aquino
neously in three different churches. administration.
Fr. Ben Barrameda, the only Filipino priest Dubbed as “Prospects of the Urban Poor
Kuwait / A6 December 6 - 31, 2010 Vol. 14 No. 25 Php 20.00 Prospects / A6

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Filipinos join an unprecedented pro-life vigil for the unborn called by Pope Benedict XVI and was met with a massive positive response from around the world and from pro-life leaders on November 27, the eve of Advent. In Manila, where artificial
contraception remains a sensitive issue, thousands join the vigil against the passage of the controversial reproductive health bill which seeks to control the country’s growing population.

Pass moral judgment on

public order, Pope says
Prelates welcome 18-day
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP

The Church has the prophetic duty to pass moral

Christmas truce
judgment in those matters which regards public
order whenever the fundamental human rights of
a person or the salvation of souls requires it, Pope
Benedict said on November 29 as he received the
first group of Philippine bishops during their five-
yearly “Ad limina” visit.
The Holy Father stressed that [to promote] an ever more just
in proclaiming the Gospel, the social order.”
Church may touch upon “is- Pope Benedict also lauded the
sues relevant to the political efforts of Philippine bishops in
sphere.” safeguarding the sanctity of life
“This is not surprising,” the and preserving the integrity of
pope said, “since the political marriage and the family.
community and the Church, The pontiff said it is the task
while rightly distinct, are never- of the Church to speak out on Pueblos Navarra Arguelles Tumulak
theless both at the service of the matters of moral and spiritual
integral development of every matters that affect the lives of CATHOLIC bishops welcomed the reported that “both sides in the renewed (peace) talks of Peace where our guest speaker, a Muslim,
human being and of society as believers. Christmas holiday ceasefire with the Com- can forge a lasting peace.” talked about the Blessed Mother who has al-
a whole.” He commended the Catholic munist Party of the Philippines which the Butuan Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos said ways been an icon of peace,” the 67-year old
Quoting a Vatican II document, hierarchy “for seeking to play government declared on December 3. he is supportive of the ceasefire “being a man prelate said. He added both the government
he said “the Church contributes its part in support of human life Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio of peace.” The prelate said the people can and the Communist Party of the Philippines
most toward the building of a from conception until natural Ledesma, SJ said the ceasefire is a welcome take advantage of the situation to work for should work together for peace.
just and charitable social order death, and in defence of the development. In a statement sent to CBCP- peace beyond the Christmas season. The Diocese of Butuan comprises of the
when, ‘by preaching the truths of integrity of marriage and the News, the 67-year old prelate said he hopes “We have just finished the Mindanao Week Truce / A6
the Gospel, and bringing to bear family.”

2011 is ‘CBCP Year of the Youth’

on all fields of human endeavour The Church must act as a leav-
the light of her doctrine and of en in society, the pontiff said. But
a Christian witness, she respects to be such, it must speak out the
and fosters the political freedom truth, he added.
and responsibility of citizens’.” This is best conveyed, accord- THE first Mass of the traditional But this year’s first Simbang ity of the Church. meant to dedicate the incoming
(Gaudium et Spes, 76) ing to the pope, “in the public Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi Gabi will be extra special espe- This, as the Catholic Bishops’ year in generating efforts to raise
The Holy Father noted that witness offered by the Bishops, every December 16 marks the cially for the Filipino youth since Conference of the Philippines awareness about the youth and
the truth of the Gospel have led as the Church’s primary teach- start of the special nine-day no- it will also usher in a year-long (CBCP) will formally launch on promote the youth ministry.
“generations of zealous Filipino ers, and by all who have a role in vena of Filipinos in preparation celebration of their significant that day the start of the “CBCP Aside from overlapping with
clergymen, religious and laity Pope / A6 for Christmas Day. contribution to the life and activ- Year of the Youth,” which is Youth / A6

Bishop laments Catholic schools to PNoy:

over Christmas Dismantle private armies
commercialization A YEAR after the Maguindanao
massacre that killed 58 people,
“We reiterate our earlier demand
for our government to apply the
AS people are in a frenzy Christ’s birth. including 32 journalists, Catholic full force of the law against those
buying Christmas decora- “Ang idea nitong ating educators urged the government responsible for the brutality,” said
tions, a Catholic bishop society lumalayo talaga to dismantle private armies which CEAP which is headed Msgr. Ge-
frowned on the commer- kay Kristo under the influ- continue to perpetuate the culture rardo Santos.
cialization of the celebra- ence of secularistic ide- of impunity in the country. “All responsible government
tion. ology,” Bacani said In a statement released today, the agencies must exhaust all legal
Novaliches Bishop over Radio Catholic Educational Association of means to meet the corresponding
emeritus Teodoro Bacani Veritas. the Philippines (CEAP) said solving punishment for the perpetrators of
told a church radio station On the the problem would prevent a repeat the heinous crime and to dismantle
that noisy festivities are other of the Nov.23 “gruesome” incident private armies and put an end to the
the opposite of prayerful hand, which is rooted in political rivalries anarchy of clans in the region.”
meditation expected from the re- and private armies. Armies / A6
Christians in remembering Commercialization / A6 Illustration by Bladimer Usi

www.cbcponlineradio.com www.cbcphealthcare.org www.cbcpmedia.com

World News
CBCP Monitor
A2 Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

Islamic states push for global

anti-blasphemy resolution
U.S. bishops launch new website
for book about Pope Benedict
WASHINGTON D.C., Dec. 3, Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, who directs
2010—An extensive new web- USCCB media relations. She char-
site dedicated to a book on acterized it as a “Cliff Notes” for
Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy was understanding Pope Benedict.
launched on Dec. 1 under the Forewords to the book were writ-
sponsorship of the U.S. Confer- ten by King Abdullah II of Jordan
ence of Catholic Bishops. and President Shimon Peres of Is-
The bishops’ conference pub- rael. It includes introductory mate-
lished the book “Benedict XVI: rial from Cardinal George, Vatican
Essays and Reflections on His Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio
Papacy” in the fall in conjunction Bertone, and John Thavis, who is
with Rowan & Littlefield Pub- Rome bureau chief for Catholic
lishers’ imprint Sheed & Ward. News Service.
The new website provides a The book includes more than
tour of the new book with a photo 100 full-color photographs show-
MADRID, Spain, Dec. 3, 2010—The Islam by the media. gallery and excerpts from its es- ing Pope Benedict in formal public
Organization of the Islamic Conference The United States and European says and personal reflections. appearances, in meetings with
has sponsored a draft resolution at the countries have warned that a resolu- It provides video clips from leaders and lay Catholics, and in
United Nations that would condemn tion of this kind constitutes an attack contributors Cardinal Sean quiet moments of personal study
the “defamation of religion” and create on freedom of expression and could O’Malley of Boston, Cardinal or contemplation.
a global “anti-blasphemy law.” lead to greater persecution of religious Francis George of Chicago and Visitors to the new site can also
The draft resolution was presented minorities. Experts say “defamation” Archbishop Timothy Dolan of purchase the book through various
by Pakistan in the name of the Islamic can only be liable to legal sanction when New York. retailers. The site is located at http://
conference, which holds a majority of it involves persons and not concepts or The book itself is edited by Sr. www.popebenedictbook.com. (CNA)
the seats on the U.N. Human Rights feelings.
Council, according to the Spanish daily According to the Spanish daily,
ABC. many Muslim states have a legal
The Muslim organization hopes to system based on Sharia (Islamic law)
secure passage of the resolution by and have established anti-blasphemy
the U.N. General Assembly. How- laws that in practice only condemn
ever, the resolution has been met with insults against the prophet Muham-
widespread rejection, especially for its mad but not against other religions.
condemnation of the criticism of radical (CNA)

Vatican Briefing
Pope to Youth: Be Intrepid Like the Martyrs
Calling to mind the example of Vietnamese martyrs St. Andrew Dung-Lac
and his companions, Benedict XVI on Nov. 24 invited young people to be
intrepid in their witness to Christian values. The Pope made this invitation
at the end of the general audience when he gave his customary greetings to
youth, the sick and newlyweds. “Today, remembering St. Andrew Dung-Lac
and his companions, Vietnamese martyrs, I invite you, dear young people,
to be intrepid in witnessing Christian values, always being faithful to the
Lord,” the Holy Father said. (Zenit)

Pope urges greater unity with Orthodox

Benedict XVI sent a delegation to Istanbul Nov. 30 to mark celebrations of
the Feast of St. Andrew, the traditional patron of the Orthodox Church. In a
message delivered to Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, the Pope

Honduran cardinal says

urged greater efforts towards unity and praised the patriarch’s “promo-
tion of Christian values” on the world stage. “In a world characterized by
increasing interdependence and solidarity, we are called to proclaim the
truth of the Gospel with renewed conviction, and to present the risen Lord

papal remarks on condoms

as the response to the most profound spiritual questions and aspirations of
the men and women of today,” the Pope said. (CNA)

offer teachable moment

Holy Father to travel to Benin in 2011
Benedict XVI will travel to Benin from Nov. 18-20, 2011, reports the Vati-
can. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office,
confirmed that the Pope will travel to the West African country to mark the
150th anniversary of the nation, led by the missionaries of the Society of PERTH, Australia, Nov. 29, 2010—The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the effect (applies). The pope was only
African Missions. During the trip, the Pope will also deliver the post synodal public debate on church teaching on Times,” was based on interviews Pope quoting the extreme cases, so I believe
apostolic exhortation for the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod condoms triggered by Pope Benedict Benedict granted to German journalist it is coherent (with existing Catholic
of Bishops, which was held in October 2009 on the theme “The Church in XVI’s comments in a new book is an Peter Seewald. The book was released teaching),” Cardinal Rodriguez told The
Africa in Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.” (Zenit) ideal opportunity for parish priests Nov. 23. Record Nov. 26 during a four-day trip
to clarify it for the faithful from the In the book, Pope Benedict said: to Australia.
Catholic newspapers have ‘irreplaceable’ role—pope pulpit, said the president of Caritas “There may be a basis in the case of The church teaches that the principle
Pope Benedict XVI said the Catholic press has an irreplaceable role in forming Internationalis. some individuals, as perhaps when a of double effect may be employed when
Christian consciences and reflecting the church’s viewpoint on contemporary Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga male prostitute uses a condom, where one is considering an action that is mor-
issues. Despite the crisis in print media today, the Catholic newspaper still has of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, told The Re- this can be a first step in the direction ally good, yet the action involves one
a vital role to play in diocesan communications, the pope said. He made the cord, Catholic newspaper of the Arch- of a moralization, a first assumption or more unintended bad consequences.
remarks Nov. 26 to members of the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies, diocese of Perth, that many Catholics of responsibility, on the way toward Because these consequences are side ef-
which represents 188 Catholic newspapers. The pope said that while secular do not know what the church teaches discovering an awareness that not ev- fects and not directly willed, the choice
media often reflect a skeptical and relativistic attitude toward truth, the church in this regard. erything is allowed and that one cannot that brings them about is morally ac-
knows that people need the full truth brought by Christ. (CNS) “This could be a good opportunity do whatever one wants.” ceptable.
for us in the parishes to clarify and to Cardinal Rodriguez laughed off “We, as disciples of Christ, have a
Massive WikiLeaks disclosure involves Vatican cables teach,” said the cardinal, who has com- claims made in secular media globally lot to learn; we cannot pretend that in
As the uproar increases over WikiLeaks publishing hundreds of thousands pleted separate doctorates in philoso- that the pope had changed the church’s special matters all the baptized know
of confidential U.S. State Department cables online, the latest reports show phy, theology and moral theology and teaching on the use of condoms. everything, as we are always learn-
that 852 of the communications involve the Vatican. U.S. leaders are de- holds a diploma in clinical psychology “It has been the doctrine of the church ing and trying to implement what the
crying WikiLeaks founder, Australian Julian Assange, for incrementally and psychotherapy. all the time that when there are emer- mother church is teaching us,” the
publishing over 250,000 cables on his non-profit website. The cables are The book, “Light of the World: The gency cases the principle of double cardinal said. (CNS)
suspected of being leaked to Assange by 23 year-old U.S. army intelligence

Brazilian bishops seek

analyst Bradley Manning, among others. Manning is currently being held
at a military base in Virginia. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted the
move Nov. 29 as “not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests”
but an “attack on the international community.” (CNA)

Pope intensifies prayer for China, as state church prepares to

choose leaders
constitutional protection for unborn
On the first day of December, Pope Benedict XVI asked Catholics around the SAO PAULO, Brazil, Dec. 1, 2010—Four dioceses in the pro-life and therefore against abortion. They are for the
world to pray for the Church in China, as the country’s state-run Catholic Brazilian state of Sao Paolo have announced a joint effort to protection of human life from the moment of conception,”
Patriotic Association prepares to choose new leaders. “I commend to your prevent the legalization of abortion. he added.
prayers and to those of Catholics throughout the world the Church in China,” The dioceses of Taubate, Lorena, Caraguatatuba and Guar- Bishop Luiz Gonzaga Bergonzini of Guarulhos told the
he said, mentioning that the country’s Catholics were “going through a ulhos are pushing for changes to the state constitution that publication “Status on the Defense of Life” that the effort “is
particularly difficult time.” The Catholic Patriotic Association will meet Dec. would protect life from conception to natural death. the first step” toward preventing the legalization of abortion
7-9 to select its new top official, as will the so-called “Bishops’ Conference The move would prevent the legalization of abortion in the in the federal Constitution.
of the Catholic Church in China.” (CNA) state. Hermes Nery, the coordinator of the pro-life commission “Life is the greatest value we have and it should be de-
for the Diocese of Taubate, explained that the initiative was fended from the moment of conception,” he said.
Cardinal says Christians face discrimination in many forms launched Nov. 27 at Taubate’s diocesan cathedral. Supporters Bishop Gonzaga has been one of the most outspoken critics
The international community must begin fighting discrimination against aim to collect 300,000 signatures to put forth a proposal for of the Workers’ Party in Brazil, to which outgoing President
Christians with the same determination it shows in opposing intolerance and changes to the Sao Paolo state constitution. Lula da Silva and President-elect Dilma Rousseff belong.
discrimination against members of other religious groups, said the Vatican “The federal constitution already states that life cannot be Dilma Rousseff has voiced her support of legalized abor-
secretary of state. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told the Organization for Se- violated, but it does not spell out at what point. We want the tion on various occasions. Her position cost her some seven
curity and Cooperation in Europe Dec. 1, “It has been widely documented state constitution to explicitly declare that human life begins million votes in the first round of Brazil’s 2010 presidential
that Christians are the most persecuted and discriminated against religious at conception and ends with natural death,” Nery said. elections. As part of her strategy for the run-offs, she said
group. More than 200 million of them, belonging to different confessions, find Bishop Carmo Joao Rhoden of Taubate spoke to Vatican she was “personally opposed to abortion” and promised that
themselves in difficulty because of legal and cultural structures.” (CNS) Radio, saying, “I think this initiative is important, consid- if she is elected president she would not sent proposals to
ering that all the polls show that the Brazilian people are legalize the procedure to Congress. (CNA)
News Features
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

Church needs a voice in the media--Pope VATICAN City, Nov. 29, 2010— of the nation.” He added, “Thanks to the
Benedict XVI is underlining the “It is important that the Catho- Gospel’s clear presentation of
need to give a voice to the Church lic laity proficient in social com- the truth about God and man,
in the realm of social communi- munications take their proper generations of zealous Filipino
cations and the media. place in proposing the Christian clergymen, religious and laity
The Pope stated this today message in a convincing and at- have promoted an ever more just
upon receiving in audience the tractive way,” he said. social order.”
Filipino bishops who are in “If the Gospel of Christ is to be The Pontiff commended “the
Rome for their five-yearly “ad a leaven in Filipino society, then Church in the Philippines for
limina” visit. the entire Catholic community seeking to play its part in sup-
“A specific area in which the must be attentive to the force of port of human life from concep-
Church must always find its the truth proclaimed with love,” tion until natural death, and in
proper voice comes in the field of Benedict XVI stated. defense of the integrity of mar-
social communications and the riage and the family.”
media,” the Pontiff stated. Witness “In these areas you are promot-
He continued, “The task set “The Church must always ing truths about the human per-
before the whole Catholic com- seek to find its proper voice,” he son and about society which arise
munity is to convey a hope-filled affirmed, “because it is by proc- not only from divine revelation
vision of faith and virtue so that lamation that the Gospel brings but also from the natural law, an
Filipinos may find encourage- about its life-changing fruits.” order which is accessible to hu-
ment and guidance on their path The Pope continued: “This man reason and thus provides a
to a full life in Christ.” voice expresses itself in the basis for dialogue and deeper dis-
“A unified and positive voice moral and spiritual witness of cernment on the part of all people

needs to be presented to the the lives of believers. of good will,” he affirmed.
public in forms of media both “It also expresses itself in the The Holy Father particularly
old and new,” the Holy Father public witness offered by the noted “with appreciation the
urged, “so that the Gospel mes- bishops, as the Church’s primary Church’s work to abolish the
sage may have an ever more teachers, and by all who have a role death penalty in your country.”
powerful impact on the people in teaching the faith to others.” (Zenit)

Pope heralds beginning of Advent with pro-life vigil

Respect for life leads to
development of peoples,
states Vatican archbishop
VATICAN City, Dec. 2, 2010—The off to other countries as “cultural
president of the Pontifical Council progress.” “This mentality has in-
for Health Care noted this week that creased because of laws contrary

respect for human life is what fosters to life that have been enacted in
the comprehensive development of the most economically developed
nations. countries,” he continued. These
Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski laws end up defending attacks on
made his comments during a con- human life, such as abortion, as if
ference on Pope Benedict XVI’s they constituted “rights of indi-
encyclical “Caritas in veritate.” The vidual freedom.”
VATICAN City, Nov. 28, 2010—Pope Virgin Mary,” he said, adding that the mother, the coordination of biological
event was organized by the Political The task for believers who deal
Benedict XVI heralded the beginning of “Incarnation reveals to us, with intense processes, the continuity of develop-
Charity International Association with a society on these terms is “to
Advent this year with an unprecedented light and in an amazing way, that every ment, the growing complexity of the
and held at Rome’s Sacro Cuore develop an ethos capable of pre-
worldwide pro-life vigil. On Saturday human life has an incomparable, a most organism,” he said. “This is not an
University. senting arguments in psychological
night at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, elevated dignity.” accumulation of biological material,
Archbishop Zygmunt said the and socio-cultural terms about the
he urged respect for human life and Because “God loves us so deeply, but a new living being, dynamic and
Church’s social doctrine pays special meaning and value of the norms that
warned against “selfishness” by adults totally, without distinction,” the Pope wonderfully ordered, a new unique
attention to the protection of human respect human life,” the archbishop
and the “darkening of consciences” in noted that belief in “Jesus Christ also human being.”
life. Since the 1970s, he explained, continued. “We must overcome very
modern society. means having a new outlook on man, a “So was Jesus in Mary’s womb, so it
the threats to human life have abstract or formal arguments that do
On Nov. 27, St. Peter’s was the center look of trust and hope.” was for all of us in our mother’s womb.”
increased as laws that protected not lend themselves to an adequate
of global focus, as dioceses around the Humankind, therefore, “has the right Pope Benedict went on to say that
the right to life against abortion, approach to the present experience,”
world joined the Pope’s invitation to not to be treated as an object of posses- even after birth, children around the
euthanasia, artificial insemination he said.
prepare for the season of Christmas by sion or something to manipulate at will, world face abandonment, hunger,
and in vitro fertilization began to be The archbishop also urged a
joining in a special Vespers service for not to be reduced to a mere instrument poverty, disease, abuse, violence or
undermined. Such actions led to the change in today’s idea of the “qual-
the unborn. for the benefit of others and their inter- exploitation.
human embryo being “reduced to a ity of life,” understood only in terms
Although it is common for the Pope ests,” he said. “I urge the protagonists of politics,
mere thing,” he added. of financial success, physical beauty
to encourage prayer for particular “In this vein we find the Church’s economic and social communications to
These problems constitute “major and unrestrained consumerism,
intentions, the request for a coordi- concern for the unborn, the most fragile, do everything in their power to promote
challenges for Christian social teach- with no room for the relational,
nated worldwide vigil—to be held on the most threatened by the selfishness a culture which respects human life, to
ing and demand an adequate re- spiritual and religious dimensions
the same date and approximately the of adults and the darkening of con- provide favorable conditions and sup-
sponse,” he added, pointing to John of existence.
same time, in all dioceses—is highly sciences,” the Pontiff added. port networks for the reception and
Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium He also referred to the urgency of
exceptional. He then reiterated the Church’s development of life,” he said.
vitae” and Benedict XVI’s “Caritas changing today’s paradigms. Life is
Pope Benedict began his homily say- stance against abortion, warning against The Pope concluded by entrusting
in veritate” as cornerstones for ad- not a product but rather a “gift that
ing that God became a child to experi- “cultural tendencies that seek to anes- prayers for the unborn to the Virgin
dressing them. must be appropriately appreciated,”
ence the life of man in order to “to save thetize consciences with misleading Mary, “who welcomed the Son of God
Archbishop Zimowski warned especially in families, “who have
it completely, fully.” motivations.” made man with faith, with her maternal
against “an anti-life mentality” the task of supporting a culture of
“The beginning of the liturgical year “With regard to the embryo in the womb, with loving care, with nurturing
whose advocates attempt to pass it life.” (CNA)
helps us to relive the expectation of womb, science itself highlights its au- support and vibrant with love.” (CNA/
God made flesh in the womb of the tonomy capable of interaction with the EWTN News)

Bishop urges business groups Prelate deplores slow justice in Marcopper tragedy
to help solve Veco feud
MANILA, Dec. 2, 2010— A Catho- never been repaired. it seems that the government has direction is the right path towards
lic bishop is disappointed over “The most important thing here not learned from the past. the ‘straight path’ that Aquino has
the slow grind of justice for the is environmental justice that the “This is what we feel, what the promised to embarked into.”
victims of the 1993 Marcopper Diocese of Boac and the whole people feel. Until now, the govern- “Mining historically has only
CEBU City, Nov. 25, 2010—The members. mining as no one had been held Marinduque province are hoping ment continuously pushes mining brought devastation, misery,
rank-and-file workers’ union of It would be advantageous liable yet on the disaster. for,’ Evangelista said. in the country,” the 47-year old death, human rights violations,
the Visayan Electric Company to the business community, he Boac Bishop Reynaldo Evan- “(But) until now, talks are at prelate said. as what was clearly shown by
(Veco) is prepared to hold a said, if they can convince their gelista said it has been 17 years slow pace. The case has already Recent Aquino administra- the horrific experiences in Marin-
strike if their grievances will not business colleague to submit to since the country’s worst min- been filed but we are not sure tion’s pronouncements that it duque,” he said.
be addressed, a Catholic prelate “amicable settlement” through ing disaster struck and caused how many years or decades it will continue to pursue mining Aquino had vowed to revisit
warned. mediation. havoc to the environment and the will take.” as an economic policy has also failed mining projects in the past
In a letter to Cebu’s prominent The bishop’s letter was ad- Marinduque folks, and yet, noth- The bishop called on the Aqui- alarmed mining affected com- and large-scale disasters like
business groups, Bishop Ge- dressed to Cebu Chamber of ing had been resolved. he prelate no administration to give due at- munities, anti-mining activists Marinduque, Rapu-Rapu and
rardo Alminaza cautioned that Commerce and Industries Presi- lamented cases filed in courts had tention to their problem so as the and advocates. Diwalwal so that there be proper
they will be the first to suffer dent Consul Samuel Chioson, been there for as long as people of long-awaited justice be satisfied Attorney Mario Maderazo of rehabilitation and compensation
if the grievances of the VECO Mandaue Chamber of Com- Marinduque can remember but for the victims. With the aggres- the Philippine Misereor Partner- for individuals and communities
Employees Union will not be merce and Industry, Inc. Presi- the Boac River had never been sive campaign for mining even in ship – Anti Mining Campaign victimized by these mining disas-
addressed. dent Eric Ng Mendoza, Cebu restored and the people’s lives had their province, Evangelista said said, “We don’t think that this ters’. (CBCPNews)
He said that if Veco manage- Business Club President Gordon
ment continues to be “immov-
able”, the workers can and
might avail of the “last resort”,
Alan Joseph and Cebu Filipino
Chinese Chamber of Commerce
President Filomeno Lim.
Eco groups call for passage of new mining law
to strike—which no government Veco management repeatedly MANILA, Dec. 3, 2010—A coalition of envi- roots communities of indigenous peoples and
order can prevent. refused the church organiza- ronmental groups has called on legislators rural folks, multisectoral organizations and
“Then, we would be in deeper tion’s offer for mediation as the to pass a new mineral management law that civil society groups as well as church forma-
trouble, and, the first to suffer case is already certified with the would ensure a more ecologically balanced tions who are actual victims and witnesses,
would be the business com- National Labor Relations Com- use of natural resources. of the havoc created by the present mining
munity; and of course the or- mission (NLRC), and it deems Around 200 environmental advocates policy of the government,” she said.
dinary public consumers,” said that the on-going dispute cannot dressed in santa suits and singing Christmas House Bill 3763, filed on December 1, 2010
Alminaza, the Auxiliary Bishop be resolved through mediation carols gathered outside Congress on Decem- “seeks to regulate the rational exploration,
of Jaro. proceedings. ber 1 and pressed the lawmakers to act on development and utilization of mineral re-
The prelate is the head conve- Alminaza added that, “com- the bill. The activists were representatives sources, and to ensure the equitable sharing of
nor of the Visayas Clergy Dis- pulsory arbitration could drag of mining affected communities, indigenous benefits for the state, indigenous peoples and
cernment Group that earlier of- on and on, with endless motions peoples, church, urban poor organizations local communities, and for other purposes.”
fered to mediate between union for reconsideration,” and this and civil society environment groups. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kaka Bag-
members and the management would leave all concerned “un- Judy Pasimio of the The Legal Rights and ao and Rep. Walden Bello of Akbayan Partyl-
of Cebu’s largest power utilities sure” and the labor’s patience Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan ist, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of the 2nd Distric
Contributed photo

distributor. “stretched.” - Friends of the Earth, Philippines (LRC-KsK/ of Cagayan de Oro, Rep. Maximo Rodriguez
Alminaza urged the business Veco workers have already FoE, Phils) lauded the proposed measure saying of Abante Mindanao Partylist, Rep. Teddy
groups to help them persuade written to NLRC last Nov. 18 of the bill was the outcome of many years of hard Brawner Baguilat of the Lone District of Ifu-
the Veco management to accede the union’s willingness to par- work from the people concerned. gao, Rep. Carlos Padilla of the Lone District of
to the proposal for a mediation ticipate in the proposed media- “This bill is the product of years of painstak- Nueva Vizcaya and Rep. Roilo Golez of 2nd
or dialogue with the union tion. (CBCPNews) ing consultations and writeshops with grass- District of Paranaque. (CBCPNews)
A4 Opinion CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

Illustration by Bladimer Usi


The social concern challenge

THE message of Pope Benedict XVI delivered in audience on

November 29 to the first batch of Philippine bishops who went
to Rome on the occasion of their visit ad limina Apostolorum
maybe viewed as a congratulatory to the Philippine church.
The Pontiff commended the Church in the Philippines “for seeking
to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural
death, and in defense of the integrity of marriage and the family.”
This, of course, clearly alludes to the efforts of local church leaders
in the unrelenting fight against the passage of the Reproductive
Health Bill which has been persistent for over a decade now.
He also thanked a generation of zealous Filipino clergymen,
religious and laity for promoting “an ever more just social order.”
Quoting Gaudium et Spes No. 76, he seem to be referring to the
Philippine hierarchy that has been consistently passing “moral
judgments even in matters relating to politics, whenever the
fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires
it.” Public perception, though, has been quite vocal in tagging
some of the hierarchy’s members who were perceived to have
traded “critical collaboration” with the past political leadership
for personal favor or accommodation.
In the same message the Holy Father delivers a punch-line
challenge beneath his commendations when he started talking
about “economic and social concerns” especially with respect
to the poorest and weakest of society.
“Many of your fellow citizens, however, remain without
employment, adequate education or basic services, and so your
prophetic statements and your charitable action on behalf of the
poor continue to be greatly appreciated. In addition to this effort,
you are rightly concerned that there be an on-going commitment
to the struggle against corruption, since the growth of a just and
sustainable economy will only come about when there is a clear and
consistent application of the rule of law throughout the land.”
While the Successor of Peter appreciates the “prophetic
statements” and “charitable actions” ongoing in the Philippine as Oscar V. Cruz, DD
well as the pockets of efforts to fight corruption, it can hardly be
denied that the socio-political order in this part of Christendom Tyranny of numbers vs
is not getting any better.
He takes note that “at the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines
Views and Points force of truth
(PCP-II), the Church in your nation took a special interest in devoting
herself more fully to care for the poor.” It should be interesting to
find out after almost two decades now since PCP-II how much of POPULARITY vs reality, opin- is the expressed mention of continents of the world. She is man, woman and child. Sad but
this “special interest” for the poor has gained realization. ion vs fact, perception vs au- the use of condoms by no less in fact some 2000 years old— true, everyone—and this means
thenticity—these are some ex- than the Vatican, deliberately and counting. In the course of everybody—who dared contest
pressions that can encapsulate cited out of context. Third is world history, whole peoples her doctrine drawn from faith
the now reigning debate on the acclaim that majority of the raised clenched fists against and reason, eventually die, dis-
the so-called “Reproductive Filipinos favor the passage if her to vanish her from the appear and ultimately fall into
Health Bill”. Those leading the said Bill. face of the earth. Mighty and oblivion. And the Church they
Corruption—the rejection of moral and the drive for the public offi- Let it be said that Church influential individuals across hated for teaching the truth
religious truths cial distribution of man-made Doctrine premised on faith the centuries sought her de- contrary to their liking, con-
contraceptives—together with and reason is not in any way struction and annihilation. viction, especially but for per-
their avid followers—are joy- rendered true or false merely Millions even left her fold by sonal motives, still stands and
“KUNG walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” “Without corruption,
there will be no poverty.” This was the political rallying cry of our fully and publicly rejoicing for by the opinion of the majority subscribing to anti-Catholic remains up and about—simply
new President. It resonated deeply, and still does, with the longing their foreseen victory in the or minority of the people con- teachings and practices. This is attending to her mission. And
of our people for truth and integrity, for a moral society. eventual passage of the Bill. cerned. The empirical reality not to mention those who har- thus she is destined to be till
By and large, the primary ar- and ground certainly of Church bor hatred and disdain against the end of time—according
Allow us to remind you of two timeless and simple but profound guments so far invoked by the Doctrine is that it is firmly the Church as a whole—even nothing less than the expressed
truths: patrons of the Bill to proclaim anchored on objective truth— to this date. will of her Founder.
and promote their anti-popula- never, never on its acceptabil- The glaring truth of the mat- In short, the Reproductive
1. At the foundation of the moral society is a central religious truth— tion stand, may be synthesized ity or popularity among those ter, however, is that the Church Health Bill may be much ac-
our divine origin and our divinely-given identity as persons. God
into three arguments: First is concerned. is still there—still alive and claimed and very popular. And
created our inmost self, our inmost being, and knit us in our mother’s
womb. We come from God. We are created by God. Our capacity the poverty of the Filipinos The Church is the oldest and active, still teaching and pro- the Bill however remains de-
to understand truth and to love, our capacity to have compassion for for being too many in number well known institution in the claiming her doctrine, still ceitful, fallacious, and false—in
the weak and for the feeble—these are divinely-endowed wonders and consequent needs. Second world, existing in all known defending the dignity of every truth, in fact.
of ourselves, of the persons that we are, wonderfully created unto
God’s image and likeness. To respect God’s creative act and to be
true to God’s image are at the heart of being moral persons. Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS
2. Real corruption is moral and spiritual corruption. The rejection How many more lives
will we lose? Love Life
or disregard of morality and religious belief is at the core of
corruption. Moral and spiritual corruption breeds its kind in
other spheres of life—political, social, and economic.
Therefore, to get rid of corruption at all levels of life we as a
people must acknowledge our origin from the creative power YES, how many more lives will we lose is weak, pale and feeble. She was releasing pregnancy, a partial molar gestation. The
of God and must be true to our identity as created unto God’s often the question that bothers me when- foul discharges. The throbbing pain in mother suffered from subchorionic hemor-
image and likeness. This moral truth is at the very foundation ever I hear of another woman dying due her abdomen was excruciating. She was rhage which caused her quick death, leav-
of a civilization of truth and love, a humane society, a moral to poverty and poor maternal services. The confined to the hospital the day she was ing him and three young children. Right
society. To disregard moral and religious truths such as this is RH Bill proponents can continue present- agonizing in pain. The very next day, the now, he has asked his aging parents to care
to be defenseless to the onslaught of corruption. In brief, we ing their arguments that contraception, mother died. for his children, but he does not know how
have to restore and secure the moral heritage that governs us as including those with abortifacient effects, Unbeknown to her husband, four
persons, our social relationships, and our institutions. long they will be able to stay there. He was
is the answer to lessen maternal deaths months earlier, his wife had asked help confused and feeling very guilty. He said,
All the faithful, clergy religious and laity, and all our religious but as long as people live in poverty, lack from a manghihilot to terminate the preg- if he had only known that the pregnancy
institutions are called to proclaim these moral and religious truths. It education, and are deprived of adequate nancy. Poverty was taking its toll on them, would end in her death, then he would
is our divine mission. Our action or lack of action might sometimes, health and social services, the high mortal- and for her, there was absolutely no room have done everything he could not to make
sadly, contradict our call and weaken our credibility. But realizing ity rate will put our country to shame. for another mouth to feed. The hilot was her pregnant.”
this with the deepest sorrow we nonetheless cannot abdicate our duty Here is the story submitted to me by one quick to say that she would bleed anytime, Many of our brothers and sisters are
and mission. We have to vigorously proclaim truth and integrity, of our counselors in the Diocese of Digos thus signifying that the abortion was suc- ignorant of when life begins, although for
combat corruption, and help build up a moral society. CBCP Office on Women Pastoral Counsel- cessfully done. most of us who are active in the Catho-
ing Center for Women and Children. Weeks passed but still no blood came lic Church, we know that “life begins at
But the fight against moral and spiritual corruption in our society
is not only the duty of the Church. It is also the duty of the “Yesterday, a man came to our center out. The mother decided to undergo ul- fertilization” and therefore nothing may
government. This is clear from the Constitution: “The government feeling extremely depressed over the trasound for fetal examination. But all be done to terminate the development
is to support parents in rearing the youth in the development of death of his wife. He related how, on the that was detected was what seemed like of that new human life. But to many of
moral character...,” (Art 2, sec. 12) “…in the youth’s physical, sixth month of her pregnancy, his wife, a a lifeless mass of coagulated blood. The them, the fact that they hardly see any fetal
moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being,” (sec. 13) “… mother of three children started getting condition was diagnosed as an embryonic Love life / A5
in the school’s role in ethical and spiritual values, development of
moral character and personal discipline.” (Art. 14, sec. 3)
Melo M. Acuña
2010, what a year it
Securing our Moral Heritage: Towards a Moral Society, 2010

Issues and Concerns was

THE year is about to close and dio networks tried to keep their dent, which left eight Chinese the American dollar, the gov-
as far as this corner is concerned bias but yet the slip showed. The nationals and the hostage-taker ernment cannot simply say it
there were several events this moment an international maga- dead, left a mark on the coun- will bring good tidings to the
year that would continue to have zine had a presidential candidate try’s crisis response. It sent country and its people. One
lasting effects on the country and on its cover, observant Filipinos ripples to people involved in must remember the millions of
its people. thought it was a subtle endorse- Tourism. Where was the local overseas Filipino workers who
The first was the conduct of ment of their “anointed.” crisis committee? Where was the keep the country’s economy
the previous national and local The automated elections also National Telecommunications afloat. Their nearest of kin may
elections where the platform had unsettled issues as how the Commission? ask for more remittances for
Pedro C. Quitorio Kris P. Bayos The controversial Reproduc-
Features Editor changed from fiery speeches at Commission on Elections and them to afford the privileges
Editor-in-Chief tive Health bill remained good
Plaza Miranda decades ago to Smartmatic addressed computer they now have.
Gloria Fernando the television screen and AM glitches and how many couriers headline material as the Catholic Let’s see how the country’s
Pinky Barrientos, FSP
and FM regular broadcast which were deployed to replace defec- church register its opposition most popular chief executive

Associate Editor Marketing Supervisor

was synonymous to constant ex- tive memory cards. A check with based on scientific and doctrinal perform against illegal gamblers,
Melo M. Acuña Ernani M. Ramos posure through advertisements the Philippine Air Force revealed reasons. private armies, extrajudicial
Managing Editor Circulation Manager paid for by their closest friends. they only had very limited air as- As the government announced killings, farmers in need of land
In fact, the campaign was won sets utilized during the last few an 18-day Christmas ceasefire reform and last but not the least,
Roy Q. Lagarde Marcelita Dominguez through media packaging, how days before May 10. with the Communist Party of the wage a winning battle against
News Editor Comptroller intelligent a candidate appeared. Of course, the American Am- Philippines, President Aquino graft and corruption.
Nobody listened to how the bassador to the Philippines was reported to have said he’d All is not lost because we’re all
candidates planned to take the Harry K. Thomas made head- rather have the government optimistic something good will
The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Communica- country out of the doldrums or lines when he paid a courtesy and the insurgents engaged in come out sooner that expected.
tions Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and business offices economic backwaters. call on Senator Benigno Simeon debates. Won’t you consider dia- Merry Christmas! Happy New
at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. Movie and television person- C. Aquino III ahead of the proc- logue a more viable option? Year, too!
Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612.; ISSN 1908-2940 alities do played roles in en- lamation. With the increase in the Phil- For reactions, please send
dorsements as television and ra- The August 23 hostage inci- ippine peso’s value against them to acunamelo@gmail.com.
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010
Opinion A5
James H. Kroeger, M.M.
Living Mission Herald of the Savior Dainius Kreivys

Economies rise and

DECEMBER is dominated by He was born in Spain in 1506, Xavier if he was disappointed deep was your trust in God’s lov-
the beautiful feast of Christmas, studied at the University of on his death-bed. He had a great ing providence!
the birth of Jesus our savior. De- Paris, where he met Ignatius of life ambition; he sought to reach Dismal Failure? Was your life
cember is also a splendid oppor-
tunity to reflect on the Church’s
Loyola and joined his group.
Francis sailed for India in 1541,
China and spread the Gospel in
that vast land. For Jesus he had
an utter failure? Yes, in many
ways. You, Xavier, a man of
fall with the family
mission to make God’s salvation where he first preached to the left everything—family, friends, sporting success in your younger
in Christ known to all peoples. pearl fishers on India’s Fishery Ignatius and his original Jesuit years, never were able to make IF traditional family values were stronger in our society,
Without dedicated heralds of Coast. He traveled from India companions. the final missionary run. As a we would have a much stronger economy, not to mention
Jesus the savior, the spread of the to Malaya, then to the Moluc- In the end he found himself man of God, you were denied a more mature society. That is why today, in an era when
faith would be jeopardized. Jesus cas. In 1549 he landed in Japan, nearly friendless on the shore your goal of bringing Jesus to each of Lady Gaga’s new dresses gets major headlines, it is
came to our world as the mis- the first missionary to enter that of a small island within sight China. You faced an insignificant important to speak about the family from a rational point
sionary of the Father, bringing country. He remained in Japan of China. He almost died in death on Sancian, a misty island of view, as a crucial part of economic policy.
love, peace, joy and salvation. for 27 months, long enough to solitude. Boats had set out for near a mysterious continent. In many countries, family businesses are the most impor-
Christians—missionaries by establish several small groups China but later returned for lack A futile effort or a wasted tant engine of the economy, and Lithuania is no exception.
baptism—are asked to continue of converts. of wind. Xavier remained alone. life? Maybe not. I recall how That is not just because they constitute a major part of the
preaching God’s love made vis- When he heard about China, Only a native boatman stayed many schools, churches, social economy. Nobody can deny that successful families more
ible in the person of Jesus—and Xavier also wanted to go there. with him as he grew worse with centers, religious houses, streets often produce responsible citizens who later also become
not only at Christmas! At that time China remained fever; he whispered his prayers and squares are named after outstanding professionals. Economically, that means bet-
One important “Christmas- closed to foreigners. Yet, Francis and the names of Jesus and you. How many children have ter qualified specialists, people who create added value in
time Missionary” is none other believed that China would be the Ignatius. been named Xavier? How many the economy, people who support themselves, create jobs,
than Saint Francis Xavier, whose grand prize of all his missionary Xavier, was it all a failure? You young hearts (mine included) maintain a family and pay taxes; people who do not live
feast is celebrated on December endeavors. However, this spe- died on a lonely island at the age have been fired with enthusiasm off welfare benefits.
3. Allow me first to narrate some cial prize would elude him. In of 46. You only spent eleven when hearing of your mission? Family upbringing also has real significance for crime
key events of his life; then I will 1552 he arranged transportation years in mission, including the Not a failure at all! You de- rates. The values that are transmitted in families contrib-
also share a personal reflection, to China, but he fell seriously fifteen-month journey from Eu- sired to bring many to God. You ute to reducing crime, meaning the state does not have to
framed in the form of a medi- sick. He died on Sancian Island rope to Goa, India. You moved thought it would be in the years spend as much on public order.
tation about a “conversation” on December 3 of that year. from India through the heat of of your earthly life; God planned So a policy that supports the success of a country’s
I hope to have with Xavier Xavier was canonized in 1622. In Malaysia and the cold of Japan. that it would be forever. You families has a significant impact on GDP, and that is why
himself. 1927 he was named, along with Your heart was restless, searching thought that it would be in Asia I suggest that the family should be the central axis of every
Xavier’s Life. Saint Francis Saint Therese of Lisieux, patron for opportunities to make Christ and China; God planned that it country’s economic development strategies and business
Xavier was perhaps the great- of mission. the savior known. You were a fi- would be worldwide. Xavier, her- promotion programmes.
est missionary since the time of My Questions for Xavier. I ery preacher who struggled with ald of Jesus the savior, inflame us Consider the family from the perspective of government
Saint Paul and the first apostles. look forward to asking Francis difficult Asian languages. How with your missionary zeal! revenues and expenditures.
A family represents revenue for the state treasury. Be-
hind almost every tailor, cafe, guest house, rural tourism
Fr. Roy Cimagala getaway or farm, you will find a family business with

They don’t listen to family members working shoulder to shoulder. The size
of these undertakings may not amaze anyone, but they are
not called the engine of the economy for nothing. These
God anymore! Candidly Speaking families provide stable jobs for themselves, create work
for others and pay taxes, thus contributing to economic
Families usually form in order to have children. In the
WE have to say it as it is, calling a spade a ernment affairs? And yet they dare to say that it is for giving eyes of an economist, every person is an “economic unit”
spade. It may not be that politically correct. In the discussion of many social issues, the people an “informed choice” that they which increases the country’s GDP and brings a variety of
But then again, if the drift to secularism and like the RH bill, faith is often set aside, since support the bill. How can it be an “informed tax payments to the state budget.
Godlessness is just getting too obvious and it is considered as anti-reason, anti-human, choice” if they systematically avoid the The family also plays a key role in raising responsible
strong, who cares? not politically or socially correct, a nuisance moral angle as defined by the Church? citizens, shaping their values. Without slighting the ef-
A recent news item says that a majority to the deliberations, etc. But how can we say Obviously, what they can do is to arrogate forts that single-parent families make, one has to say
of our town mayors are for the RH bill. The we are tackling the issues adequately when to themselves the right to make a moral as- that this is much easier to do in an intact family. Their
reason given is that they want the people faith is a priori discredited? sessment of the RH bill by ignoring the voice investment in the welfare of each child involves the en-
to have an “informed choice” about family Truth in religion has become a meaning- of the Church. This has been done in many ergy, time and financial resources of two people, not just
planning and population control methods. less affair to many people, especially those other countries, those that are precisely suf- one. Again, for confirmation just look at the statistics:
Obviously, the news item sprang from a occupying positions of power and influence fering from secularist tendencies. They just children who grow up in one-parent families are more
survey. Surveys are now the modern oracles in our society. It has been reduced to a for- ignore God and go on with their agenda. likely to end up in high-risk groups and more often
of what is supposed to be right and wrong malistic activity, a social custom still prac- They will spare no effort to destroy the commit crimes. For the national budget, that means not
in society and in man in general. But God ticed more to meet social expectations rather organic connection between God, Christ only higher costs to fight crime, but also greater social
knows how these surveys are designed to than a matter of belief and conviction. and the Church. And with some help of security spending.
arrive at a desired result! Many are still stung by the supposedly theologian-dissenters, they will propose the The state cannot by any means forget or neglect single-
Just look at the financiers, just look at the Enlightenment bias which pits reason with idea of conscience as the lone way where parent families, but the top priority has to be encouraging
questions, etc. You have to be especially faith and gives no place to faith in human one can hear the voice of God, detaching people to marry, to live family life and to defend their
dumb not to know where the questionnaires affairs. conscience from its inherent need for Church families.
are meant to head. In short, many of our If there’s still some regard to God, it is just magisterium. Regarding informal partnerships, the statistics show no
surveys are nothing less than tools of black to make God a mere idol, a pious ornamental There is now little doubt that some of mercy: children of unmarried couples achieve less than
propaganda, of disinformation. statue that does not hear nor talk. That he is a our public officials are embarking on a path those of married couples. Moreover, the probability that
But the more serious issue here is also the living God who intervenes in our life all the that sooner or later will end up attacking such a child will eventually be left with just one parent
quite clear reality that many of our public time, who directs and governs us with his the Church, our Christian faith and culture. is several times larger than for children born to married
officials are not anymore listening to God. providence is lost on many people. We have to be ready for this eventuality. couples. Therefore, two people just living together, in my
They are simply listening to themselves, The proof of this is that any of our public Our public officials can pose as a potential view, do not constitute a real family and cannot fulfil the
perhaps making some kind of consensus officials refuse to tackle the moral dimension threat to the Church and our Christian way role of a family.
and compromise among themselves, and of the RH bill. Its morality is considered of life. For all these reasons, I am really pleased by some recent
with the people also. But God hardly has above their pay grade. They’re contented We need to voice it out, loud and clear, private initiatives in Lithuania that are helping large num-
any place. simply with the practical and convenient that listening to God, heeding the indications bers of families raise virtuous, responsible and educated
I’m sure the assertion will raise a howl of aspects of some of its parts. They obviously of our faith, the requirements of morality as citizens for our country.
protest and questions. What is listening to are happy that such bill will entitle them to taught now by the Church, is an indispens- Ma ny Eu r op ea n cou nt r ies, inclu ding Lit hu a nia ,
God anyway? What does it involve? Who some funds. The worst case is when they able element in any discussion of public is- are now struggling with the painful consequences
can say one is listening to God or not? Why consider morality simply as a function of sues. Ignoring it will just make our reasoning of devaluation of the notion of family: an increasing
does God have to be dragged into our gov- practicality and convenience. get into a dangerous adventure. retirement age, tragically declining birth rates and
aging populations with ever larger numbers of eco-
nomically inactive persons enjoying (well-deserved)
Brian Caulfield retirement. This will get even more painful, as we
reach the point where each employed person will
The symbols of Advent have to maintain not just one but two or more non-

Half a World Away employed persons.

It seems to me that many of us are mistaken in thinking
that the decision to start a family, to stay in a family and
to defend one’s family is something purely emotional. We
SUDDENLY the church is alive for us to give gifts not to receive “The pink one?” he asked, the church. He was the high- live in a rational world, and one in which the family plays
with Advent colors and seasonal them.” I was going to explain hopefully, no doubt thinking earner for the morning, so he a very rational role.
rituals that have my two boys how Advent is a time of wait- that would mean Christmas was was feeling good, dressed in his A country that does not adequately value the family’s
open-eyed and attentive at Mass. ing, but his eye had already coming quickly. Scout shirt and badges galore. impact on its economy, in the long run is doomed to bat-
They know Christmas is on the moved on. “No,” I said, sorry to dis- He didn’t even complain about tling extended economic recession, not to mention the
horizon. “What is that pink candle for?” appoint. “The second purple going back to church to attend costs of social welfare programs and crime reduction. To
The familiar green vestments he continued, pointing to the dif- one.” the 10:30 Mass with my wife and go beyond mere declarations and truly recognize the value
have been replaced by violet, ferent Advent candle amid the My 10-year-old Cub Scout younger son. of the family for the national economy, governments need
and a purple cloth now rests on three purple ones. I could have listened to our conversation As the organ blasted the open- to promote a more effective social security system and pro-
the altar. A wreath hangs on a gone on about Gaudete Sunday with a sense of satisfaction. He ing notes and the choir began the grams to support family businesses. In the nearest future,
candelabra which holds four and the past penitential tone of patted his little brother on the hymn, I thanked God—Jesus in as the economic recovery consolidates, we should take a
thick, fresh candles, and in the Advent, but decided to keep it head to indicate that he already the tabernacle—for the beauty of close look at both of these things, viewing them as parts
corner of the church, the Giving simple. knew the meaning of all the the Catholic faith, which is deep of the national investment program.
Tree is festooned with tags bear- “The pink is for the Third symbols of the season. He had enough to employ the world’s
ing requests for gifts. Sunday of Advent—it tells us gotten up earlier with me this great theologians and simple (Dainius Kreivys is the Minister of Economy of the Repub-
Seeing the tree, my 6-year-old Christmas is near.” He liked the First Sunday of Advent for the enough to capture the heart of lic of Lithuania. His article was translated by Bryan Bradley,
said, with a mischievous grin sound of that. 7:30 a.m. Mass—a miracle for a child. MercatorNet’s contributing editor for Eastern Europe. This
that told me he knew better, “Is I added, “We’re going to light the boy I have to drag out of (More of Brian’s articles are piece is printed here under special publishing arrangements
it Christmas yet?” one of the candles as a family bed for school—so he could join found in www.fathersforgood. with MercatorNet)
“No,” I replied, “that tree is next week at the 10:30 Mass.” his Pack selling wreaths outside org)

Lovelife / A4

parts when they or relatives or ried women.

neighbors have a miscarriage Parish Family Life Ministries
is an indication that what is have many wonderful activi-
forming in the woman up to ties on promoting couple rela-
three or four months is only tionships, spirituality within
blood and tissues, not yet a marriage, parenting skills and
human being. How important stewardship. However, there is
then that they are educated on need to put more programs on
the scientific and moral basis of Responsible Parenthood and
our teachings on the “Miracle of Natural Family Planning.
Human Life”. Whether the Reproductive
If so many are ignorant of Health Bill passes into law or
the meaning of fertilization, not, we have the obligation to
embryology and fetology, there provide our faithful, especially
is much more ignorance regard- our grassroots brothers and
ing the true meaning of sexual- sisters, with practical, compas-
ity, fertility and marriage. sionate, and effective ways of
That is why there are so many living their married life accord-
unwanted pregnancies among ing to God’s wonderful gift of
the single as well as the mar- sexuality and fertility.
Local News
CBCP Monitor
A6 Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

CBCP official hits ‘mind-conditioning’ survey on RH bill

Restorative justice
AN OFFICIAL of the Catholic Bish- are trying to influence our legisla-
ops’ Conference of the Philippines tors,” he furthered.
has called for a stop on surveys on Castro made the statement after
the Reproductive Health bill while the result of Pulse Asia’s latest sur-
the issue is still being debated by
the lawmakers.
Fr. Melvin Castro, executive sec-
retary of the CBCP’s Commission on
vey revealed that seven out of 10
Filipinos favoring the RH bill which
seeks to promote contraception.
The poll shows that 69 percent of
will work in PH
Family and Life, fears the surveys Filipinos support the measure, seven THE latest paradigm introduced in the yers to attend to the country’s courts.
are being conducted to influence the percent oppose it, while 24 percent country’s judicial system known as “We look forward to more lawyers
decisions of the lawmakers. are undecided. “restorative justice” will work in Philip- under the leadership of President Be-
Castro also expressed concern that The CBCP official, meantime, pine setting. nigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III,”
surveys are being conducted as a questioned the manner by which This was the view of Public At- Atty. Acosta told CBCPNews.
mind-conditioning strategy of those the survey was done by the polling torney’s Office Chief Atty. Persida V. The Office still needs a thousand law-
behind the controversial measure. firm. Rueda–Acosta given in an interview at yers nationwide to attend to the clogged
“We are appealing to them (sur- “The question is: Did the questions the sidelines of the Orientation Seminar cases at the different courts across the
veying firms) not to be used to tackle the bill’s provisions? Or was it and Year-end Management and Plan- archipelago.
mindset legislators that majority of a general question on whether they ning Conference held at the Manila She added the Public Attorney’s Of-
the people is for the bill… so that it support it or not? It would be good Hotel recently. fice was responsible for the release of

will not cause undue influence to our to ask if the people they surveyed Atty. Acosta said this will work pro- some 10,000 inmates who have been
legislators,” said Castro. have already read the bill or not,” vided pillars of the country’s criminal either acquitted by the courts, served
Fr. Melvin Castro
“It is our impression now that they he said. (CBCPNews) justice system will work closely to- their sentences or have already reached
gether. The so-called pillars include law the maximum age in detention.
enforcement, prosecution, judiciary, “Restorative justice will come to real-

CBCP website restored after hackers’ attack

corrections and the community. ity when everybody, the criminals and
Though the past administration ap- the victims’ nearest of kin would learn
proved the hiring of 300 new lawyers, the the true meaning of justice and love,”
Public Attorney’s Office still lacks law- she further said. (Melo M. Acuña)
A WEBSITE of the Catholic internet service provider. they have no idea who may be
Bishops’ Conference of the Hernani Ramos, website admin- behind the hacking but doubted Kuwait / A1
Philippines has been restored istrator, said the security code it was connected to the RH bill
after it was hacked by a group may have been cracked late night debate. incardinated to the Apostolic Vicariate in addition to the big halls which will be
calling itself “LordDemon of November 26 or morning of the “I don’t see that the incident of Kuwait said the traditional early opened to accommodate more Filipino
EgypT!0n.” following day. is related to the pro-life (stand morning Mass began in Kuwait some faithful,” he added.
The Internet vandals defaced The CBCPWorld upon learning of the Catholic Church) because ten years ago. In a related development, the two
the homepage of the CBCP Epis- that the site was hacked immedi- if that were the case then they “Fr. Fred Micua, OFM will celebrate additional Filipino priests now attend
copal Commission on Health ately worked on restoring the web- should have attacked the site the dawn Masses at the Our Lady of to distressed OFWs at the Philippine
Care site (http://www.cb- site to its original form. The website of t h e C B C P- E p i s cop a l C om - Arabia parish in Ahmadi with two other Overseas Labor Office (POLO). They
cphealthcare.org), dedicated to was fixed in just five minutes and mission on Family and Life,” Filipino priests who will celebrate the also hear confessions and do some
promote the agency’s ministry went online again before noon. Quitorio said. Simbang Gabi at St. Therese in Salmiya, counseling before saying Mass every
for caring multiple-handicapped The hacking incident occurred “I don’t think that they have a a thickly populated residential district Thursday evening.
people and the mentally ill. hours before a major pro-life Catho- political or ideological agenda… at 9:30 p.m. starting December 15,” Fr. Barrameda said he is grateful to the
“HackEd BY LordDem0n lic group was to hold a prayer vigil If their intention was to hack Barrameda said. He said the evening Philippine Embassy officials in Kuwait
EgYpT!0n – H4Ck3r … Your Se- against the reproductive health the CBCP, they would have Masses were upon the request of Fili- for allowing them to do outreach pro-
curity Can Not Face Us !!!” the (RH) bill which seeks to promote hacked the major websites of pino workers who report to work very grams.
cyber vandals said. contraception. the CBCP.” early in the morning. He also cited the support of Bishop
The hacker, who placed an El Shaddai with its thousands of “So I have strong belief that Barrameda said this year’s theme Camillo Ballin, MCCI for coming to the
image into the website of a man members and several anti-RH bill is not connected to pro-life. It‘s is “Matatagpuan tayo ng Diyos… Sa aid of migrants, especially Filipinos.
with his back turned to the visi- groups gathered evening of No- just a way for the hackers to pamamagitan ni Kristo Hesus.” There are about 200,000 Filipinos
tors, also left an email address, vember 27 at the Amvil compound show who is better… The kids Masses at the Holy Family Cathedral today in the progressive State of Ku-
a_0x@live.com. in Parañaque City to express their nowadays are good, I suspect parish and Our Lady of Arabia will wait.
The website is hosted by opposition against the controver- this was done by computer begin at exactly 5:00 a.m. instead of the Bishop Ballin is a native of Fontaniva,
Mabuhay Web Hosting Philip- sial measure. geeks who are just trying to traditional 5:30 a.m. Italy and is a member of the MCCI or
pines and managed by the CB- CBCP Media Office director discover new things,” he added. “With the steady influx of Filipino Missionarii Comboniani Cordis Iesu, a
CPWorld Corp., a church-based Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III said (CBCPNews) migrant workers in Kuwait, they expect religious congregation founded in Italy
the churches to be standing-room only in the 1840s. (Melo M. Acuña)

Pope / A1

teaching the faith to others.” into the uterus. comed the bishops’ efforts to ‘Unified voice’ first of three batches of bishops Philippines,” said Odchimar.
The pope made the statement The measure also provides for care for the weak and deprived The pope also mentioned scheduled to visit Rome for the “Pope Benedict’s message to
as he welcomed the group of 35 a mandatory sex education for as he noted the rise of Catholic communications media as a field quinquennial visit “ad limina the first group of Philippine bish-
bishops led by Manila Archbish- students from Grade V up, which charitable institutions in the where the Church can have a apostolorum.” ops affirms the CBCP’s staunch
op Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. bishops fear could lead to promis- country that care for the poor. voice to reach out to the faithful resolve to preach and stand up
cuity and teen pregnancies. “A third aspect of the Church’s more effectively. CBCP ‘encouraged’ for the Gospel of life in season
RH Bill “In these areas you are pro- mission of proclaiming the life- But he stressed that to create After gaining praise from and out of season,” he said.
The Holy Father praised the moting truths about the human giving word of God is in her an impact it is important for the Pope Benedict XVI, the Phil- Odchimar also said the pope
Philippine bishops for their ef- person and about society which commitment to economic and Church to have a “unified and ippine Catholic hierarchy also thanked not only the Fili-
forts to uphold the sacredness arise not only from divine rev- social concerns, in particular positive voice” in presenting the found more reason to op- pino bishops, priests and reli-
of human life from all stages and elation but also from the natural with respect to the poorest and gospel values to the faithful. pose a proposed birth control gious, but also the lay persons
preserve the sanctity of marriage law, an order which is acces- the weakest in society,” he said. The Holy Father said lay peo- measure. for working to promote a just
and family. sible to human reason and thus The pope lauded the bishops ple expert in social communica- The head of the Catholic Bish- social order.
Church leaders in the country provides a basis for dialogue for their “prophetic stance” on tions can contribute much in ops’ Conference of the Philip- On November 29, the Pontiff
are currently at loggerheads with and deeper discernment on the social issues as he mentioned the making the Gospel message pines said the pope’s statement hailed the members of the CBCP
government officials against the part of all people of good will. I problems of unemployment, lack attractive to people. has encouraged them to fight the for its strong pro-life stance by
passage of the controversial re- also note with appreciation the of adequate education and basic “If the Gospel of Christ is to be reproductive health bill despite continuously opposing bills that
productive health bill. Church’s work to abolish the services in the country. a leaven in Filipino society, then a growing number of lawmakers are against human life.
The proposed law has conten- death penalty in your country,” “In addition to this effort, you the entire Catholic community backing it. “I commend the Church in
tious provisions which the bish- the pope said. are rightly concerned that there must be attentive to the force of Bishop Nereo Odchimar, the Philippines for seeking to
ops said are morally unacceptable The Church, in proclaiming be an on-going commitment to the truth proclaimed with love,” CBCP President, said the pontiff play its part in support of hu-
as they go against the teachings the gospel values, will necessar- the struggle against corruption, he said. commended the church in the man life from conception until
of the Catholic Church. ily have to touch on issues that since the growth of a just and The bishops who are in Rome Philippines for its commitment natural death,” said the Pope
Among others, it promotes can be considered political, the sustainable economy will only for their five-yearly “ad limina” to protect the sanctity of life. in his message to the first batch
the use of contraceptives, which pope said. come about when there is a clear visit come from the 30 ecclesi- “We are greatly encouraged of Philippine Bishops in their
bioethics experts say are abor- and consistent application of the astical jurisdictions in Metro by the words of the Holy Father, visitatio ad limina apostolotum
tifacients as they prevent the ‘Prophetic stance’ rule of law throughout the land,” Manila, and Central and North- Pope Benedict XVI, on the un- to the Holy See. (With reports
implantation of fertilized egg The Holy Father also wel- said the pontiff. ern Luzon. The group is the dertakings of the Church in the from Roy Lagarde)

Truce / A1 Youth / A1

provinces of Agusan del Norte and people for them to turn their armaments the start of the traditional Simbang homes, schools, communities, etc.—to will follow.
Agusan del Sur where insurgents have into instruments for food production.” Gabi, the dawn of the “CBCP Year of the find God in their lives and generously While members of the CBCP will
made their presence felt. The government said the ceasefire, Youth” also coincides with the arrival of answer His call to service and love,” convene for a workshop on Youth Min-
For his part, Bacolod Bishop Vicente which will begin on Thursday, Decem- the relics of St. John Bosco, considered Baylon said. istry during their plenary assembly in
Navarra said he would welcome more ber 16 until midnight of Monday, Janu- as the father and teacher of the youth, “Let us pray that there may be wider January, youth ministers will have their
“a long lasting ceasefire.” ary 3, 2011 will serve as a prelude to the in the country. participation and greater dedication in retreats with ECY bishops as retreat
“This can only be brought about by resumption of peace talks between the According to CBCP Episcopal Com- youth ministry, leading to a meaningful masters from February to June.
both parties talking together and agree- two parties in February. mission on Youth (ECY), this visit of and fruitful service that is undertaken There will also be a National Youth
ing on terms without having any hidden Military Ordinary Leopoldo S. Tumu- St. John Bosco’s relics is a most fitting with the fullest attention and high- Coordinating Council 2011 meeting
agenda from any side,” he added. lak welcomed the ceasefire between the way to launch the “CBCP Year of the est priority in every way by all in the slated on April and the recognition of
Negros Occidental has been a hotbed government and communist insurgents Youth” as it “highlights the spirit of Church,” he added. outstanding persons in the youth min-
of communist insurgency during the scheduled to begin on Thursday, De- the saint who has offered his life for Baylon also urged other bishops to istry will be simultaneously held until
past decades. cember 16 until January 3, 2011. the young.” spearhead the diocesan level of observ- November.
Meanwhile, Lipa Archbishop Ramon In a statement sent to CBCPNews, ECY Chairman and Legazpi Bishop ing the National Youth Day (NYD) on After the ECY sends its delegation
Arguelles said he joins the Filipino peo- the prelate said he is thankful to God Joel Baylon said ushering in the New December 16 and the “CBCP Year of the to the WYD in Spain by August, it
ple in praying “for lasting peace based because “both sides will have time to be Year as “CBCP Year of the Youth” will Youth” thereafter. will spearhead the celebration of the
on the love of God and of country” as with their families and enjoy the Christ- be a double celebration for the Filipino In a letter dated November 18, 2010, National Youth Day 2011 by October.
he called on God “to bless these armed mas holiday.” (Melo M. Acuña) Church since it will also concur with Baylon urged those involved in youth A book on the youth ministry suc-
the 25th founding anniversary of ECY ministry to echo out the ECY’s NYD cess stories will be launched come
Armies / A1 on July. 2010 Formation Program, the Liturgy November, just before the “CBCP
Incidentally, it will also cover the for the Eucharistic Celebration on De- Year of the Youth” closes in Decem-
CEAP, which has 1,290-member vigilance so that people, organizations and 26thWorld Youth Day (WYD) slated in cember 16, and the ECY-composed ber 2011.
schools, colleges and universities, also institutions can monitor the progress of the Madrid, Spain come August. Prayer for the Youth to the parochial But the youth ministry awareness
called for a speedy trial of the case to case; and for transparency of the case so “During this ‘CBCP Year of the and transparochial levels to reach the campaign for the “CBCP Year of the
bring justice to the victims of the inci- that the public may know,” they said. Youth,’ let us together work to inten- Filipino youth and their ministers. Youth” will stretch until 2012 with the
dent, the worst political massacre in the “We demand that justice be sify awareness about the youth and After the observance of the National Congress of Youth Directors in Janu-
country’s history. served without fear of favor at the their importance to the life and activity Youth Day in the diocesan levels this ary 2012 and the National Conference
“We call for a speedy and fair trial − earliest possible time,” CEAP added. of the Church. By our witness, let us month, the year-long nationwide pil- for Youth Ministers in October 2012.
delay of justice is a denial of justice; for (CBCPNews) help the young in our midst—in our grimage of the National Youth Cross (Kris Bayos)

Prospects / A1 Commercialization / A1

under the Aquino Administra- phenomenon of poor people not be simply “swept under tired prelate noted how stat- ng pagbili at pagregalo. Si “Let us keep Christ at Christ-
tion,” the four-hour dialogue in cities and towns building the rug” by throwing them “far ues and images of Santa Claus Christ ay simbolo ng pag- mas. Let us project Christ at
was held at the Titus Brandsma their make-shift homes in away in uninhabitable places to are displayed in almost every aalay ng buhay para sa Christmas. Let us project the
Center at Acacia St., New Ma- empty private lots or in un- die the slow death of poverty part of communities while kapwa tao. E mas mabili si love that God had shown us
nila, Quezon City. used government proprieties and neglect.” traditional Christian symbol Santa para sa commercial,” and Christ. And project it
Sponsored by the a mis- and the unabated growth of They added the approach not of the crèche with Jesus, Mary Bacani said. not only by Christmas carols
sion partner of the AMRSP, slum settlements which has only fails to solve the problem and Mary is already disap- According to the prelate, the and by our words but by our
the Task Force on Urban become “a long standing so- because “it aggravates and pearing. faithful should bear in mind loving deeds and compassion
Conscientization under its cial problem.” fuels even more social unrest “Si Santa Claus nakakatu- that Christmas is meant to for our fellow human beings
chairman Fr. Charly Ricafort, The organizers said the grim and more resistance.” (Melo M. long yan sa consumerism. celebrate the birth of Jesus and during this Christmas time,”
MI, the organizers said the reality of the urban poor can- Acuña) Si Santa kasi ay symbol should be kept that way. he said. (CBCPNews)
Diocesan News
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

Church to fight RH bill

to the end—prelate
LIPA City—The Catholic Church will Life of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Last November 24, the House Com-
continue to fight against the passage of of the Philippines. mittee on Population and Family held
the reproductive health bill to the end, The prelate made the statement on its first committee hearing on the con-
a prelate said. November 25 as he saw how the law- troversial measure, wherein the oppos-
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles makers pushing for the RH bill seem ing sides went face-to-face.
told lawmakers supporting the measure hell bent on forcing its passage into a In the said hearing, anti-RH bill and
that promotes contraception that victory law under the Aquino administration. Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia com-
will not come on a silver plate. He stressed that the RH bill contain plained why the measure was referred to
“Yes (we will oppose it no matter several provisions that go against the House Committee on Population and
what happen) because that is our moral Church teachings. not to the House Committee on Health.
duty. It is our duty to promote the teach- “Masama talaga ito dahil it takes The first congressional hearing is seen
ings of God. And the RH bill is definitely away the life of the unborn and it is by observers as only the preview on

File photo
against the teachings of God,” he said. also (considered) corruption dahil may what would be a prolonged and more
Arguelles is the vice chairman of the perang involved diyan e,” said the Lipa intense debate on the fate of the RH bill. Archbishop Ramon Arguelles
Episcopal Commission on Family and prelate. (CBCPNews)

War won’t achieve peace— Stop Apeco budget,

Mindanao army chief priest renews appeal
CAGAYAN DE ORO City— affiliations. Through development work, cially in our case, will rely INFANTA, Quezon—A Catholic port zone would result in en-
Peace cannot be attained “The Philippine Army, spe- soldiers can help build peace- purely in our understanding priest in the prelature of Infanta vironmental degradation at the
through war. cifically the 4th ID, empha- ful communities all over the what is needed to be done. remains very concerned over the marine life-rich Casiguran bay.
This was stressed by Major sized that peace is not won country, he stressed. Because peace starts when fate of the residents who are affect- “Again, we are appealing to
General Victor Felix, com- through more bloodshed but But Felix admitted that there people would learn to listen, ed in the Aurora Pacific Economic the government to suspend the
manding general of the 4th through peaceful means and is still a lot of work to do to respect and understand each Zone and Freeport (Apeco). budget (of the project),” said
Infantry “Diamond” Division efforts in understanding and attain lasting peace. But this and everyone’s opinion,” Fr. Jose Francisco Talaban, a Talaban.
during the closing ceremonies unifying each Filipino citizen, can be done if the church and he said. parish priest in Bianoan, a more Aside from the non-consulta-
of the Mindanao Week of Peace especially the people here in socio-civic organizations unite Officers and soldiers of the serious problem is likely to occur tion on the eco-zone, the priest
Dec. 2. Mindanao,” he said. and join hands in “fighting” 4th ID, especially all units of if the operation of the project will also reported alleged wide-
Instead of war, Felix advo- Felix said that government for peace in Mindanao and in the Eastern Mindanao com- not be stopped the soonest. spread human rights violations
cated for peaceful means to soldiers are also trained to be the whole country. mand (EastMinCom) have Most of the residents, majority and displacement of residents in
attain the long dreamed-of peace advocates and peace “The struggle for peace undergone peace education of them indigenous people, fear the project’s impact zone.
peace in Mindanao. builders and that right now, has never been an easy one. through the Operation Peace of losing their ancestral lands as Last June, Talaban escaped
He said that Filipinos, espe- soldiers are doing develop- There has never been a prov- Course (OP Kors!) conducted they claimed that they were not unhurt when unidentified men
cially Mindanawons, should ment works in the countryside en short cut formula record- by the Balay Mindanaw Foun- even consulted that an economic strafed the rectory of his con-
exert effort in understanding to let the people know that ed all throughout history dation, Inc. (BMFI) in coopera- zone would be put in their area. vent. The attack, he claimed, was
each other, especially those they also want peace and not that will be able to guide tion with EastMinCom. (Bong Talaban said many fishermen tied to his lobbying against the
of other religious and cultural war. us. For each situation, espe- D. Fabe) are also anxious that the free ecozone. (CBCPNews)

Lumads call for scrapping of IPRA Law, NCIP

CAGAYAN DE ORO City—A Hi- Plana said that the land is very sacred
gaonon datu (leader/chief) along with to the lumad because it is the source of
tribe leaders of the Bagobo and Manobo life of the lumad and their culture and
nations called for the scrapping of the tradition is identified with the land.
Indigenous People’s Rights Acts (IPRA) But when the IPRA Law was enacted
and the dissolution of the National in October 29, 1997, the struggle of the
Commission on Indigenous Peoples lumad communities all over the Philip-
(NCIP) for it only allegedly legalized pines, especially in Mindanao, came to
development aggressions against the the fore, highlighted by bloodshed and
lumad territories. strife within the lumad communities.
Datu Inbanwag of the Higaonon tribe The IPRA Law, which was modelled
of Bukidnon, also known as Jomorito on the provisions of the UN Draft Dec-
Goaynon, said that state-backed com- laration on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights,
panies are using the IPRA Law and the is in theory one of the most enlightened
NCIP to further divide the indigenous laws dealing with indigenous peoples as
© Bong Fabe / CBCP Media

peoples for their own ends. it recognizes the lumads’ free prior and
“Ang NCIP mao ang ugat-hinungdan informed consent (FPIC), the absence of
sa padayong pagka-bahin-bahin sa mga which effectively prevent a project from
lumad (The NCIP is the root cause of the proceeding within lumad territory.
continued division of the indigenous In practice, however, the IPRA Law,
peoples),” he said. Datu Inbawag of Higaonon Tribe particularly this FPIC provision is regu-
Goaynon, chairperson of the Kalum- larly undermined by legislation such as
bay Regional Lumad Organization, very good for the indigenous peoples The bulk of its provisions are bad for among teritoryo nga yutang kabilin kay the 1995 Mining Act, which gives min-
which counts as members hundreds at first glance but glaringly failed to the indigenous peoples),” he said. ang kinatibuk-ang tribo ang nagapanag- ing claims to the same Indigenous land
of lumad peoples irregardless of tribe uphold the rights of the lumad when Roger Plana, a Manobo and secretary- iya niana ug dili lamang ang pipila ka supposedly covered by IPRA.
from the provinces of Misamis Oriental, scrutinized against the culture, tradi- general of the Kalumbay Regional Lu- tawo. Kung mamatay ang leader sa Local and international organizations
Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Agusan tion and practices of the indigenous mad Organization, explained that the tribo, ibilin niya ang yuta sa mosunod hailed the passage of the IPRA Law in
del Norte and even from the Davao peoples. IPRA Law introduced the concept of pa nga mga henerasyon (We call our 1997 as it finally recognized the rights
provinces, said that the NCIP is siding “Pipila lamang ka mga provisions land titles to the lumad which created territory ancestral land because it be- of the lumads over their territories.
with the government, which he said sa IPRA ang maayo sa lumad. Ang friction among the tribes because the longs to the whole tribe and not just a But 13 years since its enactment, the
only pay token recognition to the lumad kinabag-an niana makadaot sa lumad concept of land title is alien to the indig- few individuals. If a tribe leader dies, he indigenous peoples of the Philippines
communities. (Only very few provisions of the IPRA enous peoples in the Philippines. bequeaths the land to the next genera- continue to fight for recognition and
He said that the IPRA Law seems are good for the indigenous peoples. “Mao bitaw’ng ng gitawag ang tions),” he said. respect due them. (Bong D. Fabe)

May They Be One Bible Campaign

Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home Briefing
Pacquiao eyed as climate change spokesperson

Praise God for the warm

Meeting Jesus through His Word SURIGAO City— Eight different weight division boxing champion Rep.
Manuel “Manny” Pacquiao is being eyed to be the country’s mouthpiece for
response to MTBO by climate change, Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III said. Pacquiao, Tañada

n Gamu. Isabela… Fr. Antonio Ancheta dreams of having each believed, can be the perfect spokesperson for climate change adaptation
both Filipinos and na- parishioner from the 16 barangays of the St. Rose of Lima Parish
tionals in Australia and and disaster risk reduction because he is very popular among the masses
to get their own Bibles. The need for Bibles became more apparent
New Zealand, as well as after he started a Gospel Sharing program last September 2009, where who adore and look up to him. Pacquiao also knows and understand the
the support of Most Rev. many attendees could not afford to buy their own copy of the Word. masses because of his humble beginnings in the streets of General Santos
Philip Wilson of Adelaide However, a happy turnaround occurred when Fr. Ancheta joined the City. (Bong D. Fabe)
- Pres. Of the Austra- May They Be One Bible (MTBO) campaign, which made the Bible avail-
lian Bishops Confer- able to the poor parishioners at an affordable price. At present, 320 27 undocumented OFWs nabbed in Saudi crackdown
ence, Most Rev. Denis families in his parish now have their own MTBO Bibles. Fr. Ancheta ANTIPOLO City— Twenty-seven Filipino workers were arrested in Saudi
joyfully recounts that through the MTBO Bibles, the people not only Arabia as the Kingdom has intensified its campaign against illegal aliens
Hart of Melbourne, Most hear about Jesus—they also encounter Him for themselves through working and living there. Migrante Middle East coordinator John Leonard
Rev. Joseph Grech of their own personal study. Fr. Ancheta said that the people are now Monterona told CBCPNews the 27 undocumented overseas Filipino work-
Sandhurst, Most Rev. more responsive to the Gospel message, progressively applying in ers (OFWs) were nabbed by the Saudi police the night of November 23, as
Patrick Dunn of Auck- their lives the principles they learn. The St. Rose of Lima cleric also reported by their local chapter in Al-Khobar. (CBCPNews)
land, during the MTBO notes that his parishioners have become more prayerful and that
presentations there in church attendance has considerably improved. CBCP official to town mayors: Protect your constituents
November by Most Rev. MANILA—A Catholic Church official called on the local government
Arturo Bastes and Fr. No. of Dioceses participating in the cps.)
officials to protect the interest of their constituents after the League of
Oscar Alunday. The trip Bible Campaign – 76 out of 86 Dio-
ceses Parishes/Communities served: Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) expressed support to a birth
was organized by the 596 control measure, saying they wanted their constituents to have an
Bible Societies of Victo- Bibles Distributed (Jan 2010 – Dec informed choice. “While we respect their position as duly elected by
ria, Adelaide, Melbourne Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009-
1, 2010): 177, 563 cps.
Dec. 1, 2010): 283,123 cps the people, our point is that if they are elected by the people then they
and the Bible Society of Bibles Distributed by Languages - Ta- should protect their constituents to get their sentiments on the proposed
New Zealand. galog (53,965 cps.), Cebuano (50,412 Target No. of Bibles for Distribution measure,” said Fr. Melvin Castro of the CBCP’s Commission on Family
cps.) English (31,155 cps.), Ilocano for 2010: 200,000 cps. and Life. (CBCPNews)
P l e a s e p r a y fo r m o r e (19,349 cps.), Hiligaynon (12,290 Total Funds Needed for Printing
churches and organi- cps.), Bicol (6,511cps.), Pangasin- and Transport of Bibles in 2010: HK rights’ group assails Aquino’s stance on Morong 43
zations throughout the ense (3,858 cps.), Pampango (1,323 P30M ANTIPOLO City— A human rights’ group in Hong Kong has assailed Pres.
country to register as Benigno C. Aquino III for his seeming indifference on the Morong 43 case,
Writing Centers for the To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make signifi- as the incarcerated health workers and their families have re ceived nothing
cant change, call us at PBS 526-7777, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www.bible.org. from the Chief Executive but excuses. Aglipayan priest Dwight de la Torre,
Handwritten Unity Bible ph and www.ecba-cbcp.com. Donations can be made by making a deposit
which will be launched in to the following bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account #393-0649-34 (BPI Sta. co-convener of the HK Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights
January 2011. Mesa Branch) Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251- and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP) said that after nine months of
021376 (BPI-Tayuman Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card the Morong 43’s illegal arrest and detention, still their call for justice has
payments – go to PBS website (www.bible.org.ph) apparently fallen upon the deaf ears of “PNoy”. (CBCPNews)
A8 People, Facts & Places CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

Pope Benedict receives RP bishops

on ‘ad limina’ visit POPE Benedict XVI met sepa-
rately with eight bishops from
the Philippines on their ad limina
visit to the Holy See on Decem-
ber 2, according to the Vatican
Information Service.
Pastoral Visit, tell us, Holy Fa-
ther, the things the Lord Jesus
wants us to hear. Your Bishops
in the Philippines are listening.
Thank you and God bless you,
Holy Father.”
The prelates included San The Holy Father, for his part
Fernando de La Union Bishop warmly welcomed the Filipino
Artemio L. Rillera, San Jose de prelates. He praised the bishops
Nueva Ecija Bishop Mylo Hubert for their work in promoting the
C. Vergara, Urdaneta Bishop Ja- culture of faith, life and family
cinto A. Jose, Balanga Bishop Ru- in the Philippines.
perto C. Santos, Iba (Zambales) “… I commend the Church in
Bishop Florentino G. Lavarias, the Philippines for seeking to
Tarlac Bishop Florentino F. Cin- play its part in support of hu-
ense, Cubao Bishop Honesto F. man life from conception until
Ongtioco and Antipolo Bishop natural death, and in defense
Gabriel V. Reyes. of the integrity of marriage and
The Holy Father, earlier re- the family. In these areas you
ceived Manila Archbishop Gaud- are promoting truths about the

encio B. Cardinal Rosales and his human person and about soci-
auxiliary Bishops Bernardino C. ety which arise not only from
Cortes and Broderick Pabillo. divine revelation but also from
During their general audience the natural law, an order which
with Pope Benedict on Novem- is accessible to human reason
ber 29 at the Consistory Hall, and thus provides a basis for
Cardinal Rosales, on behalf of his dialogue and deeper discern-
brother bishops greeted the pope ment on the part of all people of
with the following message: good will. I also note with ap-

UST attempts world’s

“Your Holiness, here we are preciation the Church’s work to
the thirty-five Archbishops and abolish the death penalty in your
Bishops from Northern Philip- country,” the pope said.
pines. From the Far East we have The pontiff also noted the Phil-

grandest living rosary

come to Rome to make the tradi- ippine Church’s “commitment to
tional Ad Limina Apostolorum economic and social concerns,”
Visit, to submit our Quinquen- and in alleviating the plight of
nial Reports and to hear again the poor.
the voice and the message of “At the Second Plenary Coun-
AS a grand thanksgiving to the Our Lady “Having been named ‘Colegio de muros inside the UST Campus in Espana the Successor of Peter. As once cil of the Philippines, the Church
of the Rosary for its 400 years of existence, Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario’ at Manila. the disciples approached the in your nation took a special
the University of Santo Tomas (UST) will the time of its inception, UST has had a Participants assigned to the Hail Mary Lord, tired and severely tried, interest in devoting herself more
be organizing its students, alumni, faculty long history of devotion to Our Lady of beads will wear yellow shirts, while those but still able to tell Jesus what fully to care for the poor. It is
members, and administrative staff to form the Rosary, patroness of the Dominican assigned to the Our Father beads, the Cross, they had done, we, who also heartening to see that this un-
a big living rosary on the forthcoming Order. It is in thanksgiving for 400 years and the Center Medal will wear blue shirts. come from afar, would like to dertaking has borne fruit, with
Feast of the Immaculate Conception. of her maternal protection that the Uni- Those assigned to the connecting chains will hear the words, “you must come Catholic charitable institutions
Through the December 8 Marian event, versity shall hold the Quadricentennial wear white shirts. The grand rosary will be away to some lonely place by actively engaged throughout
Asia’ oldest Catholic University will Living Rosary,” the information on the prayed from 4 to 5 p.m. and a Mass for the yourselves and rest for awhile” the country. Many of your fel-
also attempt to set a world record of the Facebook page says. Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Mt. 6: 30-31). But as we return low citizens, however, remain
largest human rosary with some 20,000 Participants of the grand living rosary will follow. home to the “fields we till,” we without employment, adequate
participants. will congregate along Arellano Drive, The Q Rosary was initially set on October long to hear the words, “launch education or basic services, and
According to a Facebook page devoted to Ceferino Gonzales Drive, Osmeña Drive, 7 but due to unpredictable weather, it was deeper into the sea,” “teach what so your prophetic statements
the event dubbed “Q Rosary,” the grand liv- Albert Drive, Quezon Drive, Leon Ma. rescheduled to December. A mass was held you have learned,” “go farther. and your charitable action on
ing rosary is a statement of UST’s unchanging Guerrero Drive, and Araullo Drive, and in honor of the Our Lady of Manaoag in . .” “to the East.” And even if behalf of the poor continue to
love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin. within Plaza Mayor and Plaza Intra- place of the Q Rosary. (Kris Bayos) the great distance that separates be greatly appreciated.” (Melo
us may not be bridged by Your M. Acuna/CBCPNews)

Youth commission gears up

for 25th anniversary
THE Episcopal Commission on Youth dinating Councils to realize the goals Catholic Educational Association of the
Markings CELEBRATED. Philippine Bible Society (PBS), 111th
(ECY) of the Catholic Bishops Confer- of this event. Philippines (CEAP); and publication of founding anniversary, November 25, 2010. Supporters
from different Christian organizations came together to
ence of the Philippines is gearing up for Pre-anniversary activities comprise prayer for the Youth at Sambuhay and give thanks for the work of Bible Society in transforming
the celebration of its 25th anniversary the designing of anniversary logo and Euchalette. lives through God’s Word over the past years. Part of the
on July 2011. composition of official song; informa- On the national level, ECYwill be activity was a talk given by Dr. Agustin Vencer, Jr., the
Centered on the theme “Stand firm in organizing other activities such as President of Global Transformation Ministries, Inc. and
Regional Director for Asia of Discipling a Whole Nation
faith …Do all your work in love”, the Youth Ministry Awareness Week; youth (DAWN). Vencer reflected on the topic “God’s Word:
celebration aims “to review and assess participation with the Salesians of Don Alive and effective in marketplace.” PBS was established
the Church’s role in her journey with the Bosco on the visit of the relic of St. John in 1899. Since then, it has existed to achieve effective
youth as sower, nurturer and harvester Bosco in the different houses of Don and meaningful distribution of the Holy Scriptures in
of the faith, to appreciate the youth as a Bosco across the country from Dec. 5, languages that people understand, in media and formats
that meet people’s needs, providing everyone the oppor-
gift to the Church, and to empower and 2010 to Jan. 15, 2011; launching of the tunity to pray, give, volunteer and engage with the Good
accompany the young to become more 2011 CBCP Year of the Youth that will News. “It is a challenging task for the Bible Society, yet we are moved to press on until
responsibly involved in the transforma- be officially declared on Dec. 16, 2010 we see a transformed Philippines through God’s Word, with every Filipino honoring and
tion of Church and society.” during the celebration of the National using the Bible as their manual to life,” the PBS said in a statement. During the celebration,
PBS members and guests got to know the ministry more through a Bible Fair staged by
ECY said the event is “a nationwide Youth Day; nationwide pilgrimage of the different departments. The celebration was also highlighted by the formal launch and
dream or effort to raise awareness on the National Youth Cross from Dec. 16, dedication of the first Bible Museum in the country.
the importance of youth as gift to the 2010 to Dec. 16, 2011; Bishops’ Work-
Church and to the society.” shop on Youth Ministry on Jan. 2011;
Organizations involving the youth, regional retreat for youth ministers CELEBRATED. St. Pedro Poveda College, 50th anniversary of foundation, December 3,
whether church, government or non- with ECY bishops as retreat masters 2010. Named after the founder of an international association of lay men and women, Pov-
government, are being tapped to join in from Feb. to June 2011; recognition of eda College was first established in 1960 as Institucion
celebration of the great milestone. outstanding persons in youth ministry Teresiana School. On December 3, 1974, in celebration
of the centennial of St. Pedro Poveda’s birth, the school
ECY is also reaching out to various from April to Nov. 2011; National cel- changed its name to Poveda Learning Center. From
CBCP commissions, dioceses around ebration of National Youth Day 2011 initially offering kindergarten and primary classes, the
the country and their parishes, mem- on October and November; Congress school expanded its reach by opening programs for
ber-organizations of the Federation of Youth Directors on Jan. 2012 and Na- all levels of learning. With the school’s expansion to
tertiary education, Poveda Learning Center became St.
of the National Youth Organizations tional Conference for Youth Ministers Pedro Poveda College. The school is being run by the
(FNYO), religious institutions and tion and promotion of 2011 CBCP on Oct. 2012. Teresian Association, an organization of lay men and
communities, civic and civil youth Year of the Youth among CBCP com- In addition to the national activi- women founded in 1911 by St. Pedro Poveda. The as-
organizations as well as its implement- missions; dioceses, FNYO and other ties, there will also be activities in the sociation commits itself to transform society through the
promotion of Gospel values. Present in 31 countries, the
ing arm, the National Secretariat for networks such as the Association of regional, diocesan, and youth organiza- association’s thousands of members and collaborators
Youth Apostolate (NSYA), Youth- Association of Major Religious Superi- tions and other levels. (Vanessa Puno/ are engaged in different educational, socio-cultural and humanitarian endeavours.
Pinoy and the Regional Youth Coor- ors of the Philippines (AMRSP) and the CBCPNews)

The CBCP Communications Development Foundation takes this occasion to thank

its benefactors, partners and subscribers for their support to the media work of the
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Our sincerest wishes and prayers for a most

meaningful Christmas and a peaceful New Year!
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010 Pastoral Concerns B1

‘A Unified and Positive

Voice Needs to Be
Presented to the Public’
(Address Benedict XVI delivered November 29, 2010 upon receiving in audience the first
group of bishops from the Philippines during their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.)


Dear Brother Bishops, family. In these areas you are promoting truths
I am pleased to extend to all of you a warm about the human person and about society
welcome on the occasion of your visit ad limina which arise not only from divine revelation but
Apostolorum. I thank Cardinal Gaudencio also from the natural law, an order which is
Rosales for the kind words that he has addressed accessible to human reason and thus provides
to me on your behalf, and I assure you of my a basis for dialogue and deeper discernment on
prayers and good wishes for yourselves and the part of all people of good will. I also note
for all the faithful entrusted to your pastoral with appreciation the Church’s work to abolish
care. Your presence here in Rome strengthens the death penalty in your country.

the bonds of communion between the Catholic A specific area in which the Church must
community in the Philippines and the See always find her proper voice comes in the field
of Peter, a communion which stretches back of social communications and the media. The
over four centuries to the first offering of the task set before the whole Catholic community is
Eucharistic Sacrifice upon your shores. As to convey a hope-filled vision of faith and virtue
this communion of faith and sacrament has so that Filipinos may find encouragement and
nourished your people for many generations, guidance on their path to a full life in Christ. A
I pray that it may continue to serve as a leaven unified and positive voice needs to be presented
in the broader culture, so that current and to the public in forms of media both old and
future generations of Filipinos will continue to
encounter the joyful message of the Gospel of
At the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, the Church in new, so that the Gospel message may have
an ever more powerful impact on the people
our Lord Jesus Christ. your nation took a special interest in devoting herself more fully of the nation. It is important that the Catholic
To be such a leaven, the Church must always to care for the poor. It is heartening to see that this undertaking laity proficient in social communications take
seek to find her proper voice, because it is by their proper place in proposing the Christian
proclamation that the Gospel brings about its has borne fruit, with Catholic charitable institutions actively message in a convincing and attractive way. If
life-changing fruits (cf. Mk 16:15-16). This voice engaged throughout the country. Many of your fellow citizens, the Gospel of Christ is to be a leaven in Filipino
expresses itself in the moral and spiritual witness society, then the entire Catholic community must
of the lives of believers. It also expresses itself in
however, remain without employment, adequate education be attentive to the force of the truth proclaimed
the public witness offered by the Bishops, as the or basic services, and so your prophetic statements and your with love.
Church’s primary teachers, and by all who have
a role in teaching the faith to others. Thanks to
charitable action on behalf of the poor continue to be greatly A third aspect of the Church’s mission of
proclaiming the life-giving word of God is in her
the Gospel’s clear presentation of the truth about appreciated. In addition to this effort, you are rightly concerned commitment to economic and social concerns,
God and man, generations of zealous Filipino that there be an on-going commitment to the struggle against in particular with respect to the poorest and
clergymen, religious and laity have promoted an the weakest in society. At the Second Plenary
ever more just social order. At times, this task corruption, since the growth of a just and sustainable economy Council of the Philippines, the Church in your
of proclamation touches upon issues relevant will only come about when there is a clear and consistent nation took a special interest in devoting herself
to the political sphere. This is not surprising, more fully to care for the poor. It is heartening
since the political community and the Church,
application of the rule of law throughout the land. to see that this undertaking has borne fruit, with
while rightly distinct, are nevertheless both at Catholic charitable institutions actively engaged
the service of the integral development of every
human being and of society as a whole. For her
-- Pope Benedict XVI throughout the country. Many of your fellow
citizens, however, remain without employment,
part, the Church contributes most toward the adequate education or basic services, and so
building of a just and charitable social order your prophetic statements and your charitable
when, “by preaching the truths of the Gospel, action on behalf of the poor continue to be greatly
and bringing to bear on all fields of human appreciated. In addition to this effort, you are
endeavour the light of her doctrine and of a rightly concerned that there be an on-going
Christian witness, she respects and fosters the commitment to the struggle against corruption,
political freedom and responsibility of citizens” since the growth of a just and sustainable
(Gaudium et Spes, 76). economy will only come about when there is a
At the same time, the Church’s prophetic clear and consistent application of the rule of
office demands that she be free “to preach the law throughout the land.
faith, to teach her social doctrine ... and also to Dear Brother Bishops, as my predecessor Pope
pass moral judgments in those matters which John Paul II rightly noted, “You are Pastors of a

regard public order whenever the fundamental people in love with Mary” (14 January 1995). May
human rights of a person or the salvation of souls her willingness to bear the Word who is Jesus
requires it” (ibid.). In the light of this prophetic Christ into the world be for you a continuing
task, I commend the Church in the Philippines inspiration in your apostolic ministry. To all of
for seeking to play its part in support of human you, and to the priests, religious and lay faithful
life from conception until natural death, and of your dioceses, I cordially impart my Apostolic
in defence of the integrity of marriage and the Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy.

Church in the Philippines: Continue to be a leaven in society

VATICAN CITY, 29 November of zealous Filipino clergymen, religious commend the Church in the Philippines “It is important that the Catholic laity undertaking has borne fruit, with
2010 (VIS)—This morning in the and laity have promoted an ever more for seeking to play its part in support proficient in social communications Catholic charitable institutions
Vatican, the Holy Father received just social order. At times, this task of human life from conception until take their proper place in proposing the actively engaged throughout the
prelates from the Catholic Bishops’ of proclamation touches upon issues natural death, and in defence of the Christian message in a convincing and country. Many of your fellow
Conference of the Philippines, who relevant to the political sphere. This integrity of marriage and the family. attractive way. If the Gospel of Christ is citizens, however, remain without
have just completed their “ad limina” is not surprising, since the political In these areas you are promoting truths to be a leaven in Filipino society, then employment, adequate education
visit. Addressing them in English, community and the Church, while about the human person and about the entire Catholic community must or basic services, and so your
the Pope referred to the close ties rightly distinct, are nevertheless both at society which arise not only from divine be attentive to the force of the truth prophetic statements and your
that for four centuries have united the service of the integral development revelation but also from natural law, proclaimed with love”. charitable action on behalf of
the Philippines and the See of Peter, of every human being and of society an order which is accessible to human Finally the Holy Father turned his the poor continue to be greatly
highlighting the benefits the leaven as a whole”. reason and thus provides a basis for attention to “a third aspect of the appreciated. In addition to this
of faith has brought to the Filipino “At the same time, the Church’s dialogue and deeper discernment on Church’s mission of proclaiming effort”, he concluded, “you are
people and their culture. prophetic office demands that she the part of all people of good will. I also the life-giving word of God: ... her rightly concerned that there be an
“To be such a leaven, the Church be free ‘to preach the faith, to teach note with appreciation the Church’s commitment to economic and social ongoing commitment to the struggle
must always seek to find her proper her social doctrine ... and also to pass work to abolish the death penalty in concerns, in particular with respect to against corruption, since the growth
voice, because it is by proclamation moral judgments in those matters your country. the poorest and the weakest in society”. of a just and sustainable economy
that the Gospel brings about its life- which regard public order whenever “A specific area in which the Church The Church in the Philippines, he said, will only come about when there is
changing fruits”, he said. “Thanks to the fundamental human rights of a must always find her proper voice comes takes “a special interest in devoting a clear and consistent application of
the Gospel’s clear presentation of the person or the salvation of souls requires in the field of social communications herself more fully to care for the the rule of law throughout the land”.
truth about God and man, generations it’. In the light of this prophetic task, I and the media”, Pope Benedict added. poor. It is heartening to see that this (Vatican Information Service)
B2 Updates CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

A Christmas Play after the Homily

(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following queries:)
Q: Our parish has a Christmas play participation by means of gestures and
during Mass after the homily but before posture should be strongly encouraged
the prayer of the faithful. Is this allowed? in Masses with children, with due regard
My priest tried to find the answer this for age and local customs. Much depends
year but had difficulty. But I think I not only on the actions of the priest,
found the answer in the Lectionary of [29] but also on the manner in which
the Mass for Children No. 52 which says the children conduct themselves as a
that plays should not happen during community...
Mass. I know that this happens at a lot of “34. Among the actions that are
parishes in America so an answer would considered under this heading,
be great!—G.G., Pasadena, California processions and other activities that
involve physical participation deserve
A: First of all, not finding an express special mention.
prohibition in liturgical documents does “The children’s entering in procession
not mean that something can be done. with the priest can serve to help them to
Many, if not most, liturgical abuses are experience a sense of the communion that
not named because nobody can possibly is thus being created. The participation of
foresee all that the human imagination at least some children in the procession
can conjure. Specific reprobation with the Book of the Gospels makes clear
on certain abuses arrives only after the presence of Christ announcing the
they have come to the attention of word to his people. The procession of
ecclesiastical authority. children with the chalice and the gifts
Usually it is sufficient to recur to expresses more clearly the value and
general principles in order to know if meaning of the preparation of the gifts.
something is allowed. For example, The communion procession, if properly
there is the elemental principle that no arranged, helps greatly to develop the
priest may add or remove anything children’s devotion.
from the liturgy on his own initiative. “Chapter III, Part 6. Visual Elements
Another principle applicable to our case “35. The liturgy of the Mass contains
is found in the instruction Redemptionis many visual elements and these
Sacramentum, No. 75: should be given great prominence with
“On account of the theological children. This is especially true of the
significance inherent in a particular rite particular visual elements in the course
and the Eucharistic Celebration, the of the liturgical year, for example, the
liturgical books sometimes prescribe or veneration of the cross, the Easter candle,

permit the celebration of Holy Mass to be the lights on the feast of the Presentation
joined with another rite, especially one of of the Lord, and the variety of colors and
those pertaining to the Sacraments. The liturgical appointments.
Church does not permit such a conjoining “In addition to the visual elements
in other cases, however, especially when that belong to the celebration and to the
it is a question of trivial matters.” source would be the Directory for responding during the homily (see no. the celebration festive, familial, and place of celebration, it is appropriate
If there are severe restrictions on Children’s Masses issued by the Holy 48), reciting the intentions of the general meditative. Even more than in Masses to introduce other elements that will
joining the Mass to other rites, including See in November 1973. The adaptations intercessions, bringing the gifts to the with adults, the priest is the one to create permit children to perceive visually the
officially approved rites, the exclusion of refer to Masses where the vast majority altar, and performing similar activities in this kind of attitude, which depends on wonderful works of God in creation
non-liturgical elements such as Nativity of participants are children ages 6 to 9. accord with the usage of various peoples his personal preparation and his manner and redemption and thus support
plays would certainly be included. These norms do not apply to assemblies (see no. 34). of acting and speaking with others. their prayer. The liturgy should never
Our correspondent’s use of the of older children. “To encourage participation, it will “24. Since the Eucharist is always the appear as something dry and merely
Introduction to the Children’s Lectionary I will offer selections of what I believe sometimes be helpful to have several action of the entire ecclesial community, intellectual.
has a certain validity in view of the are relevant texts. The full document additions, for example, the insertion the participation of at least some adults “36. For the same reason, the use
fact that since the norms for children’s may be found at a Web site called www. of motives for giving thanks before is desirable. These should be present not of art work prepared by the children
liturgies allow for extensive adaptations, catholicliturgy.com. the priest begins the dialogue of the as monitors but as participants, praying themselves may be useful, for example,
the fact that something is forbidden “Chapter III, Part 1. Offices and preface. with the children and helping them to as illustrations of a homily, as visual
for this kind of celebration means “a Ministries in the Celebration” 22. The “In all this, it should be kept in mind the extent necessary … expressions of the intentions of the
fortiori” that it is not allowed in regular principles of active and conscious that external activities will be fruitless “Even in Masses with children general intercessions, or as inspirations
Masses. participation are in a sense even more and even harmful if they do not serve attention is to be paid to the diversity of to reflection.
It must be recognized though that significant for Masses celebrated with the internal participation of the children. ministries so that the Mass may stand “45. In the biblical texts “God is
the Introduction to the Children’s children. Every effort should therefore be Thus religious silence has its importance out clearly as the celebration of the speaking to his people ... and Christ is
Lectionary is not a universal document. made to increase this participation and even in Masses with children (see no. 37). community. For example, readers and present to the faithful through his own
It was produced by the U.S. bishops’ to make it more intense. For this reason The children should not be allowed to cantors, whether children or adults, word.” Paraphrases of Scripture should
conference and, I believe, has yet to as many children as possible should forget that all the forms of participation should be employed. In this way a variety therefore be avoided. On the other hand,
reach its definitive form. It is interesting have special parts in the celebration: for reach their high point in eucharistic of voices will keep the children from the use of translations that may already
that the Italian bishops’ conference also example, preparing the place and the communion, when the body and blood becoming bored. exist for the catechesis of children and
included a ban on dramas, slide shows altar (see no. 29), acting as cantor (see no. of Christ are received as spiritual “Chapter III, Part 5. Gestures that are accepted by the competent
and the like during Masses with children 24), singing in a choir, playing musical nourishment. “33. In view of the nature of the liturgy authority is recommended.
in its own directory. instruments (see no. 32), proclaiming “23. It is the responsibility of the priest as an activity of the entire person and “46. Verses of psalms, carefully
Perhaps a more useful universal the readings (see nos. 24 and 47), who celebrates with children to make in view of the psychology of children, Play / B7

When to Set Up Christmas Overdoing the Christmas

Decorations Decorations
Q1: Are there any liturgical the time of Pope John Paul II. … of lights to symbolize the
regulations requiring that all Within the church proper, apart Gospel only at Christmas. If
poinsettias be removed from from the crib, Christmas may be such an arrangement were
the church immediately after evoked by using, for example, really necessary we would
the Christmas season ends, traditional poinsettias, holly also need analogous flower
after the feast of the Baptism of and other traditional elements arrangements for all liturgical
the Lord?—H.D., Edmonton, according to the culture.” seasons.
Alberta And again: “I have no difficulty Very often, well-arranged
Q2: [In our parish] there are with Christmas trees, but … I poinsettias and other
six Christmas trees on the altar: think that placing them in the customary plants can set off
one about 20 feet tall in the rear sanctuary is not a common the places in the sanctuary
left (from the congregation’s practice in the Church. It is very well and set the tone for
perspective), covered with white not advisable because, as a the season.
lamps and white blossoms; two ubiquitous symbol, it no longer At Christmas and Easter
about 8 feet tall behind the crèche has an exclusively religious there is no great difficulty
(which was set up in front of St. meaning and can easily evoke the in having a more liberal and
Joseph’s altar, behind and to more material and commercial prodigious display of flowers
the right of the main altar), two aspect of the holy season.” than is usual, but never so
smaller trees (about 4 feet tall) To this I would add No. 306 much as to distract attention
staggered on the altar steps to of the General Instruction of the away from the liturgical
make an “approach” to the main Roman Missal, which is one of the celebration’s central foci of
altar from the congregation’s few norms respecting decoration attention: the altar and ambo
left; and another 4-foot tree, of the sanctuary: and the presidential chair.

lit with red (to symbolize the “Moderation should be Finally, in response to
Gospel, we are told) and white observed in the decoration of our Canadian reader, there
lamps, positioned on a stand the altar. is no norm that requires
next to the ambo, so that it is “During Advent the floral poinsettias to be removed
equal in height to the ambo itself. decoration of the altar should be after the feast of the Baptism
The walls of the sanctuary are marked by a moderation suited of the Lord. As they are fairly
Q: What would you consider just before Midnight Mass in more tend to anticipate the Christmas outlined in streams of greens, to the character of this season, long-lasting plants they may
an appropriate time during or less solemn fashion. season, sometimes even before with a huge wreath in the center, without expressing prematurely remain for as long as they are
Advent to put up Christmas Other parishes prefer to set up Advent begins. about 25 feet from the floor, and the full joy of the Nativity of the worthy of the sanctuary.
trees, ornaments, lights and the crib on Christmas Eve. There Because some Christmas all are woven with strings of Lord. During Lent it is forbidden Although customs vary
other decorations in churches are no official rites regarding this decorations have often lost their white lamps. Poinsettias and for the altar to be decorated with from place to place it is
and Christian homes?−B.O., widespread custom. original religious meaning, red draperies abound. It is all flowers. Laetare Sunday (Fourth not unusual to retain some
Lewistown, Pennsylvania In those places that use the churches should be rather very impressive and thoroughly Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Christmas decorations until
Advent wreath, it is placed on the circumspect about employing overwhelms the altar, despite the Feasts are exceptions. the feast of the Presentation
A: This question is simple first Sunday of Advent. The Book them and should do so with great gold brocade drapery with which “Floral decorations should of the Lord on Feb. 2. The
only in appearance because of Blessings issued by the U.S. discretion. If used at all, these it is covered. I would appreciate always be done with moderation nativity scene in St. Peter’s
customs surrounding the bishops’ conference contains a decorations are best set up on your thoughts on the propriety and placed around the altar Square, for example, is
celebration of Christmas simple rite for blessing the Advent Christmas Eve so as to respect the of these arrangements.—P.B., rather than on its mensa.” usually not removed until
vary widely among different wreath which may profitably be integrity of the Advent season. Marquette, Michigan The sanctuary decoration Feb. 3.
cultures. used. Christmas trees are preferably A: First of all, I would reiterate described by our U.S. reader would
From a strictly liturgical Dec. 17 or the nearest Sunday located outside the sanctuary and myearliercommentsonChristmas notbeanexampleof“moderation.” (Note: The second part of Fr.
standpoint the preparations might also be a good date to set church proper, and are best left trees in the sanctuary. The overall principle in play for Jaime Achacoso’s “The Juridic
for receiving the Christ Child up Christmas trees and other in vestibules or church grounds. I stated: “Christmas trees are any decorations is that they ProtectionoftheChurchTeaching
intensify from Dec. 17 onward decorationsinChristianhomes,but This has been the practice in St. preferably located outside the enhance the sacred places and against Contraception” will
and this is probably a good it really depends on local custom Peter’s Square from the time of sanctuary and church proper, actions and never overwhelm or appear in the next issue of the
time to set up the parish crib, and tradition. It is unnecessary, Pope John Paul II. and are best left in vestibules or obscure them. CBCP Monitor, Vol 15, No. 1, to
except for the image of the however, to fall under the spell As far as possible, decorations church grounds. This has been the Onecouldask,forexample,why give way to the current articles
child, which is often added of commercial enterprises which Decorations / B7 practice in St. Peter’s Square from we need a special arrangement on Christmas—Eds)
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Philippines’ population bill
speaks with forked tongue
By Anna Halpine to provide the goods necessary of a bloated population and high right of men and women to planning method encouraged by two-child national policy,
for economic development: and unwanted fertility”. marry and found a family, church authorities in the mainly with mandatory counseling
education, opportunity, housing, Perhaps nothing illustrates the freely determining their own Catholic country. plus government funding and
LAST week in Manila, Malcolm protection and stewardship bill’s “management” priorities fertility. Such human rights In fact, the United States promotion of contraceptive
Potts, grand-daddy of the of natural resources. But if the so clearly as the provision for and freedoms—guaranteed in based Population Reference methods which are culturally
international family planning government priority is managing mandatory counseling of couples the Universal Declaration of Bureau, a leading promoter of objectionable to a large number
movement, announced that the population according to a seeking a marriage license on the Human Rights and reiterated population control, notes in a of people and which, in every
unless the much debated schedule of targets and goals, government determined “ideal in numerous international current report that the birth rate country where they are widely
“Reproductive Health” bill what of the dignity and rights of family size” of two children. documents since that time— fell from six births per woman used, bring with them the demand
is passed in this session of the persons being “managed”? In terms of human rights, this cannot be sustained within in 1970 to 3.3 in 2006. The fact for legalized abortion.
Congress, the Philippines would It is obvious to anyone who would take the Philippines the context of a government that infant and child mortality Finally, it is worth noting that
become the next Somalia. No bothers to actually read the closer to China and India than managed population system. is also falling moderates the many states that have pursued
surprises in that. Within the same Philippines bill that population the liberal democracies that are There is added reason for effect of lower fertility but is population strategies as recently
week, however, Bill Clinton, management tops the hierarchy applauding this bill. In line with concern, therefore, when the RH likely to further bring down as the 1980’s, have reversed
also visiting Manila, amazed of principles. The idea that it is trends in the West, however, the bill takes note of China’s one-child the birth rate by a process of those policies and are anxiously
everyone (including his wife, primarily concerned with the bill does not provide conscience policy, without acknowledging natural adjustment similar to attempting to find ways to
no doubt) by stating that the promotion of human rights, or protection and rights for health that the significant decline what happened in the West itself increase birth rates. This is true
growing Philippines population women’s rights is an illusion. care workers. in births in China happened before the contraceptive era. both for Asian countries such as
is an asset to the country, and This is clear from the very The potential for human rights before the tyrannical policy The report further notes: Singapore and South Korea, that
that its babies, expanding the first page of the bill, which and democratic freedoms to be was implemented. The Chinese “Almost all women in the are seeking to reverse specific
population at a rate of 2.04 policies, as well as for other
per cent a year, are a “massive countries—Asian and western—
natural resource”.
The Philippines, you may (Benedict XVI prayed for the that are unable to reverse general
population declines that are now
have noticed, is currently the
global focus of population protection of life and the family at threatening formerly robust
economies and social systems.
and development debates.
A hotly debated population the conclusion of the Prayer Vigil for Japan, Taiwan, Germany and
other parts of Europe come to
management bill has been
tabled in one form or another the Unborn on November 27, 2010. mind.
The debate surrounding the
for years. Now, with the almost
univocal support of national and The following prayer composed by Philippines legislation has relied
on high profile interventions,
international media, the born-
the pope himself asks God to bless

much rhetoric, and almost no

again “Reproductive Health and analysis of the bill itself. Statements
Population Development Act
of 2010”, or HB Bill 96, is being
families and to inspire society to such as those by Malcolm Potts
reveal an individual bias that
touted as the solution to women’s
reproductive health, women’s
embrace each and every life.) takes no account of the data of
population and fertility trends,
rights in the Philippines, and nor of the content of the current
economic development for the LORD JESUS, You who faithfully visit Bless all families, sanctify the union of Console the married couples who bill under debate.
poor. What is being quietly and fulfill with your Presence the Church spouses, render fruitful their love. suffer because they are unable to have The need for separate
avoided is any talk of population and the history of men; You who in the Accompany the choices of legislative children and in Your goodness provide legislation developed for the
control, or, as the bill terms it, miraculous Sacrament of your Body and assemblies with the light of your Spirit, so for them. care of women’s reproductive
“population management”. Blood render us participants in divine that peoples and nations may recognize and Teach us all to care for orphaned health while respecting the
Clinton’s comment—that Life and allow us a foretaste of the joy of respect the sacred nature of life, of every or abandoned children, so they may human rights of men and women
population, or, in real life, eternal Life; We adore and bless you. human life. experience the warmth of your Charity, is essential. More essential still,
babies—are an asset, not a Prostrated before You, source and lover Guide the work of scientists and doctors, the consolation of your divine Heart. is the need to ensure that such
liability, puts a wedge in the of Life, truly present and alive among so that all progress contributes to the integral Together with Mary, Your Mother, legislation addresses the key
argument of the elites. So who is us, we beg you. well-being of the person, and no one endures the great believer, in whose womb you challenges in front of us and does
right? Is the growing population Reawaken in us respect for every suppression or injustice. took on our human nature, we wait to not masquerade as a policy to
of the Philippines a danger, unborn life, make us capable of seeing Give creative charity to administrators receive from You, our Only True Good remove or deny those freedoms,
threatening the very future of in the fruit of the maternal womb the and economists, so they may realize and and Savior, the strength to love and serve while surreptitiously enabling
the Philippines state? Or is it a miraculous work of the Creator, open our promote sufficient conditions so that young life, in anticipation of living forever in other ends.
primary source of wealth, and hearts to generously welcoming every families can serenely embrace the birth of You, in communion with the Blessed If the Philippine legislators wish
an opportunity to rev up (and child that comes into life. new children. Trinity. to table a population management
sustain) its economic engines? bill they are free to do so. But they
The answer is, of course, must be clear about the terms of
more nuanced. Population alone states: “This policy is anchored trampled on would be increased government had been talking Philippines know at least one the bill and engage in open debate
cannot provide economic might. on the rationale that sustainable by the growth of the public health down the birth rate for a decade method of family planning and based on its merits. In such a
But population can be understood human development is better bureaucracy. New government and had no need, let alone right, currently married women know debate, leading economists might
as a pre-requisite for economic assured with a manageable agencies and functions would to impose strict family limitation an average of eight methods. be engaged, and the data available
development and a means for population of healthy, educated be established to facilitate the on its people—a policy that is The users of modern methods from countless national population
growth and achievement if other and productive citizens.” The government managed purchase now backfiring with a critical (such as the pill, injectables, policies should be examined.
elements are primed and ready. guiding principles of the bill then and provision of contraception sex ratio imbalance and a rapidly IUDs, and female sterilization) In any event, a population
These other factors are, notably, tell us: “The limited resources of to the people. Large scale hastily ageing population. account for two-thirds of all management bill should not be
educational opportunities the country cannot be suffered to defined bureaucratic structures More remarkably, the authors family planning users. Women sold to the country under the
(particularly for women), and be spread so thinly to service a are prime opportunities for of the Philippines bill fail to at all economic levels are using guise of necessary maternal health
economic opportunities. The burgeoning multitude that makes increased corruption—an acknowledge the significance family planning, even at the reforms, or increased women’s
great limitation to achieving this the allocations grossly inadequate increase the Philippines can of the decline in fertility that lowest wealth quintile, where health and rights.
in the Philippines, as elsewhere and effectively meaningless”. In ill afford—and point to the has already taken place in their almost 41 percent of married
in the developing world, is case these were not clear enough, betterment of petty bureaucrats own country. There has been woman are using any method (Anna Halpine is the founder of
corruption. the author of the bill, in his and politicians on the payroll official encouragement of family of family planning.” the World Youth Alliance, a global
Population control or explanatory notes, provides of wealthy western lobbies planning in the Philippines as If there is still an “unmet coalition of young people committed
population management the following elaboration: “We rather than the people of the long as anywhere else in the need for family planning” of to promoting the dignity of the
relies on the assumption that cannot address adequately the Philippines. world and contraception has been 22 per cent, as PRB claims, this person. This is published here under
government can and should problem of poverty… if we do Let’s be clear: these provisions available for those who want it, is not a problem that warrants special publication arrangements
curb population growth in order not squarely address the problem are in direct conflict with the alongside the natural family the sledgehammer of a virtual with MercatorNet)
CBCP Monitor
B4 Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

Pastoral Dialogue with Students

By Bishop Ruperto Cruz visits. We hope to see you again
Santos and continue to ask you more
Bishop: Why not visit me in

on ‘Reproductive Health’
“The little children were being my residence? I will be more
brought to Jesus in order that he than happy to welcome you and
might lay his hands on them and we can continue our dialogues.
pray. The disciples spoke sternly to Before we part, let us pray first:
those who brought them; but Jesus
said, ‘let the children come to me, O almighty God, our merciful
and do not stop them; for it is to such Father.
as these that the kingdom of heaven You are our Creator.
belongs.’ And he laid his hands on birth control, the use of birth midwives in 1951, confirmed of Lyons described it best when advice for married couples, You are the author of our life and
them…” (Mt 19:13-15). control pills and means taken “each man receives his life he preached, “God’s greatest especially the mothers? source of all goodness.
by women. So the objective is directly from God, not from his glory is man fully alive.” Can you Bishop: To be a mother is a We come to You.
TWICE a month we make population control; to reduce the parents, or from the society or now understand that God wants gracious and responsible option We truly promise to decide and do
pastoral visits to the different number of children in a family to from government. Hence, there us to give life, preserve life and for life. The prophet Isaiah asks, things:
public and private High Schools only two children. is no man or human authority protect life, and not to extinguish “Can a mother forget her infant, not on the basis of what we want,
in our Diocese with the Marian Student: What does the State that can show or exercise a valid life or to kill life? be without tenderness for the nor of what others desire,
Missionaries of the Holy Cross, say? juridical authority to decide by Student: I know from my child of her womb?” (49, 37). not solely for our personal
who are our Diocesan Campus Bishop: The State through the his will, directly and deliberately catechism class about the fifth Rarely do we see a mother who benefits
and Youth ministers. Prior to Constitution states in Article II, on the life of an innocent man.” commandment. It says, “you does not feel unconditional not for our own advantage,
these pastoral visits, the priests section 12 that the “State shall Pope Paul VI, addressing the shall not kill” (Exodus 20, 13; affection and selfless devotion not for any profit or prestige
of the vicariates, together with equally protect the life of the Obstetrical and Gynecological Deuteronomy 5, 17). We also toward her child. Jesus describes but for your greater glory,
the Marian Missionaries where mother and the life of the unborn Society of England on October know that abortion is killing. To His love for Israel in terms of a for the common good of all,
the national High Schools are from contraception.” 3, 1964, reiterated this when he kill is a sin. And abortion is a sin. mother’s feeling for her young: and especially for our personal
located make the Sacrament Student: What does the Church said, “innocent human life, in How about those who practice “How many times I yearned to sanctification.
of Confession available to the teach? whatever condition it is found, or promote abortifacient ways gather your children together, as a
students. Bishop: The Church teaches is to be secure from the very first and means? hen gathers her young under her Thank you so much, O almighty
The pastoral visit of the Bishop that Life is sacred. Life is moment of its existence from Bishop: Abortion is not being wings” (Matthew 23, 37). God, merciful Father
includes the following activities: precious. Life is person. And any deliberate attack. This is a condemned only now. It has been Yes, being a mother entails for creating us,
Praying of the Holy Rosary, person is good. From the Book of fundamental right of the human condemned since the apostolic sacrifices. It is, in fact, hardly and for giving us a gracious
celebration of the Holy Eucharist, Genesis we read, “God looked at person, which is of general value times. Didache, the first book possible to talk about motherhood chance to live.
and a Question and Answer with everything he had made, and he in the Christian concept of life; of the early Christian Church, without mentioning suffering.
the Bishop. On a pastoral visit the found it very good” (1, 31). Life is and hence as valid for the still says it very clearly, “you shall Motherhood is also synonymous We sincerely resolve
question and answer were on the good. And life is to be protected hidden life within the womb of not procure abortion. You shall with self-giving. It is in self- to respect life and to protect life.
“Reproductive Health” issue. I and defended. the mother as for the life of the not destroy a newborn child” sacrifice that a mother finds We have received Your priceless
share them with you. The Vatican II apostolic already born and developing (II, 2). God values our life. Our meaning in her motherhood. gift of life,
Students: We read and constitution Gaudium et Spes outside her…” Our Church Church protects and promotes Like a mother, let us be ready for Your precious gift of life.
hear many things, sometimes clearly affirms that “from the considers human life precious. life. The two early councils of self-sacrifice; be more disciplined We humbly pray we may never cease
conflicting, about the so-called moment of its conception, life Human life must be protected. the Church held in Elvira and and have self-control. This is my to cherish all these.
Reproductive Health. Can you must be safeguarded with Her basic natural moral rights Ancyra in 314 issued canons advice: we should not base our Amen.
please tell us what this is all greatest care…abortion and must be promoted. Remember, on protecting and safeguarding decisions on choice but on what
about? other infanticide are unspeakable for God no one is useless. human life. These canons state our conscience dictates. Yes, we (This reflection is a compilation
Bishop: Reproductive crimes” (51). A life in a womb Everyone is important. All are that anyone who procures are free but let us remember of the questions and answers from
Health provides that the use of should be taken as a blessing. It is special to Him. abortion automatically incurs the that we are also morally bound different schools in the Diocese
contraceptive and sterilization God’s mystery of love. It is God’s Student: What should we penalty of excommunication. to act according to our formed of Balanga in Bataan, such as
means and agents be made gift of love. That life has a right believe? Abortion is a moral evil. And conscience. We should always Bataan Peninsula State University
available to all. This contraception to our protection and guidance. Bishop: Life is a gift; much with it is a canonical penalty of be guided by God’s “way, and in Balanga, PUP in Mariveles,
involves abortifacients, which We are morally responsible for more, life is a grace. God values Excommunication to those who the truth and the life” (John 14, National high schools in Luacan
prevent the initial development them. We are accountable to our life. He wants us to live, to be do abortion and who encourage 6). God should always be a part (Dinalupihan), in Samal, in
of pregnancy even after God for whatever will happen alive; and not only to live, but God and assist abortion (ref. canon of any decision we make! Cabcaben and private schools such
fertilization. The Reproductive to them. desires us to live humanly and 1398 CIC). Student: We are grateful to as Tomas del Rosario College in
Health bill authorizes artificial Pope Pius XII, speaking to with full dignity. Saint Irenaeus Student: What would be your you Bishop for your pastoral Balanga.)

The God of the Tent vs. the God of the Empire

Contributed photos

By Sr. Maureen Catabian, RGS the Tent. A tent is a collapsible shelter an increase in budget for education from Propped by mammon and corporate continue our fight for migrant rights.”
of material stretched and supported by the Mexican government. greed. It connotes a Fortress. Symbolizing I proclaim the God of the Tent as it
poles. It connotes movement. A journey I was awed with the God of the Tent grandeur and entrenchment. announces “liberation of the oppressed
IT was my longest journey so far. in transition. Temporary and open as I witnessed the enduring spirit of With tightly guarded borders and criticizing cultic observance without
Manila. Doha. Madrid. Mexico. And to unforeseen events and changes. the “ex-Braceros” who in their old age controlled and secured by armed social justice”. It demands “to break
vice-versa. Twenty-eight hours of Resilient and flexible. It is a refuge marched in solidarity with us to bring military because of the need to protect unjust fetters and undo the thongs of yoke,
travel by plane and crossing borders of welcome and rest in a perilous and to the consciousness of the Mexican “property”. It double-speaks about to let the oppressed go free and break every
of three continents — Asia, Europe, the uncertain journey. government their demand for justice welfare and rights and alleging concern yoke, to share your bread with the hungry,
Americas. In transit in Qatar and Spain, I listened with the God of the Tent as I from the slavery and torture they went for the well-being of exploited migrant and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the
I experienced being an undocumented opened my heart, my eyes and ears and through when they were exported to labor in the global community. But person you see naked and not turn from
migrant for at least 8 hours in Madrid. heard the stories and cries of migrants work for US masters during World in real would only want to maximize your kin” (Isaiah 58).
In my desire to be in solidarity with the and refugees being discriminated upon, War II and onwards, claiming just (manage) workers’ remittances which Jesus said: “Break down this temple of
struggles and hopes of migrants and exploited, made invisible and abused in compensation for the toil and to demand amount to billions of dollars for stone and I will raise it up in three days”.
refugees, I opted to become a migrant host countries, often “disappeared” and benefits for themselves and their kin. profit and personal gain. It actually The Pharisees were angered because
myself crossing borders, in transit and massacred in borders. I was nourished by the God of the Tent exploits “migration” as a tool for their ancestors have built this temple for
undocumented. I mourned and rejoiced with the God of as I shared meals with migrants and development. thousands of years. And for this—they
Philippines and Mexico share a the Tent as I encountered and embraced refugees, slept in their home, listened I have seen the god of the Empire from crucified him.
common heart and history. Our Honduran mothers seeking and finding to their prophetic voices and dreams a distance. It glitters in elegance but In Mexico, in solidarity with migrants
countries were colonized by Spain et. al. lost sons and daughters of 20 years ago— and celebrated their songs of hope and refuses to allow people to come near and refugees, we denounced the gods
We have celebrated and are celebrating who have disappeared in the borders of struggle. lest its security be jeopardized. of the Empire and reject the gods of
the Centennial of Revolution against Mexico—migrating in search of a more I gained wisdom with the God of the The god of the Empire is deaf and mute imperialist globalization. We witness
our colonizers — 1998 in Philippines livable life and a better future. Tent as we engaged in conversation, in to the protests and clamors for justice and proclaim the God of the Tent, the
(1898) and 2010 in Mexico (1910). We are I protested with the God of the dialogue with each others’ cultures and by migrants, immigrants and refugees God of modern day prophets, the God
two of the biggest sending countries of Tent as I marched the streets of socio-political histories, learning from and not keen authentic in reducing or of the migrants and refugees!
migrant workers in the world (3rd and Mexico City converging at the Benito the struggles and experiences of other even addressing the social costs of
4th to China and India). We are populated Juarez Monument in front of the migrant peoples from other continents migration. (A reflection on my experiences as part
by majority of devout Catholics and Department of International Relations of the world. I denounce the gods of the Empire. I of the Ecumenical Church Delegation
venerate with great love and devotion to denounce the illegitimate GFMD I witnessed compassion with the reject the gods of neoliberal globalization. attending the Conference on “Churches
the Our Lady of Guadalupe, our Patroness. as it claims to represent the voices of God of the Tent as I became one with United and never defeated—migrants Witnessing with Migrants” and the Third
Both have recently become hosts to migrants—without the migrants but the migrants’ experience of loneliness and refugees from around the world International Assembly of Migrants
the Global Forum on Migration and instead represented by big corporations and being uprooted, in isolation and speak out—“For many years, they have and Refugees (IAMR3) in Mexico from
Development (GFMD) 2008 and 2010 and financial institutions benefitting suffering from cultural alienation in a talked about us, but now we shall speak for November 6 -12, 2010. The Ecumenical
respectively. from remittances. foreign land where they had hoped and ourselves!” “While they discuss how to Church Delegation was organized by
In Mexico, while in solidarity with I questioned the God of the Tent as we dreamt of building a better life. exploit us, they silence us and they shut us the National Council of Churches in the
the migrants and refugees from various united our demands with protesting I loved the God of the Tent. out. We say to them: as long as the GFMD Philippines (NCCP) in partnership with
parts of the globe, I met the God of teachers and academics clamoring for I also met the god of the Empire. exists we will come back year after year to Migrante International.)
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

National Youth Day 2010

“Good Teacher, what must I do to
inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10:17) Statement
WE, the two hundred and thirteen (213) delegates composed of
AS we begin the Traditional Aguinaldo Without doubt, the youth can and
Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Religious Men and Women and
Masses in preparation for the coming of do make a very significant impact on
Lay Faithful from twenty one (21) Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions in
the Lord Jesus on Christmas Day, we once the life and activity of the church and
Mindanao, gathered together at Crisbel Crown Center, Digos
again celebrate National Youth Day. the society as powerful catalysts of
City for the Fourteenth Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference
But there is a particular uniqueness to change. But it is also a sad truth that
(MSPC XlV) from October 18-22, 2010, have reflected on and
this year’s National Youth Day because on many of our young are exploited
rediscovered the importance of the Word of God in addressing
this day, 16 December 2010, we officially and treated unjustly. A good
issues and concerns affecting the Environment and Peace.
launch the declaration of 2011 as “CBCP number of them live under abject
Moved by the Goodness and Creative Power of the Word of
Year of the Youth” by the Catholic Bishops’ poverty; others fall victim to
God we have seen our successes and failures, our efforts and
Conference of the Philippines in their drug addiction, child labor
shortcomings. We have seen the immensity of our Mission
101st Plenary Assembly last July 2010, in and prostitution. Many of
as Local Churches in Mindanao. We are challenged to follow
celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the them feel abandoned by the
the paths toward the New Evangelization which would
CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Youth. As institutions that are supposed
transform our context.
you may well know, the ECY was created to take care of and protect
Mindanao is a beautiful land which we love so rich in
in July 1986. them — the Church included,
natural resources; the home of good and beautiful people
The youth constitute a large and dynamic we must humbly admit.
endowed with rich and diversified cultures. But it is also the
portion of the laity, says the Second During this CBCP Year of the
land damaged by violence, aggression and selfishness.
Plenary Council of the Philippines (cf. Youth, let us together work to
We are all aware of the threats to Life and Peace particularly
PCP II, art. 50). They compose a big part intensify awareness about the
in Mindanao. We know that the situations of unpeace are
of our Philippine population—more than youth and their importance to
often land-based, and so geographically localized. They are all
50%—making us a Church of the young. the life and activity of the Church.
related to mal-distribution, usurpation, monopoly, misuse and
It has always been acknowledged that By our witness let us help the young
abuse of resources. The corruption of economic and political
they are the future of the country and in our midst—in our homes, schools,
powers, the distortion of moral and spiritual values, the
of the Church as well. But they are also communities, etc—to find God in their
materialistic culture of amassing wealth for vested interests
already very much a part of the present lives and generously answer His call to
have very high environmental and social costs.
of the Church and society. Hence, much service and love.
In the Name of God, the Giver of Life, we condemn in
is expected of them in terms of what they Let us ask the Lord through the
unequivocal terms:
can do to contribute to the betterment and intercession of Mary, to teach us have a
* All activities which threaten and devastate Creation:
progress of the Church and the world at special love for the youth and to protect Happy Year of the Youth, dear young The non-sustainable and irresponsible mining activities
large. their rights and legitimate interests. Let us people! Isang mapagpalang Pasko sa particularly open-pit mining, logging activities which denude
Through the years, young people have pray that there may be wider participation inyong lahat! our forests, toxic agricultural practices, destructive fishing,
shown how important they are, and how and greater dedication in youth ministry,
and all activities contributory to climate change and global
gifted they can be as they place these gifts leading to a meaningful and fruitful + JOEL Z. BAYLON, D.D. warming;
at the service of God and neighbor. Good service that is undertaken with the “fullest Bishop of Legazpi * Any and all forms of aggression against the lives, cultures
Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal attention and highest priority in every way Chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal and livelihood of the Indigenous Communities as well as
life? (Mk 10:17) by all in the Church” (PCP IL art. 50). Commission on Youth anomalous encroachments into their ancestral domains;

Churches Witnessing
* All activities of violence, hatred , vengeance and bloodshed
perpetrated by individuals, groups and institutions even as
a means of correcting what maybe is wrong;
* Everything and every act which harms, endangers, destroys

With Migrants
and kills life: extra-judicial liquidations, terrorism, drug
pushing; artificial contraception, sterilization and abortion;
thus everything and every act which prevents the conception
and birth of human life.
* We therefore condemn in the strongest terms every sin
which creates disorder, disrupts peace and harmony in
individuals and the society at large.

On the other hand we also see many signs of hope. A good

number of conscientious individuals, groups, and institutions
are working untiringly for the Protection of Creation as well
as for the Promotion of Peace. Their number is increasing
everyday. Many have dedicated their lives for the Call
toward the culture of Peace and Christian Environmental
Stewardship. Continuing to hope for a better future, we are
firmly resolved:
* To protect the integrity of the Mother Earth, the Visible
Sign of Divine Order and Wisdom as well as the Life in the
Contributed Photo

Mother’s Womb which is the Sign Center and Foundation of

God’s Creation and to safeguard the Sacredness of marriage
and Family Life;
* To strengthen our dedication and commitment to deepen
education and formation of our families, communities,
parishes and Local Churches based on the Word of God and
the Christian Faith centered on the Holy Eucharist;
WE are representatives of churches, GFMD, a state-led initiative, aims must also commit acts of justice towards acts of justice. * To pursue the formation of Christian Environmental
church-related institutions and to intensify labor export to extract even more. We must be more 3. Assist in the organizing of Conscience, Intergenerational Justice and the Promotion of
migrantorganizationsfromdifferent more profit from migrant workers of a church witnessing with the migrants workers. the Culture of Peace as well as to pursue the paths of the New
continents. We gathered in the space while paying lip service to the people, bringing the institution Become active voices and co- Evangelization using solid catechesis for the care of the Earth
provided for by the (CIRM) in protection of their rights. closer to the struggles of migrant sojourners, walking side by side and for the creation of Peaceful Environment;
Mexico City, to collectively discuss We reject this reality. We believe workers. We need to journey with with our migrant sisters and * To undertake concrete measures like Environmental
and reflect on the issue of migrants that migration is a right but forced them and, together, address the brothers in their campaigns in Education and Peace Campaigns in all Churches, BECs, Parish
and how churches can respond to migration is an abomination. All of roots of forced migration. defense and advancement of their Groups, Catholic Schools and Colleges, as well as conduct
their plight. us long for a better future. But we We need to reflect deeper in rights and welfare. activities such as tree planting, adopt-a forest program, setting
As Christians, we believe that do not speak of a passive longing order to discern those who are 4. Engage in various venues, up of nurseries in all Catholic Facilities and on Church Lands
human dignity is a gift from God. that merely waits, but of a hope accountable for the miseries whether it be within or outside wherever possible;
It is an affirmation that we are that should be of the present. We suffered by the migrant workers. the framework of government * To conduct information and education campaigns to the
created in His image. It can never believe in a hope that must spur us The churches need to be prophets instrumentalities to further faithful regarding the Alternative Mining Act (AMB), now
be taken away. into action; transform our longing that do not serve the god of the promote and protect the rights filed in Congress and is known as National Management of
But today, we have listened to to a struggle to reclaim back our empire. The churches need to of migrants. Resources and Stewardship Bill, as alternative to the present
the stories of migrant workers, of rights as human beings. realize that the migrant workers 5. Widen our solidarity and echo Philippine Mining Act of 1995;
how rich and powerful countries At different levels, through are prophets, too, and thus must these kinds of dialogues in the * To strengthen the interfaith and inter-religious dialogue
and governments in poor and many different means, many of listen more closely to what they national and regional levels, and for the cause of Integrity of Creation and Peace;
underdeveloped countries, have our churches have always been are truly fighting for. still in the international level to * To continue dialogue and cooperation with civil society,
distorted this gift of dignity by ready to live up to this task. Thus,inourjourneytogetherwith deepen and strengthen our unities government and the basic sectors for authentic human
stripping migrant workers of Churches of various faiths have marginalized migrant workers, in understanding and action. Development and Peace as well as to uphold the rule of law
their basic human rights through provided sanctuary, basic needs, there is a need to unite all our 6. Form a continuing at all levels.
forced migration. With forced such as food and clothing, and efforts, continue our acts of mercy committee from the participating
migration, human beings are ministry to migrant workers. In as we transform ourselves into organizations as an organizing Prayerfully, we invoke the Blessing of the Almighty Father,
now commodities, merely cogs fact, some churches already have committing more acts of justice. body for a broader and larger the Enlightenment of the Creator Spirit and the name of the
in a machinery to gain profits programs in place that provide Asco-sojourners,weresolvetotake international ecumenical church- Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Cosmos through
for rich and powerful countries, direct services to migrants. the following steps to help in creating migrants conference. whom everything was made (Jn.1:1ff) and to whom all will be
squeezing their humanity dry However, in the face of such communities of joy and justice for a reunited (Col.1:9-23; Eph.1:15-23). We implore the powerful
by intensifying exploitation humongous challenges as new heaven and a new earth: (Above is a unity statement of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Word-
and promoting xenophobia capitalist countries continue 1. Raise awareness on migrants’ Ecumenical Churches Delegation to made Flesh and Spiritual Mother of Creation.
and racism. We have seen to extract super profit from rights by providing spaces for the 3rd International Assembly of
concrete proof how this system migrant workers and Third World discussion and reflection inside our Migrants and Refugees (IAMR3) +GUILLERMO D. AFABLE, D.D.
of oppression and exploitation countries continue to abandon its churches as some of us still need to held in Mexico November 6-10, 2010. Bishop of Digos
is being enhanced through the people, we also know that these start at doing acts of mercy. Sister Maureen Catabian, RGS, of Chairman, MSPC XlV
Global Forum on Migration are not enough. And while our acts 2. Share experiences to enhance the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
and Development (GFMD). The of mercy are still much needed, we each others’ capacities in moving participated in the event.)

A Laiko Position Paper Against the RH Bill

THE Council of the Laity of the Philippines funding for population control the use of contraceptives, which has foregoing, cited only a few of several other care givers and providing the necessary
(Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas), a body measures and devices which has been been clearly exposed as the underlying reasons why we are against HB No. 96 or the security of tenure thereof.
of Catholic lay organizations composed scientifically evaluated by the World reason for the RH Bill, ignores the strong so called “RH” Bill. On the other hand, we
of 48 National Lay Organizations Health Organization as carcinogenic argument against the claims to that our strongly recommend that whatever funds We reiterate our objection to the
(NLO) and 49 Diocesan Councils of the and hazardous to women’s health. By country is overpopulated and that it is proposed for this bill be allocated instead legislation of the RH Bill because we
Laity (DCL) do hereby manifest our classifying contraceptives as essential the primary cause for the existence of for the promotion of health care by: believe it is unnecessary, counter-
vehement objection to House Bill 96 medicines, the Bill allows it to be poverty. We believe that the main cause 1. Increasing the budget for more productive to social development and
otherwise known as the Reproductive purchased and distributed by all national of poverty in our country is corruption, efficient operation of existing Government most of all hazardous to health. Thus
Health (RH) Bill because of the following and local hospitals and other government abetted by sub-standard dispensation of Hospitals and Health Centers, providing we implore our legislators to open their
chosen reasons, among several others health units, making pregnancy appear justice due to inefficient governance. the necessary medicines and medical minds and listen to the voice of reason
(for brevity): like a disease that must be treated. 5. The Bill violates the right of health equipment for the use of indigent putting only the benefit of our people
1. Reproductive health and services, 3. The mandatory education of Grade 5 workers to decide according to one’s patients, free of charge. above other interests. Lastly we say: Let
as defined by the United Nations and students on sexuality and family planning, conscience by requiring them to be part 2. Constructing more Government life continue in its God-given course.
to which definition the Republic of the as recommended among the RH bill of certain procedures, such as those Hospitals and Health Centers especially Maraming salamat po at Mabuhay!
Philippines has agreed to bind itself, provisions unnecessarily exposes children leading to abortion, thus forcing them to in the rural areas and training a work force For the Council of the Laity of the
includes the services of abortion which, to it at a very tender age. It violates the be unwilling accomplices to an act they in the Barangay level for health care and Philippines,
we believe, the RH Bill tacitly approves constitutional rights of parents to educate believe is immoral and unacceptable. sanitation services.
and which we find unacceptable as their children in accordance with their 3. Increasing the salaries and benefits EDGARDO J. T. TIRONA
inhumane. moral and religious beliefs. We, the members of the Council of of government health care workers National President
2. The Bill makes legal the official 4. Population control by promoting the Laity of the Philippines, have in the particularly doctors and nurses including December 01, 2010
Ref lections
CBCP Monitor
B6 Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

God is with us—that’s

enough guarantee of
our salvation!
4th Sunday of Advent - Year A
(Matt 1:18-24); December19, 2010
By Msgr. Lope C. Robre- too. When one is new in a certain a visit (2 Kings 16:5-9), and told
dillo, SThD place, he is advised to keep an him that an alliance with Assyria
amulet to ward off the influence of would end with the destruction of
bad spirits. Doors, windows, and Judah as an independent nation.
A few years ago, I went to Cebu walls are sometimes decorated Instead, he asked him to trust in
City to celebrate the birthday of with figurines or objects meant to the Lord’s sovereignty. Judah
a friend. I almost did not make stave off evil. Others use mascots would be preserved if it remained
it, however, because our trip to bring them good luck. Though faithful to God. As a guarantee of
from Ormoc to Cebu was nearly amulets, mascots and talismans his word, the prophet said that a
cancelled, as the tropical storm have different uses, they are young woman would bear a son
“Ondoy,” which was spotted similar in that they are intended and call him Immanuel. The child
430 kilometers east of Guiuan, to assure a person continued would guarantee the continuation
Eastern Samar, with maximum happiness and protection from of the Davidic dynasty. Before he
winds of 70 kph at the center, the evil one. But, on the other becomes mature, Israel and Syria

Has Jesus as Messiah

gained strength. The Coast hand, they of course show how would have been devastated.
Guards at first refused to give the weak his faith in God is, for these This is the original meaning of
go signal for the voyage. Later objects relatively control one’s the famous Isaianic prophecy
on, however, they did, with the movement, and even outlook in about the virgin conceiving a

proved to be a
warning to the passengers about life! The presence of God in his son or the birth of the Immanuel
the big waves. Indeed, as the life takes a secondary role. For (Isa 7:1-16).
Supercat negotiated the distance a person of faith, these are of no In Matthew’s view, however,
use; nothing more could assure the assurance that God would

between Bohol and Leyte, we
could feel how the winds and the one’s happiness and protection not abandon his people finds
waves buffeted it. The trip was from evil than the presence of fulfillment in Jesus, because
a bit frightening. “Are you not God in one’s life. Jesus himself is God-with-us! Of
scared of the big waves?” I asked. In today’s Gospel, Matthew course, the knowledge that God
The passenger who sat beside presents Jesus as God’s presence is with his people is ingrained in

3rd Sunday of Advent – Year A

answered, “Initially, I was. But among us (Matt 1:23). He sees the Jewish faith. Isaiah himself

having known that a priest is on Jesus as fulfilling the promise best articulates it: “But now, thus
the ship, I am no longer afraid. I of the prophets that God will says the Lord, who created you,

(Matt 11:2-11); December 12, 2010

know that God is with us in this be once again with his people. O Jacob, and formed you, Israel.
trip.” For this reason, he appended Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
The belief that when one to his account on the virginal I have called you by name, you are
holds or can lean on a more- conception of Jesus a formula- mine. When you pass through the
By Msgr. Lope C. Robre- of the USSR, believing that better off than before. than-human power he will be citation from Isaiah’s prophecy water, I will be with you; in the
the fall of the “evil” empire Which brings us to the protected from any harm or about the Immanuel (Isa 7:1-14, 1st rivers you shall not drown; when
dillo, SThD misfortune is almost universal. Reading). In order to appreciate you walk through the fire, you
would usher in world peace. question: given the persistence
Today, however, the Russian of evil experiences, who is to Those who do not believe in the Matthew’s presentation of Jesus shall not be burned; the flames
WHAT can transform our empire has disintegrated, and free us from them and offer us presence of God in their lives as the Immanuel, it might be shall not consume you. For I am
present world that is rife with Communism and Socialism a new life and a new world? seek assurance of safety and helpful to understand the Isaianic the Lord, your God, the Holy One
suffering and evil into a paradise have been defanged, but the Of course, to those who belong continued happiness elsewhere. prophecy in its original setting. of Israel, your savior” (Isa 43:1-3a).
of love, justice and peace? world has not substantially to the Christian Churches and Understandably enough, even While Tiglah-Pelesser was trying God then was with his people—in
Time was when many people, changed for the better. We are civilization, faith teaches that among the supposedly educated to expand his empire, King Rezin Abraham and the patriarchs, in
given the evils attendant upon still faced with the prospect Jesus Christ is the Messiah, mortals, the practice, for example, of Syria and King Pekah of Israel Israel’s worship and wars, in her
Industrial Revolution, thought of nuclear exchange, and we i.e., God’s anointed One who of wearing talisman to bring formed an alliance of resistance, journeys, in the Temple, etc. But
that Socialism and Communism have problems of hunger and brought salvation to the world good luck or to ensure success and tried to pressure Ahaz, king what Matthew had in mind is a
would usher in a new paradise, poverty, the exploitation of the through his entire life, but and good fortune is fairly of Judah, into joining the alliance. new way of God’s presence—God
the classless society, with the poor by the rich, the foolish wars especially through his passion, common. Gamblers, like cockfight When the latter refused to join and is to manifest himself not in a
Proletariat as the Messiah; but and the rape of the environment. death and resurrection. We, aficionados, are notorious for their oppose Tiglah-Peleser, Rezin and voice, wind, water, fire or animal,
in the end, the paradise turned Many people and probably some Christians, identify him with belief in the ability of talismans to Pekah besieged Jerusalem in the but in a human person who lives
out to be the Gulag archipelago. countries looked to terrorists “the one who is to come” (Matt make them win in games. Their hope of replacing Ahaz with a among his people. In the words
Karl Marx’s Communism was and their network for salvation, 11:3)—he is the one we long favorite objects are items that puppet leader. To survive, Ahaz of John, “The Word was God…
obviously a disappointment. but if the fallout of their attacks for to save this world from all are connected with the sacred, wished to have an alliance with And the Word was made flesh,
That was why others were is any evidence, it would seem forms of evil. This belief in Jesus’ or have touched the sacred. The Assyria against both kings. It is at and made his dwelling among us”
hoping for the destruction that the world has gotten no Messiah / B7 use of amulets is quite common, this point that Isaiah paid Ahaz Guarantee / B7

Fr. Francis Ongkingco

WHATEVER Bishop Pat Alo

The problem with life
Life isn’t an equation to solve. We simply live egocentric indulgence of life. Said in another As much as pro-choice or “anti-life
life happily without bothering to count the way, “I cannot live my life as I want to because proponents” argue that they are actually
seconds we live or every breath we take, the
heartbeats we make, the mouthfuls we swallow
or drink, etc. We can get accustomed to it and
I am confronted by the problem of considering
the others around me.”
This is the epitome of human egoism:
promoting their programs for the good of
men and society, the question is: “What
kind of good, for which men and what kind
RH Bill contradictions
fail to value what it’s really meant for. the choice of an existential self-isolation of society?” IT’S about time we check how really the RH Bill would help
The rare consideration of ‘what it’s really –naturally leading to self-destruction– of One can discern that they mean a the Philippines. First of all, it would be rather negative to focus
meant for,’ becomes important when the very drowning one’s passions in about all the individualistic good as “my right over my on the overpopulation aspect when really people and persons
existential value of life is threatened. From possible pleasures that life can give. It is the body’s well-being” obtained at whatever aptly formed and educated are an asset to the republic. Such
a biological perspective, for example, one irony of selfishly living life to the extreme costs, even through something contrary to popular personalities as Manny Pacquiao or the late Cardinal
values life more when he gets seriously ill or of losing it. my dignity or at the expense of another’s Jaime Sin did not belong to the suggested two-child family
enters the fragile condition of old age. John Paul II analyses this unfortunate life. Sadly, all these are hidden and masked (Sec. 17 of the RH). Pacquiao is third of several children;
Life, however, can also be attacked situation: by euphemisms, politically correct phrases Cardinal Sin was 14th of 16 children, and so with many famous
violently in other ways. First, when someone “How did such a situation come about? and financial interests of pharmaceutical personalities.
or something attempts or manages to end Many different factors have to be taken companies. The title itself of the bill seems to project itself as being
another person’s life; second, when life’s into account. In the background there is the But the problem of life, I believe, also stems concerned for the health and welfare of women. Yet the
true meaning is distorted or rejected. The profound crisis of culture, which generates from the fact that pro-life advocates only come promotion of artificial contraceptives and abortifacients are
former is simply the consequence of the more skepticism in relation to the very foundations to the defense of life when it is threatened. terminating numberless lives of future men and women, and
menacing latter form. of knowledge and ethics, and which makes Hard as this already is, we must take a more even misconstruing the position of woman as if she were only
The latter threat rejects the truth that life is it increasingly difficult to grasp clearly the pro-active stance in defending life. an instrument of pleasure. The name mentions reproductive
a gift of God. Thus, inasmuch as man cannot meaning of what man is, the meaning of his First, it must be clear that such a defense health but even for that aspect such is not reasonable logic when
give life to himself, he cannot whimsically rights and his duties.” (Encyclical, Evangelium of man and his dignity is not only an outcrop we say we care for the mother’s health but not for the life of
degrade any of its other vital elements; and vitæ, no. 11) of some Church or Christian belief. This is the child. And as regards contraceptives, it is not even firmly
much less put an end to it which an act that something that human life and the family established that there are no side effects for the mother.
exclusively belongs to the Creator. Cut from his transcendental roots, man require if man truly wishes to attain the fullness The RH Bill pretends to be on the side of the health of the
There are people who do not wish to accept begins to doubt he is capable of anything of life and its perfections here on earth. mother and the child but it advocates ways that can terminate
the fact that man possesses a singular dignity beyond this life. And since there is ‘nothing Second, we cannot leave the defense of life life (sec. 7), such as abortion and abortifacients. Is that true love
–created in God’s image and likeness– above to look for after life,’ then one might as well only to a specialized group of individuals or and care of our people’s lives or a hypocrisy of corruption? And
the rest of creation. When this is denied, live it selfishly to the max: having the ‘absolute entities. We must expose life’s transcendent by prescribing sex education in the primary grades (Sec. 13), the
man’s life is stripped of its indispensable right’ to capriciously indulge in or dispose value through all the noble initiatives RH Bill would be scandalizing the young and innocent, who
spiritual content and becomes materially of life. This idea brings along an avalanche –Christian and non-Christian– already may be reared better regarding sexual morality in the natural
dispensable. of other threats to man’s life. established in society (e.g. community- atmosphere of the family.
Bishop Fulton Sheen aptly described this Thus, John Paul II observes: house building groups, basic ecclesial The Bible threatens with divine punishment those who
sad vision of man: “All this explains, at least in part, how the communities, parish activities, catholic and occasion scandal for the young and innocent. “Scandals will
“This change in our times does not mean value of life can today undergo a kind of Christian schools, media centers in favor of inevitably arise, but woe to him through whom they come.
that the modern soul has given up the search ‘eclipse,’ even though conscience does not the underprivileged, etc.) He would be better off thrown into the sea with a millstone
for God, but only that it has abandoned cease to point to it as a sacred and inviolable Third, there is a need to campaign around his neck than giving scandal to one of these little
the more rational –and even more normal value, as is evident in the tendency to disguise for greater solidarity to overcome the ones” (Lk. 17:1-2). The title Reproductive Health implies an
way– of finding Him. Not in the order of certain crimes against life in its early or final prevailing short-sightedness of those who improvement of the quality and preservation of human life,
the cosmos, but the disorder in himself; stages by using innocuous medical terms are only motivated by monetary or statistical but the use or promotion of abortifacient contraceptives (Sec
not the visible things of the world, but which distract attention from the fact that considerations about man. This will require 7) actually destroys life. Isn’t that a contradiction?
the invisible frustrations, complexes and what is involved is the right to life of an networking charity in all sectors of noble We must search and seek truly what is for the good of our
anxieties of his own personality –these are the actual human person.” (Op. cit.) human initiatives. people, both in body and spirit, and not be corrupted by the
modern man’s starting point when he turns Fourth, each person must strive to anti-life agencies offering sums of money. The Bible tells us two
questioningly towards religion. In happier Naturally, from this philosophical level, constantly strive to express the beauty of gospel truths we must keep in mind. “The love of money is the
days, philosophers discussed the problem the value of life isn’t physically attacked. It life and the family. Striving to project how root of all evils. Some men in their passion for it have strayed
of man: now they discuss man as a problem. is when such ideas are applied that we begin to live, defend, and give more of life daily. from the faith and have come to grief amid great pain” (1 Tim.
(Peace of Soul)” to see their sinister effects on man and the This effort of networking all these initiatives 6:10). This is a serious matter so people who do not care about
family. Now there are various threats against will not only make them flourish more. It will God’s laws and the dictates of conscience must beware since
Man is erroneously considered a problem man’s life and dignity that come in the form also help us to make the ‘problem of life’ truly God knows our inmost thoughts and desires. “It is a fearful
when his life is reduced to a statistical excess of abortion, systematic population control, something worth living for in all the seasons thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
that poses as an obstacle to another person’s contraception, euthanasia, etc. of human existence.
Social Concerns
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

Looking beyond renewable energy

By Pati Navalta Poblete from fossil fuel dependence, environmental problem – it is is at a major inflection point.
an addiction that has led us to an economic and social one. It is the leading country as far
the damaging effects of climate The Philippines’ economy as geothermal innovation. Its
LAUNCHING the Renewable change that we see today. Now and the livelihood of much of location has afforded it enough
Energy Conference and Expo at we must also look at the bigger its population depend on the sun and wind to fuel generations
Dusit Thani Hotel in Manila on picture. The carbon problem country’s natural resources – to come. President Aquino
December 2, President Benigno is part of an overall resource from the fish caught in the seas and Department of Energy
Aquino III gave a speech that crunch – a symptom of human to the bananas and coconuts Secretary Jose Rene Almendras
referred several times to the pressure on resources reaching that are grown from the ground. appeared committed to keeping
Philippines’ natural potential a critical tipping point. The These are goods that are not this momentum going. Yet
and its importance to sustainable concentration of carbon in only consumed domestically, the country faces numerous
development. Providing energy our atmosphere is the most but are major sources of income ecological hurdles, which put its
to households, he said, is vital prominent resource issue we through exports. Managing economic and social well-being
to providing clean water, health face. But there are others as well. these resources is critical to at risk. Now is the time to build
and shelter to the people of Access to freshwater resources, a sustainable economy. Of on this momentum and address
the Philippines. Although he food security, forest resources, course, this is not just a domestic the country’s challenges using a
was referring specifically to biodiversity, oil – all of these are issue. Because of today’s global comprehensive approach.
energy, the same must be said under threat. We are entering an economy, it is in the self interest When my parents first brought
of all of renewable natural era of “peak everything.” of the Philippines to know if me back to the Philippines to
resources − without which According to Global other countries – particularly see my mother’s hometown in
no economy could survive. Footprint Network’s latest its neighboring countries − are Sarangani Province, I was in
For generations, humanity has data, the largest contributor at ecological risk as well. As awe of its lush, green coconut
treated nature’s services – from to the Philippines’ Ecological we all recall from the rice crisis groves, sprawling farmlands
croplands that produce our food, Footprint is cropland (37%), in 2008, what happens in one and abundance of fish caught
to forests that absorb our carbon followed by fishing grounds country will eventually affect every day by my uncles and
emissions – as free and limitless (25%) and carbon (24%). Forest all. The Philippines is the No. 1 grandfather. I didn’t know that
resources. As a result, since the land is also a growing issue in importer of rice. When the rice banana leaves could be used as
1970s, humanity’s demand has the Philippines due to rapid shortage hit, and countries such plates, and that coconut shells
consistently surpassed what the deforestation. These land types as India and Vietnam decided could be used to clean floors –
Earth can renewably provide. face the greatest pressures by to curb its exports, rice prices all of which could go right back
Simply put, we are in ecological human activities and are at soared to a 34-year high in the to the Earth once they were no
debt – and the Philippines is no ecological risk. This goes hand Philippines. The lesson was longer of human use. I gained
exception. in hand with findings from clear: Be better prepared. It is an appreciation of the Earth’s
Let me first start by saying World Bank, which cites soil those governments that prepare resources after that trip in
that I am here in Manila on erosion, deforestation, over- for such resource constraints 1985. I understood that nature
behalf of Global Footprint exploited marine resources that will maintain a competitive could provide everything we
Network, an international and biocapacity loss due to edge in the future. needed, so long as we valued
research organization working rapid land conversion among Ecological limits must be it as a true commodity. This
to advance sustainable the country’s major ecological central to policy-making if we is the Philippines I want to
economies through the use of challenges. At the same time, are to reverse current trends. remember – one I hope to return
the Ecological Footprint. With the Philippines’ Ecological Do current policies support to again and again. With the
all the emerging “feet” out there, Footprint remains well below sustainable economies, or right policies and innovation,
many confuse this with carbon that of world average, meaning exacerbate current ecological Philippine leaders have an
footprint. This is only one part parts of the population are problems? As we have seen with opportunity – and an obligation
of the Ecological Footprint, not getting adequate access GDP, that which gets measured – to make this a reality for
which takes a more holistic to natural resources. Going gets managed. We must shift generations to come.
approach to address today’s back to the president’s speech, conventional thinking and
growing ecological challenges. this translates to food, shelter, attach true value to nature’s (Pati Navalta Poblete is the
In addition to carbon, Ecological health and sanitation. Human resources – only then can we World Outreach and Media
Footprint looks at the impact of development, then, is directly balance our ecological budget Director for Global Footprint

human demand on forest lands, affected by how our resources and live well within the means Network, based in California,
croplands, fisheries and built- are managed – or not managed of nature. USA. She is a former columnist
up land (i.e., urban). – and can mean the difference From the various and editorial writer for the San
Renewable natural resources between poverty and a healthy, presentations during this first Francisco Chronicle. For more on
– from wind to solar to biomass productive life. day of this conference, it is Global Footprint Network, go to
– are an ideal way to free us Clearly, this is not just an evident that the Philippines www.footprintnetwork.org)

Messiah / B6 Decorations / B2

Messiahs hip is already expressed in the proved to be a disappointment to John lack wisdom, and his teaching will should be religiously themed, leaving people live the novena before Christmas
early post-Easter reflection, where he is the Baptist. Instead of eliminating not work. Probably at the back of our plastic reindeer, sugar canes and Santa by attending a special “Cockcrow” Mass
recognized as the Davidic Messiah who transgressors from the face of the minds, we believe that he is “an obstacle Clauses in the local shopping mall or at celebrated at 5 a.m. each day.
is enthroned at the resurrection: “God earth, for example, Jesus welcomed tax and a stumbling block,” even if we least within the confines of the parish hall In Mexico, during this same period,
made both Lord and Messiah this Jesus collectors and sinners (Matt 9:10-13; cf profess with our lips the opposite. We for children’s events. family and neighbors often take turns
whom you crucified” (Acts 2:34). Luke 15:1-2). He engaged in a healing are practically disbelievers in God’s Within the church proper, apart from in hosting a “posada,” a procession
But whether all of us act on that ministry (Matt 11:5; Isa 35:5-6). While word (1 Pet 2:8). A Christian will the crib, Christmas may be evoked in which the group goes from house
belief, that is to say, whether our belief John looked for judgment pronounced always condemn terrorism, but it will by using, for example, traditional to house singing a traditional song in
in his Messiahship is seen in the way on evildoers, Jesus pronounced the be difficult for him to find any Christian poinsettias, holly and other traditional which St. Joseph and Mary request,
we live our day-to-day lives, is another endless love and mercy of God the basis for an almost relentless bombing elements according to the culture. and are refused, hospitality until finally
question. For, one simply wonders Father (Luke ch 15). on a poor country, where millions who As I mentioned, different cultures they are festively welcomed at the last
whether the name of Jesus the Messiah Jesus, in other words, did not match are poor live, even if it is an enemy. celebrate Christmas in various ways. In home, which has prepared snacks and
is invoked in our efforts to establish John’s preconception. Not surprisingly That might be a reasonable, sensible some countries, such as Venezuela, many traditional games for all.
peace and justice, whether his teachings enough, in today’s Gospel, John sent action, politically correct, but one
matter whenever we try to resolve deputation to inquire as to Jesus’ doubts whether it could be considered Guarantee / B6
problems of hunger, war, poverty, and Messiahship: “Are you ‘He who is Christian. The main problem, in other
the destruction of the environment, to come’ or do we look for another?” words, is that we lack faith. To conquer (John 1:1b. 14a). In the person of Jesus, discouraged and disappointed. For this
and whether the way we do politics (Matt 11:3). Indeed, there seems to be the enemy, one has to forgive, if one God has descended to men in order to reason, it is abhorrent to trust in objects
and economy is informed by what the a John the Baptist in each of us. In the goes by the Gospel, but who would abide with them till the end of the world. and figurines that serve as talismans,
Messiah has to say. Indeed, if the war face of the enormous problems we are believe that? If one slaps your right Thus, after his resurrection, Jesus assured amulets or mascots. Even if it were true
against terrorism is any indication, it confronted with, we look not to Jesus cheek, give him the left as well—is that his disciples: “Know that I am with you that these have inherent powers, they are
would seem that many Christians—or but to politicians, Rambos, foreigner reasonable? until the end of the world” (Matt 28:20). nothing compared with the assurance
at least those who hold power in mercenaries, terrorists, and even magic H ence, in today’s Gospel, Jesus Of course, he was speaking of a different God gives a person because of the divine
governments—look to other Messiahs. and sorcery to solve them! To deliver says: “Blest is the man who finds no form of presence in the Holy Spirit, presence. Paul says something similar
Like High-Tech Military Power. us from political and economic evil, stumbling block in me’ (Matt 11:6). which finds a good description in John: to this when he speaks of God’s love:
We raise this point because it we run to politicians, economists and To believe that Jesus’ way is the right “Anyone who loves me will be true to “Who will separate us from the love of
seems that many of us do not exactly technocrats, even if experience has way calls for a leap of faith. It is a my word, and my Father will love him, Christ? Trial, or distress, or persecution,
understand the role of Jesus in the shown that the country has never faith that allows God to do what he and we will come to him, and make our or hunger, or nakedness or danger, or the
realization of salvation. We seem to substantially improved with the wants; we do not dictate how God dwelling with him”(John 14:21). sword?… Yet in all this we are more than
think like John the Baptist who had his solutions they have offered us in many should act in us, even though this is In effect, Matthew is saying to his conquerors because of him who has loved
own notion of the Messiah and asked years—the poor keep on multiplying, what we would like to happen. On community and to us: God’s presence us. For I am certain that neither death
in this Sunday’s Gospel (Matt 11:2-11) the powerful still control the economy, the contrary, all we do is just listen to is the guarantee that the person who nor life, neither angels nor principalities,
whether Jesus fit his conception. In the real service is still undelivered in the him, as the experience of Israel proves, believes in Jesus will be saved. For the neither the present nor the future, neither
Gospel of Matthew, John described way it should, the rich become all the when the Lord saved his people from person who has faith that God is with height nor depth nor any other creature,
the coming of the Messiah in terms of more rich. the Egyptians at the crossing of the him, God will ultimately comes to save will be able to separate us from the love
clearing the threshing floor, gathering Why is this so? Why do we not look Red Sea (Exod 14:14). This means that on his behalf. He may suffer, or even of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus,
the grain into the barns and burning to Christ, if we indeed believe that he before anything else, we must believe, be killed, but the forces of evil cannot our Lord” (Rom 8:35-39). Of course,
the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matt is the Messiah? The reason is that, like and then we can be sure that our hope defeat it: “Form a plan and it shall be that one will not be destroyed because
3:10), that is to say, in terms of God’s John the Baptist, we seem not to believe will not be disappointed: “Behold, I am thwarted, make a resolve, and it shall not God is with him requires faith—a leap
anger and His judgment (Jer 7:20). that Jesus’ way is the correct way. We placing in Zion a stone to make men be carried out, for ‘With us is God’” (Isa of faith that king Ahaz did not have, but
The Messiah, as John the Baptist saw lack faith that in Jesus we have the stumble and a rock to make them fall; 8:10). God will not abandon him in his one that every Christian must possess if,
him, would be a stringent judge. But ultimate answer to the problem of but he who believes in him will not be struggle, but will see to it that he survives like St. Paul, he is to emerge triumphant
when Jesus arrived on the scene, he salvation. We think that Jesus’ words disappointed” (Rom 9:33). any setbacks, and strengthen him when with God.

Play / B2

selected in accord with the account of the saint’s life, not only
understanding of children, or in the homily but even before

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(Family Name) (Given Name) (Middle Name)
singing in the form of psalmody
or the Alleluia with a simple
verse should be sung between
the readings in the form of an
“When the text of the readings
the readings. The children should lends itself to this, it may be
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but sometimes a reflective silence read it with parts distributed
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The CBCP Monitor is published “47. All the elements that will during Holy Week.”
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B8 Entertainment CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

Moral Assessment Technical Assessment

 Abhorrent  Poor
 Disturbing  Below average

 Acceptable  Average

 Wholesome  Above average

 Exemplary  E

“ H arry P o t t e r a n d t h e he seeks. No longer just a boy, TITLE: Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows” is a much- Harry Potter is drawing ever Deathly Hallows Part 1
anticipated motion picture closer to the ultimate battle CAST: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma
event to be told in two full- with Voldemort. Watson, Rupert Grint,
length parts. The long-feared In this seventh and final Helena Bonhan Carter,
installment of the Harry Ralph Fiennes, Michael
war has begun and Voldemort’s
Death Eaters seize control of Potter series, Harry faces DIRECTOR: David Yates
the Ministry of Magic and even new troubles; he must collect SCREENWRITER: Steve
Hogwarts, terrorizing and all of the Horcruxes that the Kloves NOVEL: J.K.
arresting anyone who might evil Lord Voldemort has Rowling
oppose them. left behind. He has no idea GENRE: Drama, Action &
But the one prize they still where these are and he has Adventure, Mystery
seek is the one most valuable to destroy them all, even & Suspense, Science
to Voldemort: Harry Potter. without the faintest idea how Fiction & Fantasy
Harry’s only hope is to find the to do so. RUNNING TIME: 150 minutes
Horcruxes before Voldemort As Harry races against
finds him. As he searches for time and evil to destroy LOCATION: England
clues, he uncovers the legend the Horcruxes, he uncovers Technical Assessment:
of the Deathly Hallows. the existence of three most  ½
And if the legend turns powerful objects in the
Moral Assessment: 
out to be true, it could give wizarding world: the Deathly CINEMA Rating: Age 14 and
Voldemort the ultimate power Hallows. above

MAC en COLET Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya
Look for the images of the
TITLE: My Amnesia Girl Three Kings, Christmas
CAST: John Lloyd Cruz, Toni Gonzaga lantern and Christmas
DIRECTOR: Cathy Garcia-Molina
PRODUCER/ DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema Star. (Illustration by
RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes Bladimer Usi)
GENRE: Romantic-Comedy
Technical Assessment:  ½
Moral Assessment: 
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above

Nagkakilala sa isang dating/ match-making event ang

ahenteng si Apollo (John Lloyd Cruz) at ang photographer
na si Irene (Toni Gonzaga). Mabilis ang mga pangyayari at
agad nahulog ang loob nila sa isa’t-isa at nagkamabutihan.
Yayayain ni Apollo si Irene na magpakasal ngunit sa araw
ng kasal, habang palakad si Irene sa altar ay biglang uurong
si Apollo at iiwan si Irene nang walang anumang pasabi.
Makalipas ang ilang taon ay wala pa ring asawa si Apollo
at tila hindi pa rin makalimutan si Irene at malabis ang
pagsisisi sa ginawang pag-iwan dito. Sa muling pagku-krus
ng landas nila ni Irene ay malalaman niyang may amnesia
ito na bunga marahil ng natamong trauma sa pag-iwan
niya dito sa araw ng kanilang kasal. Magiging daan para
kay Apollo ang amnesia ni Irene upang makabawi sa mga
nagawa nitong kasalanan at magpapanggap na bagong
manliligaw ni Irene sa pangalang Paul. Lingid sa kanyang
kaalaman, si Irene ay nagkukuwanri lamang na may
amnesia upang siya ay sadyang gantihan at pahirapan.
Saan kaya hahantong ang pagbabalat-kayo ng dalawang
ito? Paano kung malaman ni Apollo na nagkukunwari
lamang si Irene?
Nagawang bigyan ng bagong bihis ng pelikula ang tila
gasgas nang tema ng amnesia sa mga kuwentong Pilipino
lalo na sa pelikula. Ginamit ng My Amnesia Girl ang
maraming makabagong pamamaraan ng pagkukuwento
upang gawing kapana-panabik ang bawat susunod na
eksena. Bagama’t pawang napabilis ang mga rebelasyon sa
manonood, naging epektibo pa rin ang kwento sa kabuuan
at nabigyang kadahilanan naman kung bakit maraming
sekreto sa kuwento ang hindi itinago sa manonood. Naging
mas nakakakilig nga naman at nakaka-enganyong panoorin
ang dalawang tauhan na tila naglolokohan at hindi
nagkaka-alaman. Ang tunay na hiyas pa rin ng pelikula
bukod sa husay ng direktor at manunulat ay ang walang
kupas na kahusayan nila Cruz at Gonzaga. Napanatili nila
ang kilig, katatawanan at maging ang tamang timpla ng
drama kung kinakailangan. Tuloy ang mga manonood ay
natatawa, kinikilig at lumuluha ng magkakasunod kundi
man minsan ay magkasabay. Ang mga pangalawang tauhan
ay pawang mahuhusay din. Salamat din at panandilaan
tayong nakawala sa mga titulo ng popular na kanta bilang
pamagat ng pelikula at may isang kuwentong bago sa
panlasa ng Pilipinong manonood.
Ang kuwento ng My Amnesia Girl ay uminog sa
kasinungalingan at pagbabalat-kayo. Bagama’t nagawa ng
pelikulang gawing katatawanan at nakaka-kilig ang makita
ang dalawang pusong nagmamahalan habang naglolokohan
ay marami pa rin itong aral na inihain. Una na dito ang hindi
magandang naidudulot ng pagsisinungaling. Sa hinaba-
haba ng takbo ng kuwento na uminog sa kasinungalingan,
ipinakita pa rin na sa bandang huli’y katotohanan pa rin
ang mananaig. Tunay ngang “ang pagsasabi ng tapat ay
pagsasama ng maluwat”. Matindi rin ang naging balik kay
Irene ng kanyang matatawag na “maliit na kasinungalingan”
at mapapatunayan na wala ngang kasinungalingang maliit at
ito ay kasinungalingan pa rin bali-baligtarin man. Mas higit
na nakababahala naman ang hindi gaanong naipaliwanag na
dahilan kung bakit si Apollo ay bigla na lamang tumalikod
at kumaripas sa araw mismo ng kasal. Sa napaka-habang
pinagdaraanang proseso sa sakramentong ito ay hindi
dapat nababalewa at tinatalikuran nang ganoon lang ang
kasal nang walang matinding dahilan. Nagkulang marahil
sa pagsasaliksik o sa paghahagod ng pelikula sa aspetong
ito. Hindi rin husto ang naging paliwanagan ng dalawa
sa kung ano nga ba ang naging mali sa kanilang relasyon.
Kahanga-hanga naman sa isang banda ang ginawang
pagpapatawad ng dalawang tauhan sa isa’t-isa. Patunay na
ang pusong nagmamahal ay laging handang magpatawad.
At ang paglimot sa ginawang pagkakamali ng kapwa,
bagama’t mahirap, ay posible pa rin sa wagas na pag-ibig.
(Rizalino R. Pinlac, Jr.)
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14No.
February 1
December 6 - February
31, 2010 14, 2010

The News Supplement of

Couples for Christ

ANCOP’s Mission: Answering

the Cry of the Poor in answering the cry of the poor. The as-
By Raymond Bucu
sembly acknowledged that the Christian
Life Program and value formation are
ANCOP went into overdrive as more crucial to build supportive nets around
than forty-five leaders and volunteers the child and family. Both the CLP and
of Couples for Christ’s main arm in its values formation programs of ANCOP
work with the poor program gathered are, without a doubt, the key to ANCOP
in Tagaytay City from all over the coun- success and sustainability while the
try last November 29, 30 and December CHILD-FAMILY-COMMUNITY focus
1, 2010, to conduct its first-ever Planning is linked to CFC vision and mission to
Session and Team Building exercises build the Church of the Home and the
in order to map out ANCOP’s strate- Church of the Poor.
gic directions for the future. It was an Future expansion of the work of AN-
exciting and momentous occasion for COP will focus on jobs and employment
each participant as each one reflected creation, parental care, prevention of
on how ANCOP can truly respond to violence in the family, child and women
its mandate of helping the poor in our trafficking, and the reduction of infant
land and how this can be done in light mortality.
of the call of the times. Given the scope of the work ahead,
The sessions began with a Mass on the the participants were later enjoined to
first day, celebrated by Monsignor Allen help craft ANCOP’s strategic vision and
Aganon, Spiritual Director of Couples mission, which resulted in passionate dis-
for Christ. He also later conducted a rec- cussions. However, the participants, who
ollection which focused on reflections on Arrogante of South A. The lectures and sharing the love and life of Christ. of the work of ANCOP. were ably facilitated by Jimmy Santiago of
the parable of the Good Samaritan as told the exercises focused on welcoming Ricky also emphasized that ANCOP In the area of education, ANCOP South A, were led to wonder at the sim-
by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37). new ideas and approaches to solving is unambiguous and unapologetic about will intensify and strengthen its Child plicity and majesty of God’s mandate for
In the parable, a traveler, presumably problems and to changes or shifts in being one with the Catholic Church and Support Program (CSP), to be supple- the work of ANCOP because ANCOP’s
Jewish, is beaten, robbed, and left for paradigms or models. This was espe- that its work with the poor is constantly mented by various education schol- new vision and mission turned out to be
dead along the road. First a priest and cially helpful when the time came on the being moved by the Holy Spirit. On the arship programs, and establish CSP simple but beautiful at the same time.
then a Levite come by, but both avoid second day for the participants to finally other hand, Eric Delos Reyes, ANCOP Education Centers and ANCOP Pre-
the man. Finally, a Samaritan comes by. craft the strategic vision and mission Chief Operating Officer, also made Schools in ANCOP Communities. For CFC-ANCOP VISION: Bringing
Samaritans and Jews generally despised statement that would guide ANCOP a presentation that featured a SWOT the Health and Nutrition pillar, ANCOP Christ’s transforming love to the poor
each other, but the Samaritan helps the for the coming years. (strengths, weakness, opportunities and will embark on community health care CFC-ANCOP MISSION: Answer the
injured Jew. Jesus is described as telling Day 2 was opened with a Mass and threats) analysis of ANCOP, focusing programs focusing on medical missions, Cry of the Poor
the parable in response to a question subsequent worship, after which Ricky however on its main strength, which is its hygiene and sanitation, proper nutrition The Planning Session began its final
regarding the identity of the “neighbor” Cuenca, Chief Executive Officer of subsidiarity to and its declared oneness and immunization programs. In the area proceedings on the third day after
which Leviticus 19:18 says should be CFC-ANCOP Tekton, Inc., presented with the ideals of Couples for Christ. of community development, ANCOP a powerful worship led by Mannix
loved. The tone of the planning session plans and programs that would make Suggestions and proposals abounded will engage in building entire communi- Ocampo, as the participants presented
was thus set on the note that ANCOP ANCOP busy for years to come. He and it was clear to everyone that the ties for the children and their families, the new ANCOP Vision and Mission
needs to expand its own world view in also presented a draft vision and mis- Holy Spirit was guiding the sessions as conduct Christian Life programs and Statement before the CFC Interna-
its work with the poor programs. sion statement to the participants. AN- slowly but surely, ANCOP’s directions values formation programs where it can tional Council led by CFC Chairman,
After the mass and recollection, the COP’s core values were also presented, began to crystallize, especially in the while conducting livelihood programs Jose Tale and CFC Executive Director
participants gathered for a full char- focusing on the fact that ANCOP is a areas of education, health and nutrition and micro-enterprise and finance. Joe Yamamoto. Also present were IC
ismatic worship followed by team- Christ-centered organization, and that it and community development, which The Child-Family-Community (CFC) members Lito Tayag, Joey Arguelles,
building exercises conducted by Roland desires to answer the cry of the poor by Ricky identified as the three main pillars were also identified as the entry points and Melo Villaroman.

ANCOP opens up One With The Catholic Church

Tanay ANCOP Village In The Cabustam Sub-Region
(CFC and the Archdiocese of CDO jointly convene the First Clergy-Lay Congress in NE Mindanao)

By Raymond Bucu their homes and who remain on evangelization and that it By John Banaynal of Malaybalay. Bishop Juan and Eric Andilab, a full-time
homeless at this time. must never be abandoned. He de Dios Pueblos, D.D., of the YFC pastoral worker shared
The ceremony began with a noted that as we continue the Diocese of Butuan would have about their experience with
ANCOP leaders led by Ricky Holy Mass, celebrated by Fr. work for the poor, our call is not N o v ember 1 9 , 2 0 1 0 w a s made it to the Congress, too, CFC. As is traditional in all
Cuenca, Chief Executive Offic- Pepe Pedraja and attended by to be successful, but to remain a grace-filled afternoon-to- had not a wayward vehicle CFC activities, the session was
er and Eric Delos Reyes, Chief residents of the area as well faithful to God as He is always evening fellowship of three stalled and closed the national capped by the celebration of
Operating Officer, immediately as the would-be beneficiaries faithful to us. Father Pedraja Catholic Bishops and 56 priests highway along the town of Tal- the Holy Mass.
got down to work after the of the Tanay ANCOP Village. finally exhorted those present to from the CABUSTAM sub- isayan in Misamis Oriental to The dinner-fellowship that
Tagaytay planning session by In his homily, Father Pedraja always remember that our work region comprised of the Dio- motorized traffic, forcing him followed was the perfect op-
proceeding to Tanay, Rizal to reiterated that our lives are a is meaningless if we are not able ceses of Cagayan de Oro, to turn back to Butuan City. portunity to cement relation-
join in the to evange- Butuan, Surigao, Tandag, and The CFC leaders were head- ships and to talk about greater
ground- lize. Malaybalay, together with 210 ed by International Council areas of collaboration, particu-
breaking The cer- leaders of Couples for Christ, Chairman Joe and Babylou larly in parish life. A moving
ceremony emony was in the first-ever Northeast- Tale and IC member Joey and ceremony was the main fea-
of its pi- graced by ern Mindanao Conference on Tess Arguelles, Dodong Ba- ture of the evening, where the
lot project the pres- Clergy-Lay Relations. The naynal, Regional Head of CFC clergy and CFC leaders stood
a p t l y ence of Ta- conference was held at the Northeastern Mindanao and in line, heads bowed, before
called nay Mayor Grand Caprice Restaurant, wife Inday, the provincial di- the Holy Cross held aloft by
ANCOP Lito Tan- Lim Ket Kai Center, Cagayan rectors and provincial council Archbishop Ledesma, their
V i l - juatco, de Oro City. members of CFC Misamis Ori- hands resting on the shoulders
lage. The whose out- Held as an integral part of ental, Camiguin, Agusan del of the person in front as a sign
project standing CFC Misamis Oriental’s 23rd Norte, Agusan del Sur, Suri- of their solidarity with each
will in- support Anniversary celebrations on gao del Norte and Bukidnon. other. Jay Juntilla of Singles
volve the for CFC- November 20, 2010, the seven- The Mission Core members of for Christ sang a stirring song,
creation ANCOP hour meeting was a collabora- Misamis Oriental were also in adding to the solemnity of the
of a new and his tion of the Archdiocese of Ca- attendance. occasion.
commu- genuine gayan de Oro and Couples for Adopting “Fullness of Life in The evening was rich with
nity in concern Christ. His Excellency, Arch- Christ” as its theme, the Con- entertaining dance-presenta-
a piece for his bishop Antonio J. Ledesma, gress intended to recognize the tions and games, and more
of land constitu- SJ, of Cagayan de Oro, jointly role that bishops and priests particularly with songs from
donated ents al- signed the letter of invitation play in the community, honor members of the clergy who
by Don lowed the to the CABUSTAM clergy with them for their selfless service literally let their hair down by
Ambro- project to Joey Arguelles, a member of to God and the Church, and al- belting their favorite pieces.
sio “Don proceed as the CFC International Council low the time spent in learning The activity was over in
B u r o ” planned. and the Area Head of Misamis and fellowship to form closer about 7 hours but, judging
Sacramento, a local Tanay phi- continuing answer to the cry of Also present were Art Valdel- Oriental. ties between CFC leaders and from the reactions of both cler-
lanthropist and whose grand- the poor, whom Jesus said will lion, CFC Provincial Area Head The 56 participants from the their pastors. gy and lay present, its effects
daughter, Maita Benadez, is a always be with us. He further of Rizal, Rommel Serrano, CFC clergy were headed by Arch- Archbishop Ledesma de- will be felt for many months
member of the CFC Handmaids said that the call to help the poor Rizal Provincial Area Director, bishop Ledesma and other livered the keynote message ahead. Father Magtraryo of
of the Lord. The proposed ben- is in itself a blessing from God, and Dennis Arcilla, CFC Rizal bishops from the area, namely, - on the “Integrity of Crea- Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City
eficiaries were identified to be yet we are blessed even more as ANCOP Head, all of whom Bishop Jose A. Cabantan, D.D. t ion a nd Pea c e-Bu ilding .” was so touched by Fr. Jepoy’s
victims of Typhoon Ondoy, the we respond to His call. Father tirelessly worked for the reali- of the Diocese of Malaybalay Joe Tale spoke on the global observations and exhortation
mega typhoon that devastated Pedraja also emphasized that the zation of the event. and Bishop Honesto Ch. Pa- activities of CFC, while Fr. about priests being open to
the country last year, who lost work with the poor must focus cana, SJ, D.D., retired Bishop Jepoy Balanay of Iligan City Catholic / 3
C2 Ugnayan CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

Joe Tale, CFC Chairman

The Gift of Life

THE following statement was Here is the full text of the state- d. All should help so that everyone and be satisfied with the answers sues with civility and respect for one
circulated to the leaders of CFC last ment: will have dignity of life, especially before we should even discuss the another. But in the end, let our voices
November 12, 2010, in response to the least of our brethren, in food provisions of the proposed bills. be heard and actively ask our legisla-
the growing controversy over the Today, and everyday, let us thank and nutrition, adequate health care, If there is legislation that is needed, tors and other government officials
proposed Reproductive Health (RH) the Lord for the precious gift of life appropriate education and liveli- we believe it is that one that will give to decide on this issue with reverence
bills. I and my fellow members in the that we now enjoy. We acknowledge hood, decent housing. To be pro life life to the letter and spirit of our Con- and obedience to God, the author of
International Council firmly believe this as His gift to us and that of our is to answer the cry of the poor. stitution and honor our culture as a life.
that because we are a community parents who cooperated with His people. This is HB 13 authored by “… If my people, upon whom my
of Christ-followers, we are called to plan. This is the foundation of our e. We help nurture life by caring for Cong. Roilo Golez and its counterpart name has been pronounced, humble
take an unwavering stand against faith and we fully support the stand the sick and the elderly. We thus SB 2497 authored by Sen. Juan Ponce themselves and pray, and seek my
such bills, since they threaten the of our Catholic Church in allowing, say NO to euthanasia. To be pro Enrile, which seeks to protect the presence and turn from their evil
very fabric of our faith and our very protecting, and nurturing life. life is to be pro health. rights of the unborn child. ways, I will hear them from heaven,
humanity. Life is not only a gift to the indi- In this, another critical period of and pardon their sins and revive
I am reprinting it below so that it vidual and to the family but also f. We should take care of life to its our nation’s history, let us join with their land… But if you turn away
will reach a wider audience, so that to the nation. It is people – morally very end. Thus, all must have our dioceses and parishes and lay or- and forsake my statutes and com-
we CFC members can be galvanized upright, productive and empowered access to affordable rites for a ganizations in calling on the Filipino mands which I placed before you, if
into action. Because we are one with people - that can truly build the na- dignified death and burial. citizenry to move against the passage you proceed to venerate and worship
the Catholic Church, let us all join tion. Population is not the cause of of the RH bill. Instead, let us support other gods, then I will uproot the
our parish efforts against these bills. poverty. Sin, greed, corruption, and g. In other words, being pro life is to HB 13 and SB 2497. Let us advocate people from the land I gave them.” (2
Parishes have an ongoing signature bad governance are. Thus, we should respect, protect and nurture life for an objective discussion of the is- Chronicles 7:14 and 19-20)
campaign. Sign up. There are calls focus on these real causes of poverty from its beginning, throughout
for assemblies of support for life and and not be distracted by population its existence, and up to its end.
for legislation that seeks to protect the issues, which divert our time and
unborn. Join and be counted. energy away from the real work that On the ongoing debate on Re-
We may be members of CFC or any needs to be done. productive Health (RH) bills - we
other organization, but we are Catho- We believe that being pro life is believe we must first ask objectively:
lics first. We owe it to our Church to address the totality of issues on do we really need an RH bill? Will
to be one with it in supporting life life and the dignity of every human the passage of a law address our real
and in opposing anything that will being. concerns on poverty? Specifically, in
destroy life. this period of worsening deficits for
Most importantly, let us pray for a. Life must be protected and hon- our government, will the budget to be
our leaders in government, that the ored from natural conception. We allocated for this proposed law (e.g.
Lord may enlighten them and allow thus say NO to abortion at any the reported P400 million for condoms
them to see the sanctity of life. We stage. and contraceptives alone) not be better
pray that they may recognize their spent for better education, improved
responsibility to us who put them in b. The gift of life should be allowed health services and livelihood op-
power, to defend life and to promote to happen, and for the natural gift portunities?
the improvement of society. Let us of fertility to surface. Thus, we say Who will really benefit from the
pray for ourselves, that we may find NO to contraceptives, and YES to passage of an RH law? Will it be the
God’s grace within to be strong, to natural family planning. poor? Will it be our country? Or will
be firm and to fight for our faith and it be foreign interests imposing a cul-
for life. Our theme for 2011 expresses c. Parents have the primary right and ture alien to us? Or, perhaps. the few CFC New Zealand gathered together 28 couples for an MER 3 last November 20-21 in Auckland.
it very clearly: God is calling us to responsibility in rearing up their businesses that will profit from the Speakers from Manila included IC member Lito Tayag (also regional head of Oceania and country
“Put on the Full Armor of God” and children. We thus say NO to com- production and sale of condoms and head of Australia) and his wife Linda, Garie and Ces Pimentel and Bong Arjonillo. Australia
National Director Bong Bernardo and wife Jenny also planed in for the seminar. Photo shows
to be the army that He has raised us pulsory sex education in schools. contraceptives? the mission team with some of the couple-participants.
to be. To be pro life is to be pro family. We need to ask these hard questions

Joe Yamamoto, CFC Director

Our Armor of Faith and Courage

IN just a few months, we shall intangible. existence and foundation, we our next 30 years? What is God’s of the Home. God called us to When the councils were cre-
be celebrating our thirty years Imperfect as we are, belonging saw that the global damage be- agenda for us? personal holiness first because ated, the idea was to empower
as a community. We have “sur- to a very imperfect community ing inflicted upon CFC could Before we can see where God we needed to be transformed such groups of people to act for
vived” our first thirty years, so to that is called Couples for Christ, only be resolved by our total is taking us in the next 30 years, into messengers of peace and and in behalf of the International
speak, and we can already claim and living and existing in an dependence on the love and we need to make a journey of love that would reflect the light Council and to have authority
our next thirty years. Despite the imperfect world, still we strive mercy of God. If God had not self-discovery. We need to take of Christ to those within our over the area/sector/country
challenges that we faced near the to faithfully serve a perfect God. come to our aid, through vari- stock of where we are at today, own family circle. Having been under their care. With author-
end of our first thirty years, there And because our God is perfect, ous coincidences and events that to inventory our resources and to transformed, we could then be ity comes much accountability.
is a general air of optimism that we realize that our imperfections are amazing to say the least, we reflect on the events that are hap- instruments of transformation The people who are tasked to
as far as Couples for Christ is are not a hindrance to growth would have lost everything. My pening in Couples for Christ. for our children, our parents, govern have to ensure that the
concerned, the worst is over. and that is why there’s so much own reflection is that, if this is First, we need to be very clear our brothers and sisters. We community continues to grow
We can look at the challenges growth that is happening, has indeed God’s community, then about WHO we are. We are realized that we could not be and to thrive and to be a legacy
as God-given opportunities that happened and will continue to we should simply let God do Families in the Spirit Renewing fully transformed if the whole for future generations.
have prepared us vastly for what happen in Couples for Christ. I what He pleases with it. If God the Face of the Earth. family is not transformed. That That is the beauty of our fam-
is still to come. The most severe believe and I hope you believe wants this community to thrive, Second, we need to be very was the beginning of the family ily ministries. Although we
of those challenges came our this with me -- the best years then any attacks from within clear on WHAT we want to do. ministries. began as a couple-oriented or-
way in 2007 and, in hindsight, of Couples for Christ are still to and without will not triumph What we want to do is to Build It is very important that we ganization, we early on saw the
we believe that that was really come! because God is the one who the Church of the Home and to appreciate that we are one global necessity of equipping future
life threatening for us as a com- And you know why the best owns the community. Build the Church of the Poor. CFC, and that we have one Mis- generations with the capability
munity because the threat started years of Couples for Christ is Consciously and subcon- Allow me now to share with sion represented in a two-fold to handle the community when
from within. And so, our 2011 yet to come? Because you and sciously, during the crisis of you some of my own perspec- approach. We are one global we, who were there in the be-
theme of “Put on the Full Armor I and our children will really 2007, we all went into a prayerful tives about Building the Church army prepared by God to win ginning, are no longer around.
of God” is very appropriate be- make that happen. This is the mode and followed the Lord’s of the Home. territories for Him. That is why And so today, we are seeing a
cause there are still challenges, promise of our vision of Building injunction to “Be still!” In so During a recent visit to At- our battle cry is: One CFC, One fresh crop of young faces who,
both from within and without, the Church of the Home. doing, we all realized that we lanta, Georgia, I remembered mission, One Global Army. having been honed in pastoral
that we need to confront. When When our sister Nina Ponte are a Spirit-led community and my studies in American his- The first thing we really need to leadership and administrative
we released our new theme, one uttered her prophecy in 1995 that that indeed our very existence is tory. Atlanta was pivotal in the strengthen and emphasize is our skills, are ready to take over the
brother asked me, “Brother Joe, “Couples for Christ will win the premised on our being “Families American Revolution, when identity. And I am not talking reins of this community.
is God telling us that there is go- world for Christ,” many of us in the Holy Spirit renewing the North and South engaged in a about our distinctive IDs, which Another wonderful side effect
ing to be a future conflict, which thought it was a bit presumptive. face of the earth.” bitter war. This was the war that as you all know, are now being of our family ministries, and one
is why He is asking us to put on I remember being a new member It gradually sank into our spawned the great generals Wil- crossed over into the radio fre- we did not foresee when we
the full armor of God?” of CFC in 1985, and being one communal consciousness that liam Sherman, Ulysses Grant, quency ID system. What I mean is decided to establish them, par-
I replied that I do not see it that in rejoicing with the rest of the “Yes, we are moved by the Holy Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. that we have to identify ourselves ticularly the young ministries, is
way. My sense is that God is tell- 2000 members then every time Spirit. Yes, we are one with the Lee. The Northern Armies won with the oneness of our commu- that they have become the source
ing us that every single day, we we filled up a community hall. Catholic Church.” And thus we the war but not before cutting a nity, such that even if we are with of religious vocations. I can cite
need to put on the full armor of We would applaud and cheer were able to move forward. But swath of destruction all across the family ministries or with the a few who went from being KFC
God. In fact, we should have put because our appreciation of CFC we would not have come to that Atlanta, thus breaking the back work with the poor or in any other to YFC to SFC and then found
it on from the very first day of then was just a small group of realization without reflective of the Confederate Army. service, we do not lose sight of the the grace to continue serving the
CFC’s existence. I believe that God 2000 people. prayers and discernment. As I looked and admired the fact that we are all one. Lord in the religious life. There
is telling us, again and again, that But the prophecy did happen The journey that we took tree-lined boulevards of Atlanta, CFC started as a family min- is Fr. Francis Mendoza of Los
the reason the evil one was able as Nina foretold. A few years af- from 2007 can be considered I realized that once upon a time, istry and grew exponentially. Angeles. There are now five
to sow division, dissension and ter the prophecy, CFC went into miraculous. We were actually this city experienced carnage As we grew, and as a result of seminarians in SVD from SFC
disunity in Couples for Christ, is its first country and never looked fighting on three fronts. With- and destruction but now there is our size, we encountered some and YFC and one of them is Jay
because, somehow, we relented. back. We made our presence out being judgmental about it, just construction, life, future. operational problems. Thus, we de Leon, from SFC Japan. At our
Somehow, we let down our guard, felt in more than 160 countries there was the FFL issue on the I realized that God is tell- began creating councils – coun- last anniversary, among the 16
somehow we lost our focus. In by the time we entered the third one side, Gawad Kalinga on the ing us, “If you want to have cils for the different ministries, Jesuit seminarians who served
our own humanity, in our own millennium. God had a global other, and then there was the peace, prepare to wage war. If councils for each province, sec- at our anniversary Mass were 6
humanness, we began to focus on platform for us back then, but struggle to move God’s agenda you want to prepare for peace, tor and country. This was done who came from SFC. Another
the fruits of the work and forgot to we didn’t know it. forward. I think when we made prepare for war.” If we want to to resolve the burgeoning op- six of them have CFC parents or
worship the God of the work. God Today, with His instructions a bold decision to set aside the claim God’s victory on the earth erational problems but nowhere relatives. Just recently, an SFC
is now telling us for next year and to put on full armor, we are negatives and simply to focus and through Couples for Christ, was there any intention for such member who became a fulltime
onwards, that in order to flourish, looking not at a mere slogan but on moving forward, that in ef- we need really to put on the full councils to be independent of worker at the CFC Home Office
to thrive and to grow as a com- actually declaring war against fect was a decision to put on the armor of God. the mother community or to entered the convent of the Medi-
munity we need to put on God’s the world or the principalities of full armor of God. And God The first embattled area is create parallel organizations. cal Mission Sisters in Pangasinan
armor 24/7, 365 days and so on the world. Why? Because we are blessed our community. Sud- really the home. Never neglect, Our Vatican Statutes are clear on (see story on page 3).
for the rest of our lives. Couples for Christ and we are a denly, things were resolved in a never ignore, and never for a that issue – that the Manila office, These young men and women
In short, we became vulner- community set out to evangelize, way that showed God’s wisdom. moment forget the fact that we the International Council, is the who have offered their lives to
able! We focused on things that to proclaim God in words and The road to resolution was not will never be able to build the governing body. God are in effect also a potent
are important but not critical action, and to focus on Christ, easy but it showed all of us very Church of the Poor unless our No matter how big a ministry offering of CFC to the Catholic
to the mission of Couples for family and poor. Simply by clearly how God works in each homes, our first battleground, or work with the poor may be, Church.
Christ. We became enamored of adhering to these principles and of us and in our community. are well and secure. it should always be subjected Couples for Christ, our home,
the fruits of our labor, the social goals, we have declared war If we are to reflect upon it, we If we want to really move to the principle of subsidiary. It our life, and our love, has sus-
dimension, the physical expres- against the principalities of the would not be able to explain in God’s agenda, we need to pro- must always be subordinated to tained us for the past 30 years.
sion of our work. This siphoned world. If we are indeed going to human terms how everything tect and strengthen the home. It the mother community. It is very It is our hope that our indi-
off a lot of our time, talents win the world for Christ, then we came together, in God’s perfect is important for us to remember important that we all understand vidual lives, homes and passion
and energy to something that have to aim for total victory. timing. What was clear was that that the fundamental existence the context of our relationship for God’s work will sustain it in
is visible and external and we In 2007, as we were being our moving forward is part of of Couples for Christ is to protect with one another and with the turn – for the next thirty years
forgot that what is important is shaken to the very core of our God’s agenda. And what about and to strengthen the Church larger body. and beyond.
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010
Ugnayan C3

By Arnel Santos
Education for Chastity
Education Within the Family,” a booklet own life a gift for others. This may be vidualized instructions and personal- mature sex education with too many
published by the Pontifical Council for taught through the parents’ example ized dialogues. “Kaya hindi pwede sa details, such as that included in Dep
the Family. because “the best teacher in true love is classroom.” The general sex education Ed’s Sex Ed manuals for pre-teens.
“WE should have a say in the sex educa- There are three (3) objectives to the parents’ example of faithfulness and points may be given in high school, but The best method is to teach these
tion of our children, and Education for Chastity Education, according to Dr. thanksgiving.” in cases “where the instructions involve children to “self-reflect,” and “develop
Chastity is the correct sex education.” Montes. The third objective is the actual intimate aspects of sex, there must be their intellect.” According to Dr. Mon-
This was the emphatic message of Dr. The first is to “maintain in the fam- teaching of sexuality, to help children one-on-one dialogues.” tes, “the undisciplined and spoiled
Lucille Montes to the members of CFC ily the positive atmosphere of love, understand the value of sexuality and Moreover, she stressed that “develop- child is inclined to moral weakness in
Mission Core Group when she spoke on virtue and respect for the gifts of God, chastity in stages, sustaining their ing love for God is part of sex educa- the future.”
the Key Aspects of Christian Parenting especially the gift of life.” This can be growth through enlightening word, tion.” In the end, what should keep our For those in puberty, Dr. Montes
last November 17, 2010 at the Meralco achieved by practicing charity and example and prayer. children well-behaved is their love for concedes that a more detailed educa-
Theater, Pasig City, Metro Manila. other virtues. Dr. Montes emphasized that teaching God and their living according to the tion on the genital aspects is needed.
A medical doctor and a psycholo- She explained that “serene spousal sexuality is the “original, primary, and will of God. However, she stressed that the psycho-
gist for 20 years, with expertise in relationship” has a calming effect on the irreplaceable duty of parents.” Quoting Dr. Montes cautioned the parents to logical issues must also be addressed,
family and related issues, Dr. Montes children, evokes good feelings in them, the Guidelines for Education Within the provide information with great delica- and the focus must be on the develop-
reminded parents of their “irreplace- and reassures them of their parents’ af- Family, she said: “If, in fact, parents do cy. They must seek divine help. Parents ment of a conscience. These children
able right and duty to educate their fection. Concretely, Dr. Montes pointed not give adequate formation in chastity, have been empowered to do this as they must be given help to resist negative
children” on human sexuality. In the out that children must be educated they are failing in their precise duty. received a special grace through the sac- influences.
face of proposed legislation that seeks “from the start” with respect to one’s Likewise they would also be guilty were rament of marriage. For little children, Dr. Montes pointed out the methods
to impose a sex education curriculum legitimate privacy, the value of decency, they to tolerate immoral or inadequate the first information would be the dif- and ideologies that must be avoided in
in elementary schools, Dr. Montes and the practice of modesty. These will formation being given to their children ference between genders. “Teach them sex education, namely: secularized and
believes that teachers should instead instill in them the vision that “a home outside the home.” that God made only two (2), the boys anti-natalist education; the teaching of
seek the permission of the parents is a sanctuary of life and faith.” Parents must, however, realize that and the girls.” Dr. Montes commented all the intimate details of genital rela-
before they speak to the children Another objective is for children to there are many forces that make it dif- that “some college students even think tionships; the methods which use only
about sex. understand their own vocation, and ficult to fulfill this duty. The media, for that there’s actually a third sex.” values clarification without making one
“Parents must therefore be equipped that marriage and celibacy are real example, is the “sex educator now of She highlighted though that parents realize the existence of the absolutes;
to carry out this right and duty,” Dr. vocations. This concept is best intro- the people.” There are many things to should “know the timing for giving and the methods where sex education
Montes added, referring the parents duced during adolescence. In either guard against, like the RH Bill. information.” Age five (5) till puberty is included in all the classroom subjects,
present to “The Truth and Meaning vocation, there is self-giving. Hence, Dr. Montes explained that in teaching is the stage of tranquility and serenity. which is one of the provisions in the
of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for children must learn how to make their sexuality, children must receive indi- This must not be disturbed with pre- proposed RH Bill.

Responding to God’s Love COYA Planning

By Tina Umlas I found many ways to respond Am I doing what I am doing decision, provided for every- By Sheh de Leon on the history of Christianity
to that love – through my full- because it feels good and at the thing. I guess He was just waiting in the Asian Continent and
time work in Couples for Christ, same time, because it is where I for my response. Responding providing the youth present
(Ed’s Note: Tina was a member through my service in the parish, am comfortable? to God’s call is not easy. But the CATHOLIC Organization with a better understanding
of Singles for Christ and a fulltime through my involvement in sev- Unable to answer the question, story of the Annunciation and of Youth in Asia (COYA) of the different Asian cultures
worker at the CFC Home Office. On eral Catholic communities and I decided to go on retreat. The of Mary’s full trust and faith in is a network consisting of and traditions. The session
November 21, 2010, she left to do through my love and service to decision to listen intently to God God’s plan for her life reminded Catholic lay organizations ended with a challenge from
what many young women of today my family. But in the midst of all was actually something I had me that all I need to do, like Mary, and ecclesial movements the bishop for the youth to
no longer even consider – to be a of these, my heart still longed for planned long ago, but somehow, is to trust God. working for/with and by the reflect on their sense of the
nun. She is now at the convent of the something. I did not know how something always intervened, The decision to join a religious youth in Asia, It collaborates Church and on how to further
Medical Mission Sisters in Villasis, to address that longing. and the plan took second priority. congregation means going out closely with the Federation of strengthen the influence of
Pangasinan, preparing for a life of Serious illnesses in my family I knew in my heart that nothing of my comfort zone and taking Asian Bishop’s Conferences- the Holy Spirit in their lives.
total dedication to God. Here, Tina and the destruction and death would happen until and unless a very bold step forward in my Office of the Laity and The rest of the first evening
shares her journey of self-discovery wrought by recent typhoons, I decided to make it happen. life’s journey. I have realized Family-Youth Desk (FABC was spent on updates of each
and of her willingness to finally jolted me, and made me realize And so by God’s grace, in the that life is so short and if I would OLF-YD). organization’s activities over
answer THE call.) how short our life is. Suddenly I year 2010, I am finally making spend my life doing what I want- On the weekend of No- the past six months.
was confronted with the question: it happen. ed, and not what God wants for vember 5 to 7, in Mariapolis, The second day featured
“And without faith it is impos- Is where I am, where I chose to be, God, in His goodness and me, I would be missing out on the Tagaytay City, CFC Youth for an activity called “WORLD
sible to please God, because really a response to God’s love? seemingly in affirmation of my loving and joyful life that God has Christ and seven (7) other or- CAFÉ” where the youth dis-
anyone who comes to Him must in store for me. ganizations gathered to plan, cussed the different issues
believe that He exists and that He I know full well that the jour- with COYA, how best to help that the youth and youth
rewards those who earnestly seek ney to love and to loving and the youth of Asia in the year ministers are facing in Asia
him. -Hebrews 11:6 pleasing God will not be easy but ahead. Bishop Rolando Tria through reflection on the top-
God calls us and sustains us. I also know that it can be a joyful Tirona, of the Prelature of ics “Spirituality of Commun-
God provides for everything that and fulfilling journey. What I am Infanta, kicked off the week- ion and “Roles of the Move-
we need. When I heeded the call certain of right now, as I face my end activities by expounding ment and Youth Ministry.”
to work as a volunteer in Couples future, nay, the future God chose
for Christ, it was something that I for me, is that I am God’s beloved
did not expect. I had other plans daughter who, by His grace and
for my life. But I guess answering through the inspiration of our
that particular call simply paved blessed Virgin Mary, chose to
the way for me to respond to His respond to the call of God to love
invitation to love in every mo- through the healing charism of
ment of my life. the Medical Mission Sisters.
God’s words in Psalm 139 are I do not own my life, my life
words of love for me. He knows belongs to God and I would like
who am I even before I knew who to offer it all to God. May my life
I am. God loved me even before be a source of healing to everyone
I learned to love and appreciate I meet.
my very own self. Knowing and “I am the Lord’s servant,”
feeling God’s love made me seek Mary answered. “May it be done
Tina, standing at right, with CFC Home Office co-workers Arlene de la Cruz
ways on how I can respond to the and Denden Labot (seated). to me as you have said.” – Luke
God who loved me first. 1:38

An Amazing Year of God’s Grace

By Edna Nidea Should we put off going to the mission ness has transformed all of us. we paid the conference registration lot and simply trusted that He will put
areas and all the weekly CFC events and Let me tell you the story of how we just the same and very courageously us safely through all our trials.
activities since they were taking up too were all able to go to Vienna for the and with expectant faith booked the The whole family is in service today.
THE year 2010 has been truly amazing. much of our time? European Fullness in Christ conference, tickets. We knew that since we filed Our three teenagers are actively serving
It has indeed been a year of fullness in So many questions. The final ques- in spite of all the financial strain. for permanent residency only on April in YFC, with mission areas assigned to
life with our God, no matter that the evil tion we had to grapple with was: When we booked our tickets last May, 23, and since our visas were expiring on each one of them. Our two little ones
one tried hard to hinder it. It has been a Should we all just pack up and go we didn’t even have valid passports be- April 26, we only had a slim chance of are in KFC, volunteering to take care of
year of persecution, trials, harassments home to the Philippines? Bong has a cause our permanent resident applica- making it to Vienna. After all, we were the babies and toddlers of our fellow
and sufferings but it has also been a CMA and CFA license. He could most tions hadn’t been approved yet. When told that the normal processing of our CFC here during our meetings and as-
year of victories in the Lord. likely find work back home that would Bong filed it (since he is the principal papers would take a minimum of 16 semblies.
Our entire family has been in England approximate the high salary and won- applicant, he had only been with his weeks or 4 months! The timing would Bong and I just finished serving in
since 2005. We are here on the strength derful benefits he used to enjoy. What new job at P & G for three weeks. But be extremely tight since the conference four simultaneous CLPs – in Edin-
of a highly-skilled working visa issued our prayers and reflections brought us was in mid-August. burgh and Glasgow in Scotland and
to Bong who left a very lucrative job in was the conviction that yes, we needed But lo and behold! The approval came in Hartlepool and Stockton here in
Manila because of the promise this visa to stay. In the first place, we left home in on July 8, giving our eldest daughter England. Since 2006, when we started
entailed. But since the time we arrived, because we felt that coming here was sufficient time to make a quick trip to the our mission, we have managed to in-
Bong has experienced being jobless more a response to God’s call to bring Philippines to do research for her school crease membership in our area, here in
three times. The third time, he pulled His message to this place. We left home work and to come back home in time northeast England and in Scotland, to
in no income for a total of 13 months. to embrace the mission to love, to serve, to join us for the trip to Vienna. What 250. Total YFC UK membership is now
It is fortunate that I was able to put up to glorify God through our time, talent, was an even greater blessing is that we 160 although my children began service
a small store that sells Philippine goods and treasure. were told we could file for citizenship only in July 2008.
and this has sustained us. Yes, there have been so much hard- by July 17! It has truly been a year of fullness for
What is ironic is that these past 13 ships but I can personally say that God The blessings were a perfect ending all of us. We have been challenged in our
months of financial hardship also has also allowed us to experience tri- to the giants of financial hardship, emo- faith and love for God. We had minor
brought many major CFC activities and umphs, particularly in our spiritual life. tional strain and other difficulties that setbacks, yes, but when we aggressively
mission work to our door. This was the I know that God loves us and He has we had to face over the past five years. moved forward for the Lord, we did ex-
time we needed to file for permanent made us whole and strong as individu- It was as if, since we came here prima- perience victory for Him. And so we will
residency and the time to say Yes to als and as a family by the very hardships rily to do God’s work, that the evil one remain here in England but we are now
various mission work. It was a time of and difficulties He has brought our way. was trying to discourage and defocus us more certain than ever that we made the
great uncertainty. Do we really want to I hope that this has allowed me, and from our mission. But our mindset has right decision and more fully convicted
be permanent residents? Should I stay Bong to be more effective evangelizers always been “If we are with God, who in the work that He has asked us to do.
away from mission work and instead fo- in this part of the world. Our broken- can be against us?” We simply prac- We continue to pray that in all things,
cus on the business so that it will grow? ness as a family and God’s gift of whole- ticed obedience to God’s will, prayed a indeed it is Him that we shall glorify.

Catholic / C1
CFC and about CFC caring but was so inspired by what he CFC MisOr’s brochure on the Home and the Church of establishment of the ANCOP states, Build on Christ, taken
for their priests and involving saw and heard, eagerly taking the Congress stated that the the Poor ‘in oneness with the (Answering the Cry of the from Colossians 2:6-7: “Since
actively in parish work that he notes of all that was happen- “1st Northeastern Mindanao Catholic Church.’” Indeed, Poor) Ministry. you have accepted Christ Jesus
vowed to take concrete steps ing. He enthused about the Congress on Clergy-Lay Rela- the positive response to its call Energized by the time with as Lord, live in union with
to welcome and enlist the sup- “uniqueness” and “novelty” tions provides the second wind for oneness with the Catholic the clergy, CFC members came him. Keep your roots deep in
port and cooperation of CFC in of the event, and expressed for CFC members in the area clergy within CABUSTAM, in full force to the 23rd anni- him, build your lives on him,
his parish. the hope that perhaps soon, a to vigorously work harder in will keep CFC-MisOr on track versary of CFC in Misamis Ori- and become stronger in your
One priest from Ozamiz City similar Congress could be held order to accomplish the mis- towards its “expanded mis- ental, joyful and determined to faith, as you were taught. And
attended as a simple observer, in his sub-region. sion of building the Church of sion,” especially with the re- truly, as CFC’s theme for 2010 be filled with thanksgiving.”
CBCP Monitor
C4 Vol. 14 No. 25
December 6 - 31, 2010

CFC MisOr Celebrates 23

years of Faith
Cagayan de Oro before converg- wife Tess. Joe Tale delivered
ing at the venue. the anniversary message while
Community worship pre- Joey gave an inspirational talk.
SOME 5,000 members of Couples ceded the welcome ceremonies, The provincial council of MisOr,
for Christ and its family min- followed by the presentation of Boie Sescon, Jun Fabela, Jinggoy
istries in Cagayan de Oro and joyful praise-dances by the dif- Acebu, and Bing Porsuelo, were
Misamis Oriental gathered at ferent sectors of the province. also on hand to join the celebra-
the “green” MacArthur Park at Jun Waga, Misamis Orien- tions.
the Misamis Oriental Provincial tal Provincial Area Director, Msgr. Tex Legitimas, Vicar of
Capitol grounds in the afternoon welcomed the members and the Archdiocese of Cagayan de
of November 20 to celebrate the the guests from Manila -- Joe Oro, celebrated the Holy Mass
community’s 23rd anniversary. Tale, Chairman of the CFC In- that was the climax of the cel-
To the sound of drums, cym- ternational Council, with wife ebrations. In his homily, Msgr.
bals, and martial music, CFC Babylou, and Joey Arguelles, Tex shared his insights into the
members from all over the prov- the Provincial Area Head for previous night’s first-ever Cler-
ince joined a motorcade that Misamis Oriental and a member gy-Lay Congress in Northeastern
traveled from east to west of of the International Council, and Mindanao, particularly CFC’s
global work and its “Post-Cana”
seminars implemented in all of
Manila’s parishes in collabora-
tion with the Archdiocese of Ma-
nila, and which will be “down-
loaded” to CFCs nationwide. He
particularly exhorted that CFC is
part of the Church and the larger
community, that it is duty-bound
to be fully and actively involved
as a Christ-centered covenant
The anniversary celebrations
ended with a praisefest to the
joyous songs of praise and wor-
ship sung by the Provincial Mu- Joey and Tess Arguelles and Joe and Babylou Tale enjoy the festivities from their front row seats and (in left photo) pose with
sic Ministry. Msgr. Tex and MisOr leaders.

CFC Zambo Sur Celebrates at 18

By Charles B. Zambo embodied in “ONE CFC, ONE MIS- A huge screen showed
SION, ONE GLOBAL ARMY, which congratulatory videotaped
was simply that we all need to work messages from three IC
COUPLES for Christ Pagadian City - as one cohesive team for Christ. members: Melo Villaro-
Zamboanga del Sur celebrated its 18 In the evening, there was a Grand man, Joe Yamamoto and
years of existence on the weekend of Ball hosted by the Family Ministries. Joe Tale. They acknowl-
October 16-17, 2010 with the theme: Because it was in essence a debut, edged the work done by
“Fullness of Life in Christ,” taken there were the usual 18 candles, 18 CFC Zamboanga del Sur.
from Colossians 2:6-7. roses and 18 treasures presentations. Provincial Area Director
Everything was done on a grand And of course, lots of dancing, sing- Jun delos Santos, Provincial
scale. In the morning of October ing and fellowship. Area Head Pempe Deguilmo
16, 2010, a Grand Opening was The following day, CFC Zam- and Regional Head Caloy
hosted by the West Sector which boanga del Sur’s spiritual adviser Subang also delivered their
featured a torch rally, praise dances Rev. Fr. Dodo Suarin celebrated messages. The anniversary
participated in by all CFC members the Holy Mass. In his homily, he was participated by an es-
and its Family Ministries, offering thanked CFC for its untiring efforts timated 3,000 members of
of different fruits and farm prod- in spreading the good news to the CFC, KFC, YFC, SFC, HOLD
ucts acknowledging the bountiful different barangays and towns in the and SOLD.
and countless blessings from the province of Zamboanga del Sur, and The climax of the celebra-
Sovereign Lord and finally a lunch in many other parts of the country tion was the slicing and dis-
fellowship made more enjoyable by and the world. tribution of 18 small cakes
background music performed by the After the mass, a Grand Motorcade and a giant cake which
Provincial Music Ministries from participated in by hundreds of mo- symbolize the community’s
KFC, YFC, SFC and CFC. tor vehicles filled the thoroughfares devout year of unity.
In the afternoon, team building of Pagadian City and ended at the
activities were facilitated by the Pagadian City Gymnasium for the The giant cake and 18 small cakes
East Sector. All the activities were culmination program, which was provide a colorful backdrop for
designed to bring out the message hosted by the Central Sector. Zambo Sur leaders.

29 AD Takes Singapore by Storm Freedom to Love: Applying Theology

By Beng de Leon pray-over. Many more testified on their
IT started with a chance encounter in
the Oceania Leader’s Conference in
experiences particularly on the healing
session and how they had been moved
and touched by the Holy Spirit.
of the Body to Life and Relationships
Melbourne, Australia last May 2010. As preparation for the concert, a and relationships have been broken and
By Mariel Velasco
That chance encounter led to a tentative Dance Workshop was conducted for the human heart continually cries out
invitation to the 29 AD Band to come SFC’s and YFC’s by Believe Dance “THAT conference was amazing!!!” for answers. There is a burning “desire”
to Singapore and do a fundraising Company, who came to Singapore with “Christopher West was awesome!!!” to find satisfaction, to find the purpose
concert. the band. “He reached out to people who are of life and to find healing. Christopher
The wheels, seemingly oiled, rolled Close to a thousand tickets were sold married, single, young and old!!!” West walked the audience through five
quickly from there. First, the National for the 2 shows. The main show was enlightening talks that focused on the
“I can’t wait to tell my friends
Council of Singapore readily approved filled to the brim. freedom to love and the application
at school about what I learned
the project. Then we managed to imme- The first half of the concert was praise of the Theology of the Body to life and
this weekend!!!” These were the relationships.
diately secure the venue, and to finalize music which truly made God’s pres-
expressions and comments from The conference was a resounding
all the little ence felt
in the people who attended the Couples success. Participants now have a better
details from
ticket de- concert for Christ’s Pro-Life Conference understanding of John Paul II’s Theol-
sign to con- venue. on Freedom to Love: Applying ogy of the Body and are encouraged to
cept to the The sec- Theology of the Body to Life and study it more deeply and share what
script. Com- ond half Relationships held on November they have learned with others.
mittees – on was sec- 13, 2010 at Canada Christian Christopher West (born 1969) is a
food, logis- ular mu- College in Toronto, Ontario. Catholic author and speaker, and has He and his wife Wendy reside in
tics, accom- sic and The Theology of the Body is been delivering lectures since 1997, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania,
modation, here, the working title which John Paul mostly on topics such as Christian an- and have five children. He is certi-
production, the au- II gave to the first major teaching thropology, the Creed, morality, sacra- fied as an Instructor of Marriage
marketing, dience project of his pontificate. This ments, marriage, sexuality, and family Preparation from the Archdiocese
etc, were actively includes a collection of 129 papal life. He has also spoken on national of Washington, D.C. In 1997, he
also quickly partici- audiences given from September radio and on television. He is one of the obtained a Master of Theological
formed. pated as 1979 to November 1984. John Paul main educators in the Theology of the Studies at the Pontifical John Paul II
2 9 A D they rec- II’s teaching has been hailed as a Body Institute, which offers graduate Institute for Studies on Marriage and
didn’t only ognized “new sexual revolution,” because level courses and other training pro- Family at The Catholic University
agree to do back to back shows but, the songs from their respective eras. it calls everyone to an authentic grams on the Theology of the Body. of America.
since Singapore wanted to maximize Believe Dance Company energized understanding and living out of
their visit, agreed to conduct workshops the audience with their slick hip hop what it means to be created male
for instrumentalists, singers and prayer and break dance moves. By the third and female in the image and like-
leaders, as well as trainors. song, for both the matinee and the main ness of God.
Bob Serrano of the band also volun- show, the audience was up on their feet, More than 700 people from Cou-
teered to give a healing talk and pray- dancing along. ples for Christ, Singles for Christ,
over session on the Friday before the It was simply an experience to Handmaids of the Lord, CFC Youth
concert. It was all-systems go. And remember. Every soul was lifted up. and several other community
when the band finally arrived and began Everyone forgot their day-to-day groups, including many non-Fili-
their scheduled activities, it was a great worries. Every sick person was lifted pinos, listened to Christopher West,
experience for all. in prayer. Everyone went home with a a dynamic, engaging, and deeply
The teaching workshops were well- smile and with a story to tell. moving speaker. West translated
attended. The healing talk was very 29AD concluded its mission to and conveyed John Paul II’s study
solemn, especially since the band sang Singapore with a simple fellowship of human sexuality to a level that
beautiful songs as a backdrop to the with their respective hosts and service people could easily understand.
pray-over session. One CFC sister later teams the following day. It was also The teachings of Pope John Paul
testified, during Singapore’s monthly time to thank each other for touching acknowledge that we live in a sexu-
prayer assembly that she was healed each other’s lives in a very special ally wounded culture. Our hearts
of her thyroid problems during the way.