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March 18 - 31, 2013

Vol. 17 No. 06

Php 20.00

Under a brilliant sunshine and blue skies, the petrine ministry of Pope Francis formally begins with an inaugural Mass attended by a huge number of pilgrims and foreign leaders that filled the Vaticans St. Peter Square. Addressing an estimated 200,000 people, the former Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio called on global leaders to care for all creation, particularly the weak and the poor, emphasizing the Churchs mission to defend the disadvantaged.

Pope calls for protection of life, environment

By Pinky Barrientos, FSP

Save Pinoys in Sabah, bishops urge govt

SAVE our people with honor. The Mindanao bishops aired a collective appeal on the government to do its utmost to save the lives of Filipinos caught in the ongoing violence in Sabah. They said government leaders, more than just merely telling Filipinos to get out of Sabah, should do more for the sake of life and peace. The bishops urged the Aquino government to support the appeal of the United Nations for an immediate end of the violence in Sabah and to press upon the two contending forces to heed the UN call. They also called on the government to resume the diplomatic work of resolving the propriety and the sovereignty question, a task historically entrusted to the government by the Sultanate of Sulu; and to ensure the withdrawal with honor of armed forces from the area. Malaysian forces and armed followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III have been locked in a standoff since last month that left at least 61 people dead. The bishops said that even if the government may not agree with the methods used by the Sultans family in laying their claim on Sabah, the fact is: Filipino lives have been lost. Even now Filipino lives are at stake. They were lost because they believed they have a right to reclaim a naturally rich territory for which they are being paid a measly sum every year. We cannot simply let them sacrifice more lives for that cause, they furthered. The prelates are counting on government leaders from both sides to demonstrate wisdom and statesmanship in preventing further bloodshed and resolving the basic issues that resulted in tragedy.
Sabah / A7

POPE Francis has urged for protection of life and creation, saying it is everyones vocationChristians or notto be protectors of Gods gifts.
Addressing a crowd of an estimated 200,000 during his inaugural Mass at St. Peters Square, the pope stressed

the responsibility of human beings to respect and protect one another and the environment. I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be protectors of creation, protectors of Gods plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment, the Holy Fatherwhose namesake St. Francis, was a lover of creationsaid. With his homily focusing on St.

Joseph, at whose solemnity he begins his Petrine ministry, the pope told the faithful to learn from the examples of the saint who listened attentively to Gods voice. Stressing St. Josephs vocation as the protector of Mary and Jesus and of the universal Church, the pontiff urged the faithful to follow his lead. Through the examples of St. Joseph, we learn how to respond to Gods call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! the pontiff said. Let

us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation! The pope urged everyone to respect and protect people, and show loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. Being protector also means caring for one another in our families, the pope continued, husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as
Protection / A6

2K students gather for voters education

SC stops RH implementation
PPCRV-Youth Volunteers Facebook page

THE issuance by the Supreme Court of a status quo ante (SQA) order against Republic Act (RA) 10354 on March 19 has indicated that the petitions filed against the law triumphed in showing the vital need for the high court to study the petitions further, a lawyer said. The Supreme Court is giving proper attention to the petitions and has decided to give a 4-month cool-off

period in order for the parties to prepare for the oral arguments in June. It also means that the petitions have succeeded in presenting a justiciable case worthy of the SCs time and judicial attention as the highest court of our country, explained Atty. James Imbong, Petitioner and/or Legal Counsel of the Petitioners in the case titled Spouses Imbong vs. Executive Secretary, et al.,

and the first to file a petition against the RH law, on January 2 this year. The issuance of an SQA order in whatever case indicates a not to make a move directive, in that the court decides to keep things as they were in the beginning, the lawyer explained, adding that by beginning is meant the moment the case was filed before the court. Todays development was

not due to merits of the case but was a practical action by a court. Practical because the court simply wants the parties not to make a move while the court is going into the merits of the controversy itself, Imbong said. In the case of the SQA order against the RH law, this means that the court, as sole arbiter of judicial questions, has

Implementation / A7

Divorce not the answer to failing marriages, lay people told

WITH the divorce bill looming in the horizon, a Catholic priest has urged the people to throw the measure on the back burner as it does not really solve the issue of failing marriages among couples. Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said the proposed House Bill 1799 only weakens the sanctity of marriage and threatens the moral preservation of the Filipino family. Divorce would only further weaken the institution of marriage and family. As it is, the marriage and family are already threatened from within (i.e. internal problems), but with a law we bring an external pressure as well, he said. Of all the moral and legal implications of the bill, Castro noted that the weakening of the family poses a serious damage to the society as both relate to each other on directly proportionate means. Any institution, including the Church, is based on the family. And the family is created by a man and woman who enter the covenant of marriage. Weaken that basic unit, you weaken all the other institutions. Strengthen it and you strengthen society as well, he said.
Divorce / A6

Thousands of students from various schools in the National Capital Region trained in election engagement during a youth congress held at Pasig Catholic College.

IN a bid to educate young people, mostly voters for the upcoming 2013 Midterm Elections, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting together with the National Capital Region (NCR) Youth Coordinating Council held the 1st PPCRV-NCR campus youth congress last March 8. Attended by around 2,000 students from schools, colleges and universities
Education / A7

Fr. Melvin Castro

No such thing as a good political Cardinal Tagle gets spike in Facebook likes LUIS Antonio Cardinal Tagles Facebook page showed an unusual spike in dynasty Senatoriable
WITH the coming May elections seeing successors and would-be heirs to political families jockeying for public office, one senatoriable claims, There is no such thing as a good political dynasty. In a talk during a youth vote forum for University of Asia and the Pacific students, Ang Kapatiran senatoriable Lito David said, all political dynasties are designed to control the flow of information, resources, and the process of legislation and policy-making. According to David, the undeniable might of the Filipino political family traces its roots back to the Marcos regime. Greatest frustration The cronyism of the Marcos
Dynasty / A6

Jandel Posion / CBCP Media

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

likes, growing by more than 5,000 in just four days. The notable increase was particularly started a day before the cardinals around the world sequestered themselves in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican for the conclave. As of March 13, over 130,000 people have liked Tagles Facebook page, which is run by Jesuit Communications. The increase actually started [on
Likes / A7



World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

Pope Francis could renew Catholicism in Americas, says Knights chief

ROME, Italy, March 15, 2013 Just as Pope John Paul II influenced many in Poland, the rise of an Argentinian to the papacy is set to dramatically change the lives of many Christians, according to the head of the Knights of Columbus. "I think it offers the same kind of a potential for a great renewal of Catholicism and Christianity all throughout the Western Hemisphere," Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said March 15. Just two days ago, the 76-yearold head of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected Pope. A humble man by all accounts, the Jesuit priest took the name Francis after the famous 13th-century saint of Assisi. Anderson compared the recent election to Bl. John Paul II's election in 1978 that brought hope to Eastern Europeans in the midst of the Cold War. "35 years later now," he told CNA, "we have a Pope coming from Latin America, from the Americas, and I'm sure in the United States so many millions of Hispanic Catholics are looking now to Pope Francis as someone who will really change their lives for the better, too." Since 1881, Anderson's Knights have made it their mission to offer assistance to people throughout the Americas and abroad according to their founding principles of charity, unity their 1.8 million members. They have also been prominent in promoting Bl. John Paul II's idea of uniting North and South as "a single entity with a Christian heritage and a Christian future," as Anderson put it. The Knights are enthused that this concept is well engrained in the experience of the Buenos Aires-born Pope. "Pope Francis speaks directly to that, is a product of that," said Anderson. "His entire ministry has been that and so we're going to be strongly united with him in moving this forward." Their work of better uniting members of the Catholic Church in the Americas has been given a major boost with the election of a Latin American pope. "I think the next step will be to bring this reflection more closely into North America and into the entire Western Hemisphere, that we can begin to do the work, not just speak about the potential but begin the actualization of the potential." For the Knights, said the Supreme Knight, "it's going to be a very important pontificate." As for their specific work at this point, he concluded, "we need to take our part and cooperate with so many others in the Church's reality, build the Church like the Lord said to Francis and I think we're going to see Him say the same thing to Pope Francis." (CNA)

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson speaks with CNA in Rome on March 15, 2013.

and fraternity. Their presence is felt throughout the United

Chinese bishops and priests waiting for Pope Francis to visit Asia
inspired by him. For a bishop in Xian province, the new pope is a great man. His election fills us with joy. I believe he will bring a new vision to the universal Church because he comes from another continent. I hope he can visit Asian countries. I am really happy for the new pope, said a Chinese priest in Beijing who, over the past few days, shared the joy he felt on his personal blog. I will continue to pray for Pope Francis. Speaking about the election of a Latin American pope, a Catholic nun said she was happy and surprised, adding, I thank God and pray for Pope Francis. I am convinced that he brings fresh hope to the Church and the world. (AsiaNews)

Humble pope may signal change for Asia

JAKARTA, Indonesia, March 15, 2013 Catholic leaders and civil society organizations said on Friday that the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis signals hope that the Vatican will pay closer attention to the needs of the poor throughout the world, particularly Indonesia. Archbishop Johannes Maria Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta of Semarang said the selection of the name Francis, which is reminiscent of St Francis of Assisi, was symbolically important. As an individual and also representative of the Indonesia Bishops Conference, I express great joy over the election of Pope Francis. Civil society workers have said the simplicity of the new popes life while he served in Buenos Aires was a character trait that could well inspire Catholics to refocus their faith. Yesterday I read an article saying that [then] Cardinal Bergoglio always called on the people of Argentina not to travel to Rome for Easter or Christmas but rather donate the money they would have spent on travel to the poor, said Eveline Winarko, coordinator of the Community of SantEgidio in Jakarta. I hope that Pope Francis will help the Church to better reflect its true mission to love and serve the poor and suffering. Maria Yohanista Djou, who works

States, Mexico and the Caribbean and even overseas through

David Uebbing / CNA

BEIJING, China, March 14, 2013We thank God for giving Pope Francis to the universal Church. We shall continue to pray for him. We are looking forward to see him in Asia, said Chinese bishops, priests, religious and lay people. Through AsiaNews, they are able to express their joy for the election of the new pope, noting that they have been

with the Catholic-affiliated NGO Mitra ImaDei that works with women and minority groups, said she hoped Pope Francis would help improve respect and opportunities for women. Our Church remains far from the teachings of Jesus. Women are still regarded as a second class group. Meanwhile, Lambert Pekikir, head of the Free Papua Movement, said a new pope who is perceived to be closer to the poor and disenfranchised could help end injustice in the country. As a Catholic who leads the movement, I hope the Holy Father will open his heart to see the problems in Papua which have persisted for more than 50 years. (UCAN)


Catholic group marks St. Patricks love for the Irish

NEW YORK City, N.Y., March 16, 2013St. Patricks Day is a time to remember the saints tremendous love for the Irish people, says the head of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a U.S. fraternal organization. St. Patrick had had such a widespread impact on Irish spirituality and Irish culture, the direction that the nation took, group president Brendan Moore told CNA March 12. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a U.S.-based Irish-American Catholic fraternal organization with over 80,000 members in 46 U.S. states, Canada and Ireland. One of its inspirations is St. Patrick, whose feast day is observed March 17 this Sunday. The saint was born in Romanized Britain in the late fourth century. While a teenager, he was captured and enslaved by Irish raiders. He lived as a shepherd before he escaped and returned home. He then returned as a missionary and became known for his life of sacrifice, prayer and fasting. Although he was not the first Christian missionary to Ireland, he is widely regarded as the most successful. Moore said St. Patricks Day is a tremendous day of celebration not only of the saint, but also of the achievements of the Irish people in the U.S. In addition to the holidays spiritual dimension, he said St. Patricks Day is a day of sharing our culture, of which we are most proud. He noted the quality of Irish music and dance and Irish accomplishment in sports and other areas. Hibernians often mark the day by taking part in parades, holding dance exhibitions, and hosting pipe bands. They also hold special St. Patricks Day Masses for their members and invite non-members to attend. Moore, the son of Irish immigrants, said St. Patricks Day in Ireland is traditionally a religious holiday. There was very little of the celebration that we know in the public venue today in the United States, he explained. Moore lamented what he said is a creeping deterioration of the meaning of St. Patricks Day that can degrade it in the eyes of some Irish-Americans. For example, the emphasis on heavy drinking, he said, overshadows the day. He noted that this has helped perpetuate stereotypes in some very, very offensive materials. These include sweatshirts and t-shirts being produced by major brands that really should know better, Moore said. The Hibernians in particular object to some clothing sold by Spencers, Urban Outfitters and Wal-Mart that associates the Irish and St. Patricks Day with drunkenness. Moore said the Hibernians reject negative portrayals of the Irish and any other ethnic or religious group. He also voiced hope that the good in St. Patricks Day celebrations outweighs the bad. Moore said that his order encourages its members to show charity to everyone we meet, a reflection of the Hibernians principles of friendship, unity and Christian charity.
Daniel OConnell / Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Catholics in Bangladesh: With Pope Francis, the Church is more universal

DHAKA, March 15, 2013A more universal church and one that is increasingly composed of contributions from every corner of the world. This is the image imprinted in the hearts of Catholics in Bangladesh after the election of Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope and Jesuit. A figure known by few in the Asian country, but who has already won many over by his open nature and the importance he has given to evangelization. On 13 March, the day of his election, white smoke started at 19:06 (Italian time) in Bangladesh it was one in the morning, but many were up to follow the live broadcast and ran to wake their families to find out who would appear on the loggia of the basilica. Some Catholics told AsiaNews that the speed with which the election took placeafter five ballotsis a cause of happiness, because it signifies that the Cardinals have found the right person. The hope now is that Pope Francis will visit Asia as soon as possible, perhaps even Bangladesh. Hes older than we had bargained forthey saybut this is not a handicap. You could carefully plan a route that is not too strenuous, even in places as far away as Asia. Nobody demands that a pope go everywhere. And the distant origins of Pope Francis chosen by the cardinals from close to the end of the world, as he himself said in his first speech to the faithful in St. Peters Square makes him close to the Asian people. He comes from Argentina they note a country far from the geographic center of the Church and also from the theological center, just like Bangladesh and other Asian nations. He will undoubtedly have some say a special sensitivity and attention to our reality. Out of a population of 161 million people, Bangladeshi Catholics are a minority of just 0.1%, against a population that is 89.5% Muslim and 9.6% Hindu. Although there are no official figures, it is estimated that every year thousands of people are converting to Catholicism. (AsiaNews)

Members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians from Hamilton County, Ohio.

Vatican Briefing
Pope keeps motto of mercy from Buenos Aires

Pope Francis decided that he would keep both the motto and coat of arms that he used during his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The motto has a particular meaning in life and spiritual journey of the Pope, a March 18 statement from the Vatican press office says. In fact, on the feast of St. Matthew in 1953, the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio experienced at the age of 17 years old, in a very special way, the loving presence of God in his life. The motto, miserando atque eligendo, was inspired by St. Bede the Venerables commentary on Matthews Gospel. The Latin motto stands for having had mercy, he called him. (CNA)
Pope tells Argentinians to help poor instead of coming to Rome

Pope Francis told the Apostolic Nuncio to Argentina to ask his countrymen not to travel to Italy for the ceremony that will begin his pontificate. Tell the bishops and the faithful to make an offering and an act of solidarity to the poor with the money instead, said the Vaticans press office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi. Lombardi spoke March 15 with the nuncio, Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig, who confirmed that Pope Francis had telephoned him on the night of his election. But those who know him find this very normal, since it is his style, said Fr. Lombardi at the Vaticans media center. (CNA)
Confession key to Church renewal, Cardinal Wuerl reflects

In addition to that, I think were charged with the responsibility to recognize around us that there are terrible needs in society and that we are required to reach out to those in need, he told CNA. The organization particularly focuses on hunger relief. At the Hibernians founding in New York City in 1836, members helped Irish immigrants who were leaving their ships to the U.S. in a state of starvation with nowhere to go. When Hurricane Sandy struck the northeastern U.S. in late October 2012, an estimated 500 Hibernian members were among the many victims. The Hibernians launched a special relief fund, collected supplies and sent in squads of volunteers in what Moore said was a tremendous effort to help repair the damage. We were kind of overwhelmed, both with the response of our membership in terms of donations and assistance, and also with the applications for help that poured in, Moore said. The organization has received about 250 applica-

tions for assistance and has distributed close to $250,000 in direct aid. Hibernian volunteers from places like Albany, far from the coasts, still travel to help clean homes. Some are still surveying storm victims to see what their needs are. Moore said the Hibernians are growing as an organization at a time when many other groups member rolls are stagnant or shrinking. In many areas of the country, we seem to be attracting members who are in their 20s and 30s. Oftentimes they are young professionals. The men Hibernians recently launched a new division in Dubuque, Iowa. In Texas a new division will launch soon. In Houston and discussions are underway for a new division in Dallas. Divisions in Virginia have increased by 20 percent and there are as many as nine divisions in South Carolina. Membership in the Ancient Order of Hibernians is open to Catholic men age 16 or older of Irish descent. The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians is a separatelyrun partner organization for Irish-American Catholic women. (CNA)

In a March 10 homily in Rome, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. emphasized the importance of the sacrament of confession in liberating the faithful and leading them back to God. It remains one of the great marvels of Gods love that God would make forgiveness so readily available to each of us, Cardinal Wuerl said. In the simple actions of contrition, confession, absolution, and satisfaction we are restored to a whole new life, he explained. The cardinals comments came during his homily at Saint Peter in Chains, his titular church in Rome. Since cardinals are part of the clergy of Rome, each is given a titular parish, which they are responsible for supporting. (CNA)
Muslim leaders express hopes for improved relations with Catholics

South Korean foundation gives Indonesian priest award for peace action in Papua
JAKARTA, Indonesia, March 16, 2013 In light of his efforts in favor of dialogue between Indonesian authorities and pro-independence Papuan activists, Fr. Neles Tebay received the 2013 Peace Award from the Seoul-based Korean Tji Haksoon Justice and Peace Foundation. He has no intention to stop until real peace talks get underway. The Indonesian priest, who is based in the Archdiocese of Jayapura (Papua) where he serves as the dean of the Fajar Timur High School of Philosophy and Theology, was recognized for his work in building peaceful channels of communication between the Indonesian government and separatist groups. Working in cooperation with Protestant clergymen in the Papuan Peace Network (Jaringan Damai Papua or JDP), Fr. Tebay, who is also a member of the Papuan Interfaith Forum for Religious Leaders, has nurtured hope for peace in the province. He has done so by listening to the demands of pro-independence groups and building bridges with the central government, work that is crucial to prevent violence and a region-wide conflict in the resourcerich province. Speaking to AsiaNews on the eve of his departure for Seoul for the award ceremony, Fr. Tebay said he would pursue his action until the dream of peace talks is realised. Tensions have persisted in the region for at least 50 years, he said with civilians paying the price. Still he is especially happy that his work is appreciated by international organizations as well as local groups. In 2001, Indonesia granted Papua a high degree of autonomy. However, devolution has never been implemented and indigenous peoples continue to complain about unfair treatment. Since Indonesia officially annexed in 1969 under strongman Sukarno (19671998) by taking advantage of temporary UN rules, the province has had to endure the invasion of foreign and Indonesian companies, sparking the rise of a separatist movement. The current name of the province came into use in 2002 under then President Abdurrahman Wahid. (AsiaNews)

Muslim leaders expressed hopes the new pope would help improve relations between Muslims and Catholics. A spokesman for Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, president of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, said he hoped Pope Francis election would help normalize relations with the world of Islam. We are hoping for better relations with the Vatican after the election of the new pope, said Mahmoud Azab, adviser to el-Tayeb on interfaith issues, March 13. Egypts Al-Azhar University, a world-renowned center of Sunni Islam scholarship, suspended dialogue with the Vatican in 2011 to protest Pope Benedict XVIs remarks about anti-Christian violence in Egypt and the need to protect religious minorities there. (CNS)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

News Features


Pope Francis greets cheering, flag-waving crowd at first Angelus

VATICAN City, March 17, 2013Tens of thousands of pilgrims packed St. Peters Square and adjoining streets March 17 to hear Pope Francis deliver his first Angelus, saying prayers at noon and greeting pilgrims not only from Rome but from around the world. The crowd, which nearly filled the square an hour before the pope appeared high above them in his apartment window, waved handkerchiefs, flags from their homelands, banners with names of religious movements or messages of congratulations to the new pontiff. The pilgrims, dressed in winter coats, gathered under cloudy skies and cool weather. They were a mixture of all ages: children on parents shoulders, elderly couples, men and women religious, television camera crews and groups of teenagers. Some groups prayed quietly while others sang, danced and showed their support, not only of the new pope, but also of pride in their homeland as they held aloft flags or even painted flags on their faces. As they awaited the popes arrival, many caught a glimpse of him on a Jumbotron television screen showing him greeting parishioners at the nearby Church of St. Anne after the Mass he had just celebrated. As people pointed to the screen, some noted that he looked like a parish priest simply greeting people outside after Mass. Many in St. Peters Square had been in the same location a few days before when the new pope was announced, and few people knew much about him. Four days later, this crowd knew quite a bit more about Pope Francis, and they were ready to welcome him and hear what he had to say. Several pilgrims who spoke to Catholic News Service said they were impressed with the popes simple style. Gulsham Minj, a seminarian from the Archdiocese of Ranchi, India, studying at the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome, said it was a historic moment to hear the popes first Angelus. He said he admires the simplicity of Pope Francis, saying it enables people to feel the essence of Jesus. Onismo Makova, a fellow seminarian from Zimbabwe, said that when he first heard the popes name announced March 13 he was a little worried because he did not know about him and had not heard his name mentioned as a potential candidate. But within a few days, he said, he became convinced that the cardinals selection was the work of the Holy Spirit. Makova said being there for the announcement of the new pope and watching his first actions has deepened his own spiritual life. Thaddeus Howard, a sophomore from the University of Dallas who is attending his spring semester at the Catholic colleges Rome campus, shared the same view as many other pilgrims. He was excited to be there and thrilled with everything he has seen and read about Pope Francis in recent days. Howard, a native of Buford, Ga., said the popes simple actions of praying in a local church and even paying his own hotel bill show how humble he is. He said the pope is living out how we are to live as ChrisHundreds of thousands of pilgrims fill the expanse of St. Peter's Square tians. Howard said to celebrate the inauguration of Pope Francis. he was initially thrilled that he He proceeded to speak only in Italian would be in Rome for Holy Week. He but appeared to often speak off the cuff, never imagined the semester would also telling an anecdote to illustrate Gods include a conclave and the installation unending mercy. Less than 15 minutes of a new pope. later, after praying with the crowd below Im so happy. Im so blessed, he said. and asking for their prayers, he told them He was not only one feeling this way. to have a good lunch and departed. When Pope Francis appeared in the winThe crowd shouted Viva il papa, dow March 17, the crowd burst into cheers. then people slowly worked their way They laughed when he greeted them through the packed streets of Rome. casually, saying buongiorno (good day). (CNS)

ECY releases updated module of Youth for HOPE

MANILA, March 11, 2013 Modules of Youth for HOPE or Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections which was released last 2001 was updated this year in time with the upcoming 2013 midterm elections in May. Prepared by the CBCPs Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) few elections back as a concrete response to the need to form young people in social awareness and involvement, and as a particular tool to aid the youth ministries, the module has been revised to make it more relevant and ready for use by youth ministers with the young people. Titled Kabataang Bayani: Youth for HOPE, the module is a concrete action for the young people to know how to exercise their right to suffrage. According to ECY, this formation program aims to bring out the hero that is in each young person, believing that young people have the power to effect change, especially in our society, and that they are indeed the hope for a better world. The expanded program include a formation module, and an invitation for young people to be pro-active in the midst of socio-political issues which aims to provide a venue for Filipino youth to become more aware of the countrys socio-political scene and make them realize their vital role in transforming the situation. The module will also help form the youth into conscientious citizens and inspire them to concretely express their love of country by participating actively and responsibly in the national and local elections. It also promotes a holding of simultaneous prayer services on the eve of every national and local elections, where the youth, together with the members of their communityat home, among friends and peers, in the parish, diocese or organization pray for honest, orderly and peaceful elections (HOPE). The module has included three workshops. The first workshop titled May Pakiramdam Ka Ba? aims to bring to participants awareness and process their feelings regarding their experience/s of past elections and/or the upcoming one, reflect on their voting behavior and value system and how these contribute to the prevailing political and electoral culture; and identify behavior, value systems

Pope Francis: Dont give in to pessimism, courageously share Gospel

VATICAN City, March 14, 2013Never give in to the devils pessimism, discouragement and bitterness, Pope Francis said; Christians need to share the Gospel message with joy and courage because it will truly answer peoples deepest needs. Young people also need the wisdom and knowledge of older people, whose insight is like fine wine that gets better with age, he told the College of Cardinals March 15. His remarks came during a meeting in the Clementine Hall in the apostolic palace with all the cardinals who were present in Rome, including the nonelector cardinals who were over the age of 80 and did not vote in the conclave. Wearing a simple white papal cassock without the red mozzetta, the pope looked relaxed and comfortable during the meeting, diverging often from his prepared text and speaking heart-to-heart in off-the-cuff comments. Dear brothers, perhaps half of us are in our old age, he said with a smile. But the 76-year-old pope said he likes to think of old age as a sign of wisdom. Like the elderly Simeon and elderly Anna in the temple, he said, they had the knowledge and wisdom from lifes journey to recognize Jesus. Lets give this knowledge to young people, like fine wine that gets better with age, lets give young people the knowledge of life, he said. In his 13-minute talk, Pope Francis thanked everyone in the college and the Vatican for their support and help during the interregnum. He thanked the faithful who turned out in St. Peters Square the night of his election March 13, saying the image of so many people gathered in prayer and joy was still engrained in my mind. He also thanked his venerated predecessor, retired Pope Benedict XVI, for having enriched and reinvigorated the church with his magisterium, goodness, guidance, faith, humility and gentleness, which remain as a spiritual heritage for everyone. He said Pope Benedict has lit a flame deep in our hearts, which will continue to burn because it will be fed by his prayers, which will still support the church in her spiritual and missionary journey. Pope Francis said that, with his pontificate, he will serve the Gospel with renewed love, helping the church become ever more in Christ and with Christ. In the context of the Year of Faith, established by Pope Benedict, we will strive to faithfully respond to the continuing mission: Bring Jesus Christ to humanity and lead people to an encounter with Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life, he said. Pope Francis recalled his predecessors message that it is Christ through his spirit, not individuals, leading the church through history. We never give in to pessimism, that bitterness that the devil offers us every day, knowing the Holy Spirits life-giving and unifying force is at work, he told the cardinals. Never give in to discouragement either, he said, because we have the firm certainty that the Holy Spirit gives the church, with its powerful breeze, the courage to persevere and also to find new methods of evangelization, to bring the Gospel to the far ends of the earth. The Christian truth is attractive and persuasive because it responds to humanitys deepest needs, he said, adding that the Gospel is as valid and applicable to the world today as it was thousands of years ago. The pope tripped, but did not fall after he stood up from the papal chair without realizing it was on a platform elevated a few steps off the ground when he went to greet the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. In his opening remarks, the cardinal, speaking on behalf of the whole college, thanked the pope for having accepted, with a great and generous heart, the Lords invitation to lead the universal church. The papacy is a demanding job, Cardinal Sodano said, but the pope will have the help of the Holy Spirit. Pope Francis told the cardinals he hoped theyd return home enriched by their experience in Romean event that was so charged with faith and ecclesial communion. The conclave and the days of preparation before it provided a unique experience that was marked by great cordiality, he said. This is good because we are brothers, he said, who are part of a community and a friendship that is good for everyone. The cardinals sense of openness and mutual friendship helped the Holy Spirit do its part during the conclave, he said. One curiosity, the pope noted, is that the Holy Spirit is a sort of apostle of Babel that creates the differences in the church. But on the other hand, he said, its the same Holy Spirit that unites these differences, not in equality but in harmony, by focusing everyones different gifts on the adoration of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. After his talk, Pope Francis personally greeted each of the cardinals present. Some of them offered him gifts, books or letters; another gave him two small bags of religious objects to bless. Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa, gave the pope a yellow wristband, which the pope immediately placed on his wrist. (CNS)

and practices that needs to be maintained and/or transformed. Workshop 2 which is Konek Ka Riyan! aims to promote a deeper understanding of coexistence and co-responsibility by enabling the participants to realize that all people are part of the society and that what we do, or do not do, contributes to the situation that our society is in. The 3rd workshop, titled Vote ko to, aims to instill in young people a greater love of country, to empower them to dream of a better world and see how this can take shape through the choices that they make, particularly in the coming elections. The formation program has three components, namely the formation module: Make It Happen, the re-entry component which is Make A Stand (concrete political action), and liturgy, A Candle for HOPE. Make it happen aims to instill in the minds of young people a deeper love for country and an awareness and appreciation of their ability to effect social transformation while Make A Stand is a re-entry session that invites and guides the youth to commit to a concrete political action from among possible ways of active participation in the electoral process in particular, and in social transformation in general. A Candle for HOPE is an activity started last May 2001 elections enjoining the young to light a candle at exactly 6 pm on the eve of the elections and pray for an Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections. Youth organizations and movements who are interested to know more about the formation program may call the ECY office at (02) 527-9567 or 527-9566 and visit the website www.cbcpecy.ph. (Jandel Posion)


Without Christ crucified, Church a pitiful organization, pope says

VATICAN City, March 14, 2013The day after he was elected, Pope Francis emphasized that every believer including bishops, cardinals and Popes must proclaim Jesus crucified to be true Christians. We can build so many things but if we dont confess Jesus Christ, then something is wrong. We will become a pitiful NGO, but not the Church, spouse of Christ, Pope Francis said in his March 14 homily. He who doesnt pray to God prays to the Devil, the Pope added in an apparent quote. Pope Francis made his remarks at the Mass to close the conclave on Thursday evening in the Sistine Chapel with all of the cardinal electors present. He asserted that the common theme to all three of todays Scripture readings is movement: the first reading, the movement of walking; the second reading, the movement of building; and the third, the Gospel, is in confession. To walk, to build, to confess. But, its not such an easy thing, he noted. In walking, in building, in confession, sometimes there are shocks, there are movements, moments that are not proper to our journey. They are movements that drag us backwards. P o p e Francis then turned his thoughts to the Gospel reading from Matthew in which Peter confesses Jesus is the Christ. T h i s i s Pope Francis the same Peter who confesses to Christ, who says you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. I will follow you, but lets not speak of crosses! This has nothing to do with it. I will follow you with other possibilities, without the Cross, he said, characterizing Peters reaction. And, if we walk without the Cross, how much do we build without the Cross? And, when we confess Christ without the Cross, then we are not disciples of the Lord. The Pope then applied his words to himself and his brother cardinals, saying, We might be bishops, priests, cardinals and Popes, but we are not disciples of the Lord if we leave the Cross behind. I would like all of us, after these days of grace, to have the courage, precisely the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the cross of the Lord, to edify the Church in the blood of the Lord poured out on the cross and to confess the only glory that of Christ crucified. And, in this way, the Church will move forward, he said as he finished his homily. Pope Francis next event will be a congratulatory meeting with all of the cardinals, both those who are retired and those who are still active, at 1:00 p.m. in the Vaticans Clementine Hall. On Saturday morning, he will hold an audience with journalists and media personnel in the Paul VI Hall, as his predecessors did. Pope Francis will pray the Angelus and make remarks from the window of his apartment at noon on Sunday. He will be installed as Pope on March 19 at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peters Square. (CNA/ EWTN News)

Couples told to make marriage work, say no to divorce

MANILA, March 12, 2013Falling out of love, having irreconcilable differences, and suffering from marital abuse are among the most common reasons why unhappily married couples choose to cut their marital ties. With marriage as a sacrament bound by a covenant with God, church leaders and Catholic lay groups staunchly oppose measures that pose threats against its sanctity. Just recently, the clamor for the passage of House Bill 1799 (divorce bill) intensified as some lawmakers introduced it as another option for couples in failed and irreparable marriages. Talk over differences, reignite the love Countering this clamor, marriage consultants Tiburcio Tibbs and Evangeline Vangie Evalle called on married couples not to resort to drastic measures of dissolving their marriage whenever they encounter hardships in their relationship. Instead, they should settle their problems by talking over their differences and re-igniting the love they once shared. In their talk dubbed Til death do us part held at the Santuario de San Jose Parish in Greenhills, San Juan, the speakers from Educhild Foundation suggested that married couples strive to save their marriage by rekindling their romance, communicating effectively, knowing their boundaries, and praying for spiritual guidance. To have a happy marriage does not come by itself. There are sorrows, difficulties, trials, differences, and conflicts that come with it. Despite that, marriage remains to be a very wonderful thing, Vangie said. Know, understand your spouses needs According to her, an effective way to rekindle romance between couples is to love ones spouse the way he wants to be loved, knowing his needs, understanding differences in personality, expressing love languages, and being a better lover. To rekindle romance, you have to know the needs of your spouse, she said. Vangie noted the need for husbands to express sincere affection towards their wives, and for the wives to fulfill their sexual responsibility to their husbands, explaining pointing to the different hierarchy of built-in needs in both sexes. The sexual act is not part of the womans need. However, because we want to fulfill the need of our husband and we do not want him getting it from any other woman, we have to show our love to him, she said. Tibbs added that among the main causes of marital infidelity are instances in which the spouse fails to be sexually responsive to the needs of the husband. Women, too, have personal needs fulfilled by their husbands. It is just a matter of give and take, he added. Effective communication comprises a vital aspect in the success of a marriage. This can be observed by practicing clear and open verbal and non-verbal communication, applying conflict resolution, and emphatic listening in the couples marital relations, Vangie pointed out. Of course, there are differences and conflicts. Those things are normal because you are two different persons the one being a man, the other being a woman. We all have physical and emotional differences. What is important is we talk about it, she said. Vangie added that prudence in relations with members of the opposite sex must be practiced by knowing ones limitations in communicating with others to avoid jealousy and misunderstanding between couples. Tibbs stressed that the most vital step for couples is to ask for spiritual guidance from God for them to successfully surpass any challenge that might confront their marriage. We have to pray together frequently so that the graces we receive during marriage increases for life, he said, adding that prayer is the best weapon to drive away temptation. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)





CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

The Good Shepherd in Pope Francis

FROM the time he emerged from the St. Peters loggia at the announcement of the Habemus Papam up to his inaugural on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Pope Francis has already endeared millions of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. His seeming spontaneity and his brand of simplicity or poverty is so apt with the unprecedented papal nomenclature that he assumedafter St. Francis of Assisi who, in his time, pursued rebuilding the church with evangelical spirituality and radical poverty. In Argentina where he was once a Jesuit Provincial and, years later, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he simply goes by the name Fr. Jorge who is popularly known for taking the bus, cooking his own meals, paying his own bills, spending time with the people in the streets and living in utter simplicity. Now as Pope Francis he still dons the same austerity. With little modification, he adapts the coat of arms he used as Cardinal Bergoglio. And so is his papal motto which is the same as the one he used as bishop: miserando atque eligendo, taken from a homily of the Venerable Bede on the call of St. Matthew that runs Jesus saw the tax collector and by having mercy chose him as an Apostle saying to him, follow me. This early, this already tells about what route his petrine ministry is going to take. Expectedly, Argentines celebrated when one of their own was chosen as the new pope that, in a few days, has won the admiration and esteem of the whole world. But not the Kirchner government that, through its own newspaper Pagina 12, did not wait a day to launch a smear campaign against the Holy Father. The Wall Street Journal reports that Horacio Verbitsky, editor of this progovernment paper and a former member of the guerilla group known as Montoneros, has dug up an old issue that associated Bergoglio who was then a Jesuit Provincial with the so-called Dirty War of Argentina in the 70s. Mary Anastasia OGrady of Wall Street Journal writes: The calumny is not new. Former members of terrorist groups like Mr. Verbitsky have used the same tactics for years to try to destroy their enemiesanyone who doesnt endorse their brand of authoritarianism. In this case they allege that as the Jesuits provincial superior in Argentina in the 1970s, then Fr. Bergoglio had links to the military government What embitters them is that Fr. Bergoglio believed that Marxism (and the related liberation theology) was antithetical to Christianity and refused to embrace it in the 1970s. That put him in the way of those inside the Jesuit order at the time who believed in the revolution. If such should be the case, then we have a strong man in Pope Francis who is not only staunchly pro-poor, pro-environment and pro-life, but a good shepherd who can use his staff to parry the attacks of modern-day wolves. Or, like his shepherd Master, who can harness his inner spiritual strength to withstand the lashes, crowns of thorns and the crosses of this generation.
Illustration by Bladimer Usi

Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church

IT is the one and only institution in the world that is universal in membership coming from all cultures and languages, from all races and colors in all the continents on earth. It is the one and only living and surviving entity on earth that is more than 2000 years oldand counting. It is the one and only Church whose central government is identified with a State pursuant to a Geneva Convention that receives ambassadors from different countries and also sends ambassadors thereto as Apostolic Nuncios who in turn are ipso facto made the Heads of the Diplomatic Corps of the countries concernedalso according to the same Convention. The above realities bring to fore the following reasonable questions: Who would dare want to be Popeaspire for the difficult, exacting and humanly impossible office to have and to fulfill as the papacy? Who in his right mind would campaign to be the Popeseek

Oscar. V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points

own different churches, sects or religious groupingsunder one interesting name/ title or another. But as such institutions have but human beings as their authors and leaders, slowly but surely, they eventually disappear with the death of their founders. This is especially true when a church is inherited by the children or relatives of the founder. And understandably so: What is merely human passes away with humanity. And there is the Catholic Church. Many peopleeven churchmen themselves with different offices and given titlesrepeatedly attempted to get rid of her across the ages, by reason of anger, hatred and/or other vicious deeds. But She is still up and about. There is the Catholic Church that some people curse, despise and trample upon. But She will still be around and well when they ultimately come to pass as mere mortals. In fact, the Church now has another Sovereign Pontiff.

Impact of Secularism on Filipino Faith

A POWERFUL social force, a secularist and materialist spirit, is impacting our faith. Beginning in Europe with the Age of Reason and Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries, the secularist and materialist spirit has gradually but decisively taken over the developed world, resulting in the ignoring of God, the loss of faith, the weakening of divine authority and the authority of the Church. Secularism and materialism have created their own values, contradicting and rejecting the universal values of the Gospel as taught by the living tradition of the Church. The tools of social communication disseminate the secular ideology of developed countries. This has resulted in a type of faith that adheres selectively to some doctrines of the Church but rejects others as incompatible with changing modern times, with democracy and religious pluralism. We see examples of the inroads of secularism and materialism in the setting aside of moral values and rejection of religious authority in the debates that led to the unfortunate passage of the Reproductive Health Bill. We also see the influence of the secular spirit in legal attempts to redefine the limits of human freedom, the beginning of human life, and the nature of marriage and family. In these difficult times we hear and heed the words of the Lord that we are in this world but we are not of this world.(11) Our faith impels us to cherish and defend beliefs and values that are countersigns to those of this world. The weaknesses of our faith and the challenges facing it summon us to renewed integral evangelization, to new evangelization with new fervor, new methods and new expressions. This is the rationale for integral faith formation. It is a process that seeks and leads to maturity in faith, a faith that is informed and lived, a faith committed to the mission of announcing the Gospel of Jesus, including participation in the work of justice and social transformation. Lord, Increase our Faith! Integral Faith Formation: Towards Maturity in Christ (A Pastoral Exhortation of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines), 2013

the sovereign rule over the Church which is in the four corners of the globe? And who would even think that he has the human capacities and attributions to head the One, Holy, Universal and Apostolic Churchwithout the grace and providence of God? The same realities as above said, affirm the following truths: That the Catholic Church could have been only founded by Christ Himself Who was, Who is, and Who will be her Life, her Guide and Light from her foundation to the end of time. That the Catholic Church wherefore could not but be protected and directed by the omniscient and omnipotent God Himself through Jesus Christ. That the weakness of the Church originates from her human members, in the same way that her strength and wisdom come from God the Father through the Holy Spirit. In the course of human history, quasi innumerable men and woman have founded their

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Year of Faith Reflections

THE Gospels are a unique kind of writing; they are faith summaries. They were written from faith to faith, meaning that they emerged from the faith experience of the Christian community; their goal is to promote faith in those who hear the narrative. Thus, the Gospels present the faith response of many persons as they listen to Gods invitation to believe. Mary, Our Mother of Faith. Saint Luke, Marys biographer, notes twice in his Gospel that Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart (Lk 2:19, 51). This attitude of Marys deep faith can be captured in three simple Latin words from Scripture: FIAT, STABAT, MAGNIFICAT. FIAT (Lk 1:38) is Marys yes response to Angel Gabriels invitation to become the Mother of God. Fiat voluntas tua; let it be done to me according to your will. This was Marys unconditional, definitive selfsurrender; she made countless fiats throughout her life. STABAT (Jn 19:25) describes Marys standing faithfully under the cross. Perhaps, this was Marys supreme fiat. She was faithful to the end. MAGNIFICAT (Lk 1:46) expresses Marys praising or magnifying the Lordnot only in the joyful moments of life, but at all times and in all events. Marys example of faith inspires us to give an enduring yes to stand faithfully, praising God in all lifes challenges. Joseph: Pillar of Enduring Faith. In guiding the Holy Family, Joseph acts with total surrender to Gods will. His life, like ours, involved fatiguing labors, ambiguous situations, and difficult decisions. The birth of Jesus under very primitive circumstances in Bethlehem must have caused Joseph great pain and tested his faith. Yet, Joseph accompanies Mary in a total acceptance of the divine will. As the Holy Family hurriedly escapes like refugees into Egypt without any preparations, Josephs faith is challenged. Then, when King Herod dies, the family has to once again relocate to Nazareth. Indeed, Josephs faith was often tested; yet, he trusted God. He is a model of faith for allin all things. John the Baptist and Faith. Each year during Advent the Church asks us to reflect on the life of John the Baptist, his preaching, his imprisonment, even his martyrdom. The Baptists story can deepen our faith. John preaches: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. If you are repentant, produce the appropriate fruit (Mt 3:2, 8). Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths (Mk 1:3). John points us to Jesus: Look, there is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29). He must increase, I must decrease (Jn 3:30) Zechariah and Elizabeth, parents of John the Baptist, were blameless in Gods sight; yet, they were childless; Elizabeth was barren and they were both advanced in years (Lk 1:57). Even in their childlessness and difficulties, Zechariah and Elizabeth remained faith-full. God rewarded them with the birth of a child. In impossible situations, do we still affirm in faith that nothing is impossible for God (Lk 1:37)?

Living Mission

Gospel figures of Faith

Pope Francis
I, OF course, was very happy to know we have a new Pope. When I woke up at 4 a.m. last Thursday, there were already 5 text messages on my mobile phone. And they all broke to me the good news. I prayed immediately. A little later, I scrambled to know more about the new Pope. Like everyone else I was also surprised and gladdened to learn about him and his life. The Cardinal from Argentina, a Jesuit, cannot fail but command love and admiration for the way he is, for what he has done, for what he stands. Even in his appearance, there is already a palpable air of humility, gentleness and compassion. His smile and over-all demeanor say it all. Besides, he takes the bus to go to work. He lives in a small apartment instead of the palace reserved for his office. He only has one lung. In short, he avoids perks. Of course, as the day wore on, and more impressions and reactions came in, especially from opinion-makers, some dismay crept in. In hindsight, I should be

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
in spite of all that, the grain of truth and the seed of charity can never be lost completely. And so lets just be game and try to sort out things as best as we can. Patience, therefore, is the name of the game. In the meantime, lets remind ourselves some basic, indispensable truths about the Pope and the papacy, and try to craft a plan to educate everyone about how we ought to think about the Pope. The first thing we have to remember is that everything about the Pope and the papacy is a matter of faith. We cannot take them mainly, and much less fully, from an earthly, temporal point of view, be it historical, cultural, political, sociological, ideological, etc. Our attitude should be theological, more than anything else. Not that all the other considerations have nothing to say and contribute. But we need to understand that the directing force of faith should take precedence. Absent this, then the whole exercise will have no other end but doom. We
Candidly Speaking / A7

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prepared to know about these reactions. Different people can obviously express what they like. These views can only show from where these columnists are coming in. I noted that many of them had to eat crow after badly failing in their predictions. Cardinal Bergoglio was not in many of their radars. Obviously, the Holy Spirit had something else in mind besides their brilliant reasoning. But not content with that, now they are putting a lot of political coloring in the election of the new Pope. The usual branding poured inliberal or conservative, pro-this or anti-that, etc. Several spins spun wildly. Will he bring the Church to a new direction, out from the ashes of the sex scandals afflicting many parts of the Church and the mismanagement of the Vatican machinery? And at 76, will he just be a caretaker Pope? Well, the world will always be the world until the end of time. Its language and logic will often be dominated by passion rather than by reason, and much less by faith. Yet,

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

Pope Francis and the Church of the Poor
HOW I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor. In an audience, a few days after his election as pope, his Holiness Pope Francis (Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio) confided to the assembled journalists why he chose the name Francis: That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we? He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!To be the Church of the Poor this might well be the theme or the agenda of the papacy of the first pope from Latin America. Pope Francis will not only be realizing the dream of St. Francis of Assisi but also one of his predecessors and that of the Churches in the Third World. Let us bear in mind that it was Pope John XXIII who first proposed the image of the Church as the Church of the Poor in a radio message one month before the opening of Vatican II more than 50 years ago: Confronted by the underdeveloped countries, the Church presents herself as she is and wants to be: the Church of all, and in particular the Church of the poor. Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, was pushing for the Council to adopt the Church of the Poor as the central theme of Vatican II. Although he failed, we find the seed of this theme in. Lumen Gentium 8: Just as Christ carried out his work of redemption in poverty and oppression, so the Church is called to follow the same path if she is to communicate the fruits of salvation to men the Church, although she needs human resources to carry out her mission, is not set up to seek earthly glory, but to proclaim, and this by her own example, humility and self-denial. Christ was sent by the Father to bring good news to the poor ... to heal the contrite of heart (Lk 14:18), to seek and to save what was lost (Lk 19:10). After Vatican II, the theme of the Church of the Poor was adopted implicitly by CELAM the Conference of the Latin American Bishops during the Medellin Conference in 1968. The Medellin Conference did not use the expression introduced by Pope John XXIII the Church of

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, SThD

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago

Duc in Altum Habemus Papam!

THE Catholic faithful waited and prayed for the start of the conclave on March 12, 2013. On that date, a Mass at St. Peters Basilica was attended by all cardinals-electors, including those over 80 who will not vote in the conclave to pray for the election of the new pope. The Mass was called Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice (For the Election of the Roman Pontiff) and was open to the public. On the 5th balloting held on March 13, 2013, Wednesday, billows of white smoke floated out from the chimney of Sistine Chapel while Church bells were rung continuously. These are signs that the College of Cardinals, seating in conclave, finally elected a new pope who garnered 2/3 majority vote. The pilgrims at St. Peters Square were jubilant, jumping with joy, chanting Viva Il Papa (Long Live the Pope) while waiting for the new pope to appear at the balcony of St. Peters Basilica The new pope chose the name Francis which means a lot. It means we will have a humble, simple pope close to the poor people. *** Who is Pope Francis? He is Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, the 76 years old Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is the first non-European pontiff, the first Latin American pope, the first Jesuit priest to be elected to the papacy, and the first to use the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi. He was not even mentioned in the list of papabili (possible papal candidate) although he was reported to have finished runner-up to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2005. Pope Francis was born on December 17, 1936 to a middle class family of seven, a son of an Italian immigrant. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1969 and was appointed as Cardinal by Blessed John Paul II in February 2001. He is a simple and humble person who considered Christ as the center of his life. His Episcopal motto is miserando atque eligendo (lowly, yet chosen) In his first public appearance at the central balcony of St. Peters Basilica, he led the Catholic faithful in praying for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Shortly after his election, he called up the Pope Emeritus. In brief remarks from the balcony of St. Peters, he said the Church was setting off on a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust. He also joked that it seemed the cardinal electors went to the end of the world to find him Before he bestowed his very first papal blessing to the pilgrims at St. Peters Square and to the world, he requested a silent prayer and blessing. His act of vowing before the crowd while the people prayed and blessed him, is a true sign of humility. The morning after his election, Pope Francis prayed at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Then, he presided in the Mass which closed the conclave. In his brief but very meaningful Homily, Pope Francis said When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. The Vatican announced that the Inauguration Mass of the 266th pope would take place on Tuesday, March 19, the Feast of St Joseph, patron saint of the universal Church. *** It was reported that like Blessed John Paul II, Pope Francis is conservative at the level of doctrine, and progressive on social issues. The Catholic faithful look forward to some reforms in the Church. He is known as a doctrinal conservative and a believer in social justice He is a very simple man. He does not own a car; he used the public transport. After his first public appearance, he gave up the chauffeured limousine and rode with the cardinals in the shuttle bus from Sistine Chapel to Domus Martha where they had dinner. He gave up the Bishops Palace for a simple and small apartment, where he cooked his own food He is a very humble person. He chose a childrens hospital in Palermo, Buenos Aires to celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lords Supper. There, he washed and kissed the feet of 12 sick children He is a moderate who is willing to challenge powerful interests and is deeply concerned about the social inequalities in Argentina and elsewhere in Latin America. He has had a sometimes difficult relationship with President Cristina Fernandez and her late husband and predecessor Nestor Kirchner Pope Francis is strongly against gay marriage, denouncing it in 2010 as an attempt to destroy Gods plan. *** I will forever thank the Lord for the gift of life, for the gift of parents, for the gift of family, for the gift of friends. *** Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to Fr. Adrian Magnait, Chancellor and Media Director of the Diocese of Kalookan.

Along The Way

the Poor. Instead it referred to the Church in Latin America as a poor church (Iglesia Pobre), a Church that is called to witness to spiritual or evangelical poverty and at the same time bound to material poverty. It considered poverty as the result of an unjust and sinful situation which the Church has to denounce. The Conference emphasized that the Churchs commitment to the poor must be concretely expressed by being in solidarity with the poor, by evangelizing the poor and being a humble servant of the people. It would appear that the first time that the phrase the Church of the Poor was actually used in an official Church document after Vatican II was in the message of the Asian Bishops Meeting held in Manila, Philippines on November 29, 1970. The Bishops of Asia spoke about sharing the condition of the majority of the people who are poor in Asia. Being Church of the Poor also means witnessing to the evangelical simplicity, promoting and defending the rights of the poor and powerless, and avoiding entanglement with the rich and the powerful. Since 1974, the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC) has consistently promoted the theme of the Church of the Poor in Asia. In 1991, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) likewise adopted the Church of the Poor as part of the vision of a Renewed Church. According to PCP II, the members and leaders of the Church must embrace evangelical poverty, share their resources with one another and live a simple lifestyle. The Churchespecially those who are not poormust make a option for the poor (to be in solidarity with the poor, to love the poor, etc.). The poor members of the Church who constitute the majority must actively participate in the life and mission of the Church. PCP II also emphasizes that the Church of the Poor can be experienced and realized by the ordinary lay-faithful in the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs). We hope that under the papacy of Pope Francis, the vision of the Church of the Poor will become a reality not only in the Philippines and other parts of Asia, Africa and Latin American but throughout the world.

Rev. Eutiquio Euly B. Belizar, Jr., SThD

By the Roadside
LESSON one: Look beyond your own country when looking at the papacy. Im sorry if I dont break it to us gently. We were all rooting for our own Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to be elected pope. And we could not help it because his name was splashed all over the media of the world (well, at least in the world media we paid attention to and those who paid attention to us because of Cardinal Tagles extraordinary gifts). Of course, it was perfectly human for us to feel like we were in an election (which a conclave is) and pushing for our candidate (that Cardinal Chito was not). Still, papal conclaves are beyond mere political or patriotic interests of any one country from which a cardinal comes. They are fundamentally spiritual exercises in which, guided by the Holy Spirit, the Churchs cardinal electors choose the successor to the Chair of St. Peter. In a conclave it is the whole Churchs interests and those that have to do with humankinds salvation that should be foremost in our consideration. Lesson two: Your name is your mission. Now two names are out of the bag. The first is Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, (former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina), the pope-elects

Lessons from the recent Papal Conclave

charism that is given to the pope not to err when he teaches as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church on matters of faith and morals. He misses the fact that Benedict XVI, though still pope, is no longer Supreme Pastor; he gave it up; and Francis already is. And the charism of infallibility, as of now, belongs to Francis precisely as the new and current Supreme Pastor. Lesson four: Popes dont cease being human, and it is also something good. Did you know that Francis also enjoys a good laugh? From accounts of the cardinal electors, it is told that after his election as pope, in the first chance he had to speak to them as a group he said, May God forgive you (for electing me). The cardinals had a hearty laugh. When he first faced the vast sea of humanity at St. Peters Square, he looked calm but shy, if not a bit stern. Then he openly grinned when he described his fellow cardinals as having gone to the ends of the earth to find a new Bishop of Rome. I wouldnt be surprised if Francis will delight crowds and us kibitzers with bits of his self-deprecating humor. It would be refreshing to the whole Church once more to share laughter (resurrection) and not only sweat and tears (passion).

original name. The second is Francis, his papal name. Whats more, he prefers to be called the Bishop of Rome rather than the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Why? Whats in a name, we ask. We have so long toyed with our names and those of our children that we forgot that our names tell us our purpose, our mission. The name Francis calls to mind the saint who rebuilt the Church from the ruins by his humility and love of Lady Poverty: St. Francis of Assisi. Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York attests to hearing Pope Francis say that he named himself not after St. Francis Xavier, a fellow Jesuit, but after St. Francis of Assisi, a fellow lover of humility and the poor. My own two centavos worth of opinion is simply this: Pope Francis reminds us that we must be serious with two of our purposes: our identity as Church of the Poor (St. Francis of Assisi) and as a Missionary and Evangelizing Church (St. Francis Xavier). Lesson three: Two popes but only one Supreme Pastor. A Newsweek magazine author once wrote, in jest, that the problem with two living popes is having two Infallibles. An ordinary knowledgeable Catholic would easily see how misinformed the remark is. Infallibility is a

Patience in adversity
I HAVE just finished the talk during the recollection I was facilitating with a small group of employees at the side chapel of the Sta. Ana Shrine Parish last Wednesday when I received a call from a seminarian who happened to pass by our house in Ma-a, telling me that our house was blazing in fire. Immediately, I took the car and headed home. When I reached the place I could only see black smoke. (Later that day, a friend of mine jokingly texted me, We are waiting for a smoke from the Sistine Chapel not that smoke from your house). The fire had been extinguished. But the house was completely burned. We may not have salvaged anything, but thank God, my mother, my auntie and my niece were saved. It was March 13, 2013, the 78th birthday of my father who passed away two years ago. We were about to visit his grave that day and have dinner with the whole family at the house. But that evening, we were so busy trying to compose ourselves and attend to the hospitalization of my mother who broke her left wrist. She slipped on the floor during the emergency. The doctors initial suggestion was an operation. In the end, the doctor opted for cementing treatment. Very late that night, as I was going to sleep (at around 2 am), I received a call from Msgr. Paul Cuison. Habemus Papam! he excitedly informed me. We had to wait for an hour with our eyes fixed on the TV screen before we saw the newly-elected Pope emerging onto the balcony of St. Peters Basilica.

Fr. Russell A. Bantiles

Pope Francis of Argentina brought immense joy to my day. I forgot for a while my familys predicament. In prayer, I began to grope for the meaning of all these. At the writing of this article, I seem to understand. Coincidence, says Albert Einstein, is Gods way of staying anonymous. Two striking data converge: my late biological fathers birthday and the election of my spiritual father, Pope Francis. God is telling me that despite the tragedy, He is still a Father to me. God will never let us down. We may have lost all our belongings but never the truth that we are Gods children. For this reason, we cling to Him more firmly and most especially in times of adversity. We must be stripped of worldly things for us to trust only in Him, in His loving, fatherly providence. The human heart can easily get distracted. Oftentimes, too much attachment to earthly goods could easily swerve our hearts from the path that God wants us to tread. Adversities can be Gods wake up call. But God is so faithful that He does not try us beyond our capacity (Cfr. 1 Cor 10: 13). Job said, The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised (Job 1: 21). We must thank the Lord for whatever happens in our life. We must always remember that God is a loving Father. If He allows trials, they are intended for our purification. God can write straight with crooked lines so they say. We must learn to be patient in times of adversity as we are also grateful in times of prosperity.

Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS

and thats the truth

IF theres one truth about us Filipino Catholics that has glared at us since the resignation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, it is that we have yet to be taught what the papacy is not. Benedicts resignation refreshed Filipino sentiments that accompanied the rise to the cardinalate of Manilas Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle: that the Philippines has a papabile. That early, a number of eager Filipinos were already nominating this young and charismatic Cardinal for the papacy, so that they took sede vacante as a sign that their man would be next. Mainstream and social media buzzed to a sickening pitch, and even pulpits occasionally contributed to the frenzy. I could understand that pride in being Filipino might be behind the Taglefor-pope fervor, and so, combined with inadequate catechesis, our national pride blurred for us the dividing line between electing a pope and cheering for a worldboxing champion. As Benedict officially stepped down, the situation got worse loud voices extolled the qualities of a beloved Chito, backed by sensational headlines and huge photographs in our national dailies of the one hoped to be the first Asian pope. When Cardinal Tagle made it to the papabili listing released by Reuters, the virtual campaign reached a feverish degree; and when Americanmade videos of some six papabili portrayed him in a very favorable light, our local cheerleaders virtually predicted victory for the 55-year old Cardinal. Perhaps they saw as auspicious the fact that the video series put him (a Cardinal for barely three months) in the same league as some of the most dynamic Cardinals from around the world. Boosting it was the fact that of the six videos (which by the way, did not include Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio), Cardinal Tagles video got top rated at 79,850 views, while Cardinal Dolan of New York came in a far second with 13,806 views.

What the papacy is not

Clearly, the media-abetted development did not help the cause for Filipinos enlightenment. It got to be a vicious cycle the higher Tagles popularity surged in the world media, the more Filipinos around the globe Facebooked and Tweeted in anticipation of a win for their man. Locally, radio stations cackled with discussions (on electing a Filipino pope) among highly placed but misinformed media personnel, joined by zealous but misguided listeners who claimed theyd prayed for Cardinal Tagle to win. Only one thing stood out: people could not differentiate between a secular election and a conclave. Media magnifies whatever good or evil we feed it, and manipulates information and peoples responses to its advantage. Thus we need prudence and discernment in responding to media stimulus if we must truly understand the papacy. Now, in habemus papam mode, we still view the papacy through secular lenses, as medias loudest voices persist in portraying the papacy as a world power, the Church as a glamorized NGO needing reform, and the pope, a CEO needing a set of qualifications to do the job. Media will keep on harping about the Churchs need for reform, zeroing in on its warts and sores, but it will never give the microphone to the Holy Spirit. The need to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit in a world that hates silence this is what Benedicts voluntary resignation has imprinted in our conscience. He called us to a return to prayer to be reneweda call amplified by the election of a successor who has chosen a name, Francis, which is inextricably linked with poverty and peace. Lacking the opportunity to be formally taught what the papacy is, perhaps this generation struggling for truth amidst the noise canby humbly pondering these events in silencediscover what the papacy is not. And thats the truth.


Local News
month for age and health reasons, saying he was no longer strong enough to lead the Church. The 76-year old pontiff was not among those many had considered strong papal contenders. Pope Francis also holds the distinction as the first Jesuit pope, the first pontiff from the Americas, and the first from outside Europe in over a thousand years. Palma said all the archdioceses and dioceses across the country will hold prayer service for the intention of the worlds 266th pope in the Churchs 2000 year history. In the Archdiocese of Lipa, Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said all Masses on March 13 were offered as thanksgiving for Pope Francis. Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said, it was the Holy Spirit that decided that Francis is the kind of pope that the Church needs today. The conclave was the hour of God for the Church, chosen Pope Francis, he said. San Fernando Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, for his part, said that the mere fact that the pope has taken his name after St. Francis of Assisi is already a big statement. We will immediately think about poverty and the simplicity of St. Francis of Assisi. We also know him as a big reformer of the Church, said David. Pope Francis was already known to be a simple man low key. His name was not even among those papabili. I think this pope will have a deep impact to our Church, he said. (Roy Lagarde)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

CBCP welcomes new pope

THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has welcomed newly-elected Pope Francis, 76-year old Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina. Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, said they are glad that the Church has a new leader, expressing happy surprise that a cardinal outside Europe was chosen for the post. We are happy that we have new pope and like many others, we also accept the surprise that he is not European, Palma said. Like all Christians, we are invited to give our full trust to him and give our allegiance to him and help him in all his programs, he said. Pope Francis replaced Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who stepped down last

Pope Francis greets the crowds at St. Peters Square aboard an open popemobile prior his inaugural Mass on March 19.

OFWs hopeful for new Pope

DESPITE living in different time zones, Filipinos scattered all over the globe share high hopes for Pope Francis. Karen Dela Cerna, who lives in Dili, East Timor, said, I hope that he may address the issues of the Church and the tribulations that other nations are facing right now. Modern St. Francis of Assisi Cebu-born Dela Cerna, who works as the executive secretary of East Timors Minister of State Administration, said Pope Francis choice of a name also holds special significance for the Church one that points to St. Francis of Assisis inspired leadership of simplicity, humility and zeal for evangelization. She said, she was working when she heard about the news and immediately went online to read about Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina. Elianathes Mallari of Fairfield, California also approved of Cardinal Bergoglios chosen name, saying the virtues of St. Francis of Assisi are exactly what a world in turmoil and strife needs. Jesuit open-mindedness Some Pinoys like Oliver Regondola of Papua New Guinea are happy with Pope Francis election for quite personal reasons. Siyempre masaya ako kasi Jesuit (Of course, I am happy, because hes a Jesuit), said Regondola, who admitted he has a special bias for Jesuits having been formed by them for 8 years as a student in Ateneo de Naga. Regondola, an information and communication technologies manager in Port Moresby, explained the papacy could very well use the Jesuit trait of open-mindedness on issues. Singapore-based Dhojenes De Guzman admitted he was one of many who were really half-hoping that Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle would be the next Pope, but said, he accepts and approves of the cardinals choice. The Singtel sales executive, who closely followed updates on the conclave, said he was surprised the election was quite fast and said he hopes the best for the new Pope. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

Students urged to seek support group to divert suicidal tendencies

STUDENTS who are undergoing depression over their academic problems, among other reasons, are encouraged to turn to their family, friends and professional guidance counselors for moral support, instead of committing suicide to end their miseries. Fr. Gregorio Baaga, C.M. of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) made this advice to students after a University of the Philippines (UP) scholar took her own life after being forced to leave school for failure to pay her matriculation fees. Baaga, who is concurrent CEAP and Adamson University president, advised students who are in a similar situation as Kristel Tejada to get a support group to help them handle and solve their problems. Get a network around you to help you. Sometimes students do not go for counseling or dont have friends. They forget that one of the gifts of friendship is to be able to share your problem and to eventually dissipate it, he said. The priest said Tejada, who was reportedly demoralized after being denied to enroll at UP Manila for failing to pay her dues, could not have found comfort or consolation before she finally ended her life. But Baaga said it is not proper to conclude that Tejadas force leave of absence from school is the only reason for her committing suicide. He said an investigation on the real cause
Divorce / A1

Pope Francis has high hopes for Filipinos

THE new pope of the Catholic Church is banking on the Filipinos in preserving and extending the ideals of Catholic faith in the world. Manila Archbishops Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said that no other than Pope Francis told him after the conclave about his optimism for the Catholic Church in the Philippines. When I approached Pope Francis to assure him of the closeness and collaboration of the Filipinos, he said, I have high hopes for the Philippines. May your faith prosper, as well
Protection / A1

as your devotion to Our Lady and mission to the poor, Tagle said. What a compelling message from this humble man of God! All praise and glory to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, he said. Tagle, who is currently in Rome, is the lone Filipino out of the 115 cardinal-electors in the two-day conclave that elected Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio as the new pope. Let us join the whole Church and the world in thanking God

for His special gift in the extraordinary person of Pope Francis, he also said. I thank you for your fervent prayers for the Cardinal electors. We never felt alone even for a moment. Your love sustained us, added Tagle. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope and the first pontiff from outside Europe in over a thousand years. In Manila, the Philippine Province Society of Jesus said the cardinals have chosen a pontiff with long experience in serving the people in Argentina.

[He is a man with a heart very much concerned for the needs of the poor and disadvantaged, and whose manner of life is touched by great simplicity and faith, said Fr. Jose Magadia, SJ Provincial Superior. We are grateful for his generosity and spirit of service to assume the heavy burden that goes with his office in these difficult times. We certainly pledge him our prayers and filial support, and wish him grace, wisdom and strength as he assumes this new mission, he said. (Roy Lagarde)

parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness, he furthered. The 76 year-old Jesuit pope, whose name was inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, also said everyone has the duty to protect all of creation, in reference to the saints love of ecology. He said human beings failure to live up the responsibility of caring for creation and of one another often results to destruction and intransigence. Tragically, in every period of history there are Herods who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women, he said. He also pointed out the need for a sustainable development, telling the crowd not to allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world and to remember always that hatred, envy and pride [can] defile our lives! The popes two-hour inaugural ceremony was attended by 132 delegations from various countries including representatives from the Buddhist, Jain, Jewish and Muslim communities. A liturgical ceremony rich in its symbolism preceded the inaugural Mass. Pope Francis was presented with two liturgical symbols of his Petrine ministry, the fishermans ring in gold-plated silver representing the Apostle Peter and the keys, and the pallium, a narrow stole of white wool made out of lambs wool and embroidered with five red crosses, symbolizing the five wounds of Christ. Power is service As the 266th pope and Successor of St. Peter, Francis does not only take on the role of being the Bishop of Rome but also the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world. At his installation, Pope Francis reflected on the power that is associated with leaderCandidly Speaking / A4

ship and governance. He admitted that the Petrine ministry involves a certain power as Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter but explained that it is a kind of power that is rooted in service. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross, he said. Like St. Joseph, the pope is called to faithful service, Francis remarked, as only those who serve with love are able to protect. He must open his arms to protect all of Gods people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison, Pope Francis further said. He reiterated that the service of protecting all of creation is a call that everyone must respond to. To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us! Simplicity Since Francis election to the papacy, observers have noted a stark difference between his style and that of his predecessor Benedict XVI. A day after his election, Francis slipped out of Vatican incognito to visit a cardinal friend in hospital and stopped at a Vatican hotel where he stayed before the conclave to collect his things and pay his bill. He has done away with other trappings that accompany his position, like declining to use the papal cape and preferring to wear just a simple white papal cassock.

He also chose not to wear the red shoes his predecessors wore. Even before he became pope, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio has earned a reputation of being a simple pastor and a deeply spiritual man. As a shepherd to around 2.5 million Argentinean Catholics, Bergoglios leadership style is said to be low-key and close to the people. According to reports, he rides the bus, visits the poor, lives in a simple apartment and cooks his own meals. To many in Buenos Aires, he is known simply as Father Jorge. His close relationship with his people was apparent when, in the morning before his inauguration, he called up Argentina and spoke to a large crowd at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires who were gathered to watch the inaugural mass on huge television screens. Staunch pro-lifer Outspoken in his defense for life, Bergoglio was critical of the governments Argentine proposal to legalize abortion under certain circumstances as part of a wide-ranging legal reform. He accused the government of lacking respect for the values held by the majority of Argentines and of trying to convince the Catholic Church to waver in our defense of the dignity of the person. When Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010, Bergoglio urged all the clergy to tell people to protest ratification of the law as it could seriously injure the family. He was also against adoption by same-sex couples as doing so would deprive children of the human growth that God wanted them given by a father and a mother. As the leading prelate of Argentinas estimated 33 million Catholics, Bergoglio often had to speak his mind on issues affecting the economic-socio-political landscape of his country.

of the suicide is in order and accusing the school of negligence is unfair. The school administrator, however, said that Tejadas depression could be true to other students, poverty-stricken or not, considering that the youth nowadays are impatient. Young people today are impatient, not used to sacrifice or delays, and want instant gratification. When they dont get what they want, they easily get frustrated, he said. The youths impatience, Baaga added, is ingrained in the Filipino culture where everything is instant. This is why he personally urged academicians to find a way to instill the virtue of patience in their students. It would also be good if there are mechanisms at school to spot the students who are undergoing depression so that these students can be guided and accompanied properly, he said. Spotting unusual signs from depressed students should also be a role of their friends and classmates as part of a healthy school environment, he added. Tejada, a 16-year-old freshman, took her life last Friday by poisoning herself with silver cleaner. UP officials said there is a continuing effort to improve the financial assistance program of the State university to make it more accessible to the poor. (YouthPinoy) Catholic Church on a worldwide scale, and re-evangelization is needed to reach out to the people. All the Church groups should unite and have a coordinated effort to win back the hearts and minds of the people, especially the youth, he said. With the 2013 midterm elections nearing, he called on the Filipino electorate to be more critical in choosing the leaders they will vote into public office. We need to be pro-active this time. The coming May 2013 elections are critical. We have to form the consciences of the Catholic faithful to vote into office those who are willing to protect life and the Family, Castro said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

The priest called out claims of pro-divorce groups that the legalization of the measure would empower battered spouses and would provide them more legal options to solve their marital dilemmas. There are already laws in the land protecting especially the women and children against violence and abuse. Divorce does not stop abuse. You simply end the relationship but the violent person could go on perpetrating further violence against another person, Castro said. A way to stop abuse between married couples is through bringing the violent spouse to court and letting that person be jailed, if necessary, he noted. According to him, secularization continuously threatens the
Dynasty / A1

would be missing the whole point about the Pope and the papacy. This is not going to be easy to take, I know, especially by those who are very opinionated about anything that has significance in the national or the world stage. Faith is like asking them to deny themselves, which is a central part

of Christs teachings that they cannot understand. We have to understand that the Pope, whoever he may be as long as he is elected properly, is the Vicar of Christ here on earth. St. Catherine would call him the sweet Christ on earth. As our Catechism teaches us, The Pope, Bishop of Rome

and Peters successor, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful. (882) He has full, surprise and universal power over the whole Church. That description alone should make us realize that we all need to follow the Pope, to be close and united to him

in mind and heart, in his teachings and directives, irrespective of who he is. There is a Latin expression which I think summarizes the proper attitude we ought to have toward the Pope. Omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam (all with Peter to Jesus through Mary). This is how we ought to welcome Pope Francis!

regime was replaced by the reestablishment of the oligarchy that Marcos sought to destroy They have become more vicious. We call them political dynasties, he explained, saying this rise of a powerful elite defined by family ties is the greatest frustration of Filipinos who suffered through martial law. David said, after working in the Lower House of Representatives for several years, he also got first-hand experience of how political dynasties throw their weight around. David, who is also a radio commentator and political analyst, said it was common practice for legislators coming from political lineage to bully other congressmens staff to get hold of committee reports and somehow, influence their outcome. 70% of Congress Political dynasties, according to David, can also be discussed in an academic way by looking at the statistics. He said, 70% of legislators in Congress are from political

dynasties, quite a few are also in the Senate and even more of their family members are running in the upcoming elections, wanting to add a generation or two to clan-centric politics. David also talked about a move by Congress to have political dynasties banned, but defining what exactly a political dynasty proved to be quite challenging. Of GMRC and delicadeza He said the issue of entire families holding sway in provinces and even urban areas is a matter of old school delicadeza. Kung ikaw ay isang pulitiko coming from a political dynasty at ang tatay mo nasa Senado, tatakbo ka pa ba? GMRC (good manners and right conduct) lang yun (If you are a politician coming from a political dynasty and your father is in the Senate, will you still run? Thats simple GMRC, he explained. Some 200 students attended the forum titled On the Youth Vote: 2013 Elections Forum. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

Jeffrey Bruno / CNA

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

Diocesan News
carried by past favors and past hurts, Pabillo said while discussing the Social Action and the Social Issues of Today at the Basic Orientation Seminar on Social Action Work (BOSSAW). Pabillo also touched on the Catholic Social Teachings and the Biblical Basis of the Social Action Work, adding that God speaks through the daily events that happen in ones life. He also encouraged the participants to do justice, be humble, show love, seek good and avoid evil. Pabillo said that more than just acquiring skills, the important thing is for the person to deepen ones spirituality and share it to others. For his part, NASSA Executive Secretary Fr. Edu Gariguez emphasized the importance of evangelization in human transformation, delving on topics of common good, promotion of justice, and preference for the poor and empowering people. Our mission is not a territorial base, we go beyond the territorial boundaries like what Jesus did, Gariguez said. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop-emeritus Oscar Cruz, also one of the speakers, talked about PCP-II: Envisioning the Philippines pursuit of justice, peace and development, explaining the countrys economic and political context. (SocialActionNews)


Evangelization, greatest work of charity bishop

TAGAYTAY CityEvangelization is the highest and the most integral promotion of the human person and the greatest work of charity, said Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. Pabillo, who is chairman of the National Secretariat of Social Action, Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, also emphasized the relationship between faith and charity during a seminar for Social Action directors held in Tagaytay City last March 4-8. Religion has a role in political debate and there is politics everywhere because there is governance everywhere. You cannot be neutral and you should not be

The National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace- Caritas Philippines held a regular Basic Orientation Seminar on Social Action Work (BOSSAW) last March 4-8 as part of its commitment to help develop the capacities of its partner Social Action Centers (SACs).

Foreign policy, a mere extension of local politics

PASIG City With the Sabah issue painfully being sorted out in a crucible of violence and bloodshed, a political analyst says, Philippine foreign policy cannot help but be a mere extension of local politics. Selfish national interest What is foreign policy, if not just the extension of your domestic policy, said Erik Espina, commenting on how the Philippine government is managing the Sabah crisis. Discussing Philippine foreign relations and national security during a youth vote forum for University of Asia and the Pacific students recently, Espina said, Filipinos need not look far to pinpoint the wellspring of Philippine foreign policylocal politics. In the Philippines, he said, the socalled domestic policy or national interest is actually just the selfish national interest of certain individuals. [D]omestic policy is just a product of what? The politics of the country, Espina, also a radio and TV broadcaster, said. Filipino ideology He said, politicians should go back to the values and principles contained in the Constitution, which will define the countrys identity and clarify foreign policy, which has beenespecially with regard to territorial disputesmurky, at best. Espina said, present-day politicians know little of or exercise close to nothing of the ideology the Philippine Constitution espouses. What is so important about the ideology of the people? It identifies who we are, who our enemies are, who we are not, he added. Weak local politics Espina explained the correlation with foreign relations is direct. How can we express ourselves, defend ourselves if [identity] is lacking? he asked. In closing, he decried weak local politics, one that is characterized by executives who cannot decide without calling on their staff and whose foreign policy seems to be a one-liner: Maging mahinahon tayo (Let us be calm). Scores of Malaysians and Filipinos have already been killed in the violence over the fight to claim Sabah. (Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)

Imus diocese needs more PPCRV volunteers

IMUS, CaviteMore young people have committed to serve as volunteers of their local Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in Cavite to ensure a clean and peaceful elections. But Fr. Lino De Castro, head of the PPCRV in Imus, said more volunteers are still needed in the parish level in order to monitor more precincts during the elections. He also said that volunteers for the 2013 polls will not just commit for a credible polls but a Clean, Honest, Righteous, Integral, Sincere and True (CHRIST). (Jandel Posion with reports from Esteve Mata)
Cebu youth to gather for Local World Youth Day

Faith-based group blasts Tampakan ECC

MARBEL, S. CotabatoA faith-based group criticized the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for granting Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) to Sagittarius Mines Incorporateds bid to start copper-gold mining project in Tampakan, South Cotabato. Philippine-Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI) Advocacy and Legal Officer Atty. Mario Maderazo said the clearance might trigger the start of wanton environmental destruction and human rights violations in Tampakan. Still fresh in the minds of the Filipino people are the mining disasters in Padcal and Semirara where both operations were given ECCs. If such destructive and deadly disasters will not stop the DENR, we wonder what will make them think rationally, Maderazo added. Roldan Gonzales, co-convenor for PMPI Mindanao claimed that the mining project is even more dangerous than the sites of Philex Mining Corporation in Benguet and the Semirara Mining Corporation in Antique. The Philex was fined a billion pesos recently for polluting the Balog creek in Benguet and the Agno River in Pangasinan while five workers were killed after a large-scale coalmine on Semirara Island collapsed last month. Search and retrieval operations for the five missing are still ongoing. Even before the operations began, human rights violations are already rampant in the Tampakan area highlighted by a massacre of a mother and her two children October last year. Next, the DENR does not support mining operation that exceed 1,000 meters, yet much of the Tampakan project is at 1,100 meters, Gonzales said. This means a leak is more imminent and environmental damage will be more extensive. Even SMI does not deny the fact that their operations will flatten about 3,900 hectares of forests, 1,350 of which are rainforests, effectively ignoring Executive Order No. 23s ban on the destruction of forests. No less than the Climate Change Commission predicted that Central Mindanao will suffer drought two decades from now and this is what we are doing to forests that helps the maintenance of water supply in the region, he added. Gonzales also criticized Malacaang for favouring the mining company instead of attending to the concerns

of the residents who will be affected by the project. This is very sad because the DENR twice denied the issuance of ECC to SMI but Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa intervened and signed a Palace document sating that SMI has fully complied with the requirement of the Environment Impact Statement System. Such armtwisting forced the DENR to process and eventually grants an ECC, he said. Is this the straight path, or rather, is it necessary to flatten the mountain in order to achieve a straight path, added Gonzales. The PMPI is a partnership between church groups, nongovernment organizations and peoples organization in the Philippines and Misereor the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Germany. (Jandel Posion)

CEBU CityHundreds of young people from the Archdiocese of Cebu will gather for the celebration of the 28th Local World Youth Day to be held in Liloan City, Cebu on March 21-24. The local gathering is a continuing journey of the young people of Cebu after the Canonization and National Thanksgiving of the 2nd Filipino teen Saint Pedro Calungsod last 2012. Hosted by the San Fernando El Rey Parish and the District 7 Youth Coordinating Council, the event will also be joined by various youth from dioceses in the Central and Eastern Visayas Region. A dialogue between Archbishop Jose Palma and the participants on different issues will highlight the event. (Jandel Posion)
Salesians stages rally for the Pope

MAKATI CityThe Salesians in the Philippines together with youth groups and some faithful in the diocese of Paraaque and Metro Manila staged a rally for the Pope last March 16. More than 300 young people and Catholic faithful from Metro Manila joined the thanksgiving program for the new Pontiff organized by onebillionstories.com and YouthPinoy at the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians (MHC) in Paraaque City. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB, the rector of MHC said the activity was a show of loyalty to the pontiff, which for the Salesians is a distinctive part of their congregations devotion. (Jandel Posion)
Sabah / A1

We pray for all the casualties, both Filipino and Malaysian, in the conflict. We pray for their grieving families, the bishops added. The appeal was signed by Bp. Guillermo Afable (Digos), Bp. Colin Bagaforo (Cotabato), Bp. Antonieto Cabajog (Surigao), Bp. Jose Cabantan (Malaybalay), Bp. Edwin de la Pea (Marawi), Bp. ElLikes / A1

enito Galido (Iligan), Bp. Dinualdo Gutierrez (Marbel), Bp. Martin Jumoad (Isabela), Bp. Angelito Lampon, OMI (Jolo), Abp. Antonio Ledesma, SJ (Cagayan de Oro), Msgr. Cris Manongas (Zamboanga), Abp. Orlando Quevedo, OMI (Cotabato), Bp. Julius Tonel (Ipil), Bp. George Rimando (Davao), Abp. Romulo Valles (Davao) and others. (CBCPNews)

Education / A1

around Metro Manila, the participants acquired knowledge on voters education and were also encouraged to volunteer for the 2013 elections. Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chair Sixto Brillantes, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC, and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) Chair Henrietta de Villa graced the event. Recognizing the significant role of young people in social transformation Brillantes, Luistro and De Villa pointed out the importance of the youths help and participation in the upcoming polls. The event helped young people establish fraternity/fellowship among students in the private schools/colleges/universities with those in public schools/universities and colleges in NCR, especially students who are first time voters as well as those who are existing voters; and to animate interest of campus-based students in the comImplementation / A1

ing elections and the succeeding ones, particularly in voters education and engage them in the formation of Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful and Peaceful (CHAMP) campuses in their respective schools. It also trained the participants as PPCRV volunteers for the 7 types of poll watchers and facilitated their inclusion in the volunteers database. The congress also helped in establishing a PPCRV youth core group in every school for sustaining CHAMP campuses that will move forward youth engagement in elections from Pang Eleksyon Na, Pang Habang Panahon Pa. Themed Kilos Kabataan: CHAMP 2013, the congress, held at the Pasig Catholic College was spearheaded by the National Capital Region (NCR) Youth Coordinating Council and PPCRV, in collaboration with the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), Manila Archdiocesan and Parochial Schools Association (MAPSA) and the Catechetical Foun-

dation of the Archdiocese of Manila (CFAM). In his homily, Msgr. Gerardo Santos of CEAP, MAPSA and CFAM, emphasized the importance of Gods love for humanity and loving ones country in return. God is love. We were created out of the love of God. Therefore, we should also love each other by loving our country, Santos said. He said the coming election is a venue where this love for one another and ones country could be concretely manifested. The event culminated with a candle lighting ceremony and commitment by the leaders of NCR-YCC and the participants. Aside from the sessions, workshops and the Mass, the event also included CHAMP tsunami game championship and the actual demonstration of a mock election through a polling place for the young participants to learn and experience the process. (Jandel Posion) celebrate today the solemnity of St. Joseph, the Guardian of the Holy Family, Castro said. The high court has listened to our prayers against any law thats questionable and which, according to the Constitution, should not be implemented, he said. The SC on Tuesday issued a stay order against the RH law, barely more than a week before its scheduled full implementation. The church official said the ruling is a boost to the churchs campaign against the controversial measure especially in the upcoming May elections. This means that we should be more active in our campaign against the RH law, said Castro. This is also a challenge to voters to vote candidates who are prolife and pro-family. (Diana Uichanco / CBCPNews)

Feb. 26] when he left for Rome, said Raymon Ritumban, JesCom production coordinator. According to him, the reason for the spike may have something to do with the news reports that the cardinal is among the papabili. All cardinals are papal contenders but Tagle is among those seen to be to strongest candidates to become pope. Ritumban said people liking Tagles Facebook are coming from different countries like Poland, Italy, Australia, Spain, Puerto Rico, US, and other Asian nations. They even leave comments in their native language that we no longer understand, he said. Ritumban said new likes to the Manila archbishops Facebook page

does not go below 1,000 daily since March 9, which was only at around 125,000. He added that even the JesComs website, www.jescom.ph, is also experiencing heavy traffic as many people try to access Tagles videos. Ritumban said there were times when the sites visitors had to wait for minutes before the pages could load. Actually, the site is undergoing troubleshooting now because the increasing number of visitors this week slowed the site down, he added. The Discovery News earlier reported that Tagle is the most prominent and active cardinal on Facebook and considered as the netizens top papal contenders. (Roy Lagarde)

determined that a 4-month status quo period is sufficient to allow the court to review the merits of the case which culminates in the oral argument on June 18. With a vote of 10-5, the SC halted the implementation of the RH law for 120 days or four months. Those who voted for the status quo ante order were Teresita de Castro, Arturo Brion, Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta, Presbitero Velasco Jr., Roberto Abad, Bienvenido Reyes, Jose Mendoza, Jose Perez, and Martin Villarama Jr. Those who voted against the order were Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, Antonio Carpio, Mariano del Castillo, Marvic Leonen, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe. Since the RH law has been legally put on hold, Imbong underscored the need for citizens to be alert in the next several

months as regards any implementation by government bodies or officials of reproductive health-related activities. While the SQA order is in effect, we must all be vigilant in our own communities and circles of vocation. If you are able to witness any government agency or official engaging in RH law-related activities, the best thing to do is to gather information about that incidentwho, what, where, whenand transmit your observations to any of our pro-life attorneys so that we can determine if any violation of the SQA order has been committed, he explained. The lawyer also enjoined the people to look to the high court with more faith as it carries out its duty pertaining to studying the case in the next four months. It is worth stressing that the SC is the highest judicial

body in our legal system. Thus, we must put our full trust and confidence in their office because their highest duty is to decide cases that challenge the unconstitutionality of a particular law, in this case the RH law, Imbong said. The highly divisive bill was earlier scheduled to be fully implemented on Easter Sunday, which Filipinos called Pasko ng Pagkabuhay. (CBCP for Life) Respite for Church leaders Fr. Melvin Castro of the CBCPs Commission on Family and Life said the victory is very temporary and thus calls for a more active campaign against the measure. The SQA (status quo ante) order gives us some respite. However, it is a very temporary victory, Castro said. Nonetheless, it is still a grace of God especially that we

Photo: Courtesy of NASSA

FRANCISCAN friars in the Philippines joined the whole Catholic community in welcoming the new Pope, who chose the name Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Orders of Friars Minor (OFM), also known as the Franciscan friars. Minister Provincial of the San Pedro Bautista Province, Fr. Lino Gregorio Redoblado, OFM, said that he didnt know personally why the new Pope chose the name Francis, but there is a fitting story in Francis life when he heard a voice from God, Francis, build my Church for it is falling to ruin that resonates well with the situation of the Church today. We also need a Church today that is humble, simple and close to the little ones of which St. Francis, the Poverello (The Little Poor Man) is known for. I think that is why the new Pope chose the saints name, Redoblado said. Redoblado expressed that Franciscans are honored that their founders name was chosen as the name of the new Pope. But I believe it is truly Gods call for the whole Church to journey the path of renewal and conversion that St. Francis also began by bringing new life and vigor to the Church, he added. When asked if the inspiration of the new Pope to honor St. Francis would affect the ministry of Pope Francis, Redoblado stressed that St. Francis reformed the Church from within while

People, Facts & Places

others arrogantly defied the Church and became heretics. Pope Francis, following the Poverello will surely be bold in making reforms with love and gentleness, Redoblado furthered. Youth hails new Pope Young people also took to Facebook hailing the election of the new Pope as soon as the news was announced from the balcony of St. Peters. Karl Michael Hila of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) Youth said the first words Pope Francis said signified his desire to build a more personal relationship with the people. I was very touched by his first words. He is like a Pope who reaches out, of which the people especially the youth can easily relate to, Hila said. Everyone is very eager to know his background, and it is very good to know how he is living in simplicity, choosing to live in an apartment and riding public transportation. A picture of his, kissing and washing the feet of some AIDS patient touched me the most. For me it signifies the importance of the last, the least, and the lost to our new Pope, just as Jesus gives preferential love for the poorest of the poor, Hila added. He mentioned that for now, he is excited to know more about the new Pope and is looking forward for the great chance to see him in the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) in Rio de Janeiro this July 2013. My prayers are with you, our very dear Holy Father, Pope Francis, together with our very dear Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, all the faithful around the world, and the Saints in heaven, he furthered. Melanie Santos from the National Secretariat for Youth Apostolate mentioned that during WYD 2011 in Madrid, young people chanted the name of Pope emeritus Benedict as Benedicto, but in Rio, it will be Francisco. Santos joins all people in praying for the new Pontiff in his ministry and prays that he will always love the Church, especially the young. Mark Vertido, a youth from the diocese of Laoag pledged his obedience to the Roman Pontiff. Meanwhile, Charlotte Casinillo and her friends said, hours before the election of the pope they were discussing about the possible names the new Pope might take and remarked that Pope Francis would sound good. Just a few hours before sleeping, I told myself, when I wake up, there is already a Pope. All that came true, said Casinillo, coordinator of the UP Campus Ministry. For JC Perez, youth leader of Pasig diocese, the new Pope is a strong and clear moral teacher, unafraid to tackle issues, yet embodies a spirit of service and of mercy.

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

Franciscan Friars, youth welcome election of Pope Francis

On March 14, his first day as pontiff, Pope Francis ventures out of the Vatican to pay homage to the Virgin at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

As a Cardinal, he cooked for himself, took the bus to work, refused to live in a palace but lived in an apartment instead. Folks, I think well have a Canonizable Pope here. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam! Perez added. Jodi Herrera, a student of De La Salle University is happy that there is already a Pope who will lead the whole Catholic community.

A prayer posted on facebook by Fr. Favie Faldas, SDB, from the Salesian Youth Movement, read thus: Dear Holy Spirit, again you are a God of surprises. You surprised us with a quick election, with someone that was not thought of as Papabile, with someone this time outside of Europe. Dear Holy Spirit, thank you for Pope Francis. May you continue to guide him and the Church in these our times. Amen. (Jandel Posion)

Pope Francis trends in social media

WHILE the faithful gathered at St. Peters Square chant Habemus Papam! to welcome Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the new head of the Roman Catholic Church, netizens around the globe joined the celebration via Facebook and Twitter. Pope Francis and #HabemusPapam topped the list of trending topics over Twitter in the Philippines while Pope Francisco made it to the top 10 trending topics worldwide, showing the worlds excitement over the news of the election of the new Supreme Pontiff. Even the Popes official Twitter account, @Pontifex, was reactivated with the posting of Habemus Papam Franciscum right after Pope Francis first public appearance at the balcony of St. Peters Basilica. The Twitter account, which has over 1.8 million followers, was momentarily tory and defeat, flawlessness and imperfections. Let your will be done. Amen. VIVA IL PAPA!! Meanwhile, YouthPinoy, a lay group of young online missionaries who initiated a vigil for the Conclave, said that the Prayers for the Pope movement would continue even after the election of Pope Francis. YouthPinoys Prayers for the Pope: A vigil for the conclave at the Arzobispado de Manila Chapel ran for two nights until the College of Cardinals got the numbers necessary to elect the next bishop of Rome. Participants in the vigil include students from the University of Santo Tomas and Don Bosco Technical Institute of Mandaluyong City; members and employees of the Knights of Columbus; youth ministers from the Archdiocese of Manila and parishioners of San Agustin in Intramuros, among others. (YouthPinoy)

Youth urged to turn off portable gadgets for Earth Hour

BESIDES shutting off electricity in observance of Earth hour, a Catholic priest is asking young people to go an extra mile to protect Mother Earth: turn off also the internet, computers and other portable gadgets. Fr. Conegundo Garganta, CBCPs youth commission executive secretary said the observance does not only request the public to stop using the electricity but also provides opportunity for everyone to stay quiet at least for an hour. It is not only the electricity that we need to shut down, but also gadgets like mobile phones, play station, portable ipad, etc. The event is challenging us to change our lifestyle; [we need to] consider and evaluate how we are responding or behaving as stewards and inhabitants of this planet, Earth, Garganta said. He pointed out that the observance will be a good time to offer reflections and insights on how the people have been responding as responsible citizen or occupant of Earth. Hundreds of millions of people are set to observe the Earth hour this year on March 23. The event, which started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia as a positive response to the global challenge of climate change, has since been replicated all over the world, uniting businesses, governments and individuals to show their concern for planet earth by simultaneously putting off electricity for an hour. One hour is just a small sacrifice compared to the many gifts and blessings that the planet is providing us. We should also think ways to contribute more on how we can further save the positive resources that we have as inhabitants of Earth, Garganta added. He encouraged young people not to become slaves of gadgets and modern day equipments. Many of our young people are users of modern day gadgets and equipments but they have to learn that they are above these material things. They should not be dictated on by these gadgets and claim that they are masters of these things. Those are not meant to make humans slave but to facilitate work, entertainment and many other positive human activities. So young people should also learn the values of turning these off just for an hour in order to improve themselves as human beings, Garganta furthered. Meanwhile, the National Youth Commission (NYC) also enjoins young Filipinos to turn off electricity in celebration of Earth Hour. Commissioner Erwin Andaya said Earth Hour is among the most significant efforts of humans to give back to nature. We may truly replace what is lost, but we can do something about those that are at risk environmentally, Andaya said. Andaya, who chairs NYCs committee on environment and sustainable development, encourages young Filipinos to go beyond the 60-minute switch-off by living more sustainably to minimize ecological imprint. Here in NYC, well not just be turning off our lights, we shall also turn off our internet, and other utilities for one hour, he added. (Jandel Posion)

inactive after Pope Emeritus Benedict announced his resignation from the papacy last month. On Facebook, photos on the white smoke that has risen from the Sistine Chapels chimney and videos of Pope Francis first public appearance were posted and shared several times. Netizens posted their prayers for Pope Francis after the Holy Father humbly asked for prayers and blessings as he faces the

challenges of leading the worlds 1.2 billion Catholics. Jenny Manalang-Prado, a staff of the Archdiocese of Manila, posted her prayer over Facebook: Dear Lord, please lead, guide, direct and protect Pope Francis that he may have all the courage, strong will, perseverance and a loving heart to face what lies ahead of him as head of the Catholic Church. Help him as he embraces the Churchs vic-

OFWs children achievers awarded for excellence

CHILDREN of migrant workers who excelled in their studies and leadership skills were awarded in a ceremony held at the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCAA) in Intramuros, on March 15. Some students from different areas in Luzon were named Ten Outstanding Sons and Daughters of OFWs Student Achievers (TOSDOSA) during the 6th Gawad Anak OFW award organized by the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI). The student achievers were cited for excellence in their academic studies, leadership qualities and socio-involvement. Msgr. Joselito Asis, CBCP secretary general, stressed the significance of the event and its impact on children of OFWs. The event makes the children of migrants to appreciate more the difficulties of their parents who are working abroad, he said. Learn the value of hard work, Asis told the awardees. Every cent sent to you by your parents working abroad is earned from hard work, you must use it well. So this is one value that you must take into consideration always. He emphasized that a person who does not value hard work will not appreciate his or her status in life. Recognizing the value of hard work and diligence will lead one to appreciate more the value of suffering, he said. Awardees for the 6th Gawad Anak OFW are Marizol Marie Bautista of Bacnotan National High School in La Union; Queenie Arielle L. Basilio of Holy Family Academy in Angeles City; Ma. Angelica D. Dulay from Mangatarem Catholic School in Pangasinan; Frenz Aivereen A. Flores from La Union National High School in San Fernando, La Union; Claiven Keith A. Fontanos from Ten children of OFWs from Luzon were awarded for excellence in academic Christ the King Col- studies and leadership qualities during the 6th Gawad Anak OFW awarding lege High Depart- ceremony held last March 15. ment in San Fernando, La Union; Nicole Merit awards were also given to the Jane L. Gimarino of Saint Louis School in twenty finalists and their respective schools. Solana, Nueva Vizcaya; Patricia Jem C. Started in 2008, the search for outstandPangan of Angeles University Foundation ing children of Overseas Filipino Workers in Pampanga; Samantha M. Poblete of In- (OFW) in Luzon was initiated by the Episfant Jesus Academy of Silang, Inc. in Silang, copal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Cavite; Cloie Anne P. Rabinetas of the School Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) aimof Our Lady of the Atocha in Solana, Nueva ing to prove that teenagers can be productive Vizcaya; and Lara Denielle C. Zuniga of St. members of the society, even in the absence Michaels Institute in Bacoor, Cavite. of one or both parents. (Jandel Posion)

Michelle Nicomedes / Omnibus Media Group

Movement convenes natl youth conference for life

A RELIGIOUS group held a national conference for life in an effort to encourage the youth to live a life of purity and holiness amid the growing secularism in todays society. More than three thousand members of the Mary Help of Christians Crusade (MHCC) gathered for the National Youth Conference for Life (NYCL) at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City last March 9. Young people and guests from public and private secondary schools in the country attended the conference that discussed, among other things, the alarming loss of morality and spirituality in the society, and also sought to answer the urgent moral issues facing the society nowadays. Fr. Francis Tiquia, OATH, served as the 1st session speaker, explained the situational analysis of the Filipino culture nowadays especially of the young people. Tiquia emphasized how the youth of today are losing the sense of sacredness and how the world is falling much more into corruption not only brought by mans greed, but also the corruption of morals of the young people. Tiquia also talked about the beauty of Eucharistic Adoration and invited the young people to be with Christ, where His true presence is, at the Eucharist. Meanwhile, another priest from the Oblates Apostles of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary (OATH), Fr. Matthias Mandreza, OATH, discussed about the importance of the devotion to the Mother Mary and how this kind of devotion help and lead young people and the faithful to grow closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. Hope of the Church Jovanne Morales, a student from the Signal Village National High School in Taguig City said the conference helped them understand the current issues and consequences that surround the society and how to respond to it. We are reminded that we, the young people, are the hope of our country and the Church, Morales added. The congress culminated with the celebration of a Latin Mass presided by Tiquia. MHCC is a Catholic Youth Movement of the Alliance of the Holy Family International. Aside from the congress, MHCC is also celebrating its silver anniversary of sanctifying and encouraging devotion to Mary, Help of Christians and St. John Bosco, Father of the young. (Jandel Posion with reports from Ryan Rayos)

PBS appeals for 5 million Bibles

THE Philippine Bible Society (PBS) has appealed for help to fund five million Bibles for underprivileged families. PBS General Secretary Dr. Nora Lucero said one way to help their May They Be One (MTBO) Bible Campaign is by organizing events such as the Bible Run 2 held in Manila last March 9. We are grateful that different churches and group are supporting us in this Bible cause. We are sure that if people read the Bible and live out its teachings, our country will be transformed, Lucero said. As of March 9, PBS already distributed 861,585 copies of the Bible to different communities nationwide. The MTBO Bible is translated to 9 different languages including the English, Tagalog, Hiligaynon, Cebuano, Ilokano, Bikol, Pangasinan, Pampango and Samarenyo. The MTBO Bible Campaign is a nationwide program that aims to put a Bible in every home and encourage Filipinos to read and live the message of the Bible resulting to national transformation. Because of growing poverty, many Filipino families today have not prioritized having a copy of the Bible for their home, the PBS said. It said that this situation results in lack of understanding the Scripture including its relevance to the lives of the people. The campaign aims to raise sufficient funds for the printing and distribution at the subsidized price of P50 each. Full production cost of a Bible is P150. The balance of P100 is what PBS and partners are raising

Thousands join the 2nd Bible run on March 9 at the Quirino Grandstand to raise funds for a subsidized nationwide bible distribution to Filipino families.

funds for. Thousands of Bible believers joined the Bible Run 2, highlighted by colorful themes and floats inspired by biblical stories. The Bible Run is designed to help participants learn more about and engage with Gods

Word through the scripture verses, biblical information and trivia that will punctuate the racetracks. Participants got to interact with the Bible characters and have their pictures taken in a photo booths situated along the racetracks. (CBCPNews)

Photo courtesy of PBS


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 6
March 18 - 31 2013

Homily of the Holy Father Pope Francis

Pastoral Concerns


At the Mass, Imposition of the Pallium and Bestowal of the Fishermans Ring for the beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome
St. Peters Square, March 19, 2013, Solemnity of St. Joseph
DEAR Brothers and Sisters, I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude. I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps. In the Gospel we heard that Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife ( Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be thecustos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christs upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christs Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model (Redemptoris Custos, 1). How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelveyear-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the dayto-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus. How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of Gods presence and receptive to Gods plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulso that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation! The vocation of being a protector, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of Gods creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are Herods who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women. Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be protectors of creation, protectors of Gods plan in-

Pope begins ministry with biblical symbols, signs of universal ministry

Although attempts were made to simplify the ceremony, Pope Francis officially inaugurated his ministry as pope and bishop of Rome in a liturgy filled with biblical symbolism and signs of the universality of his mission. But before the solemn rites began March 19, Pope Francis known for choosing public transport over chauffeur-driven limousinestook his first spin in the popemobile, blessing the tens of thousands of people who arrived in St. Peters Square as early as 4 a.m. to pray with him. He waved and, at one point, gave a thumbs up to the faithful. He also kissed three babies held up to him by the chief of Vatican security, Domenico Gianni, and other officers. But he climbed out of the open jeep used as a popemobile to kiss a severely disabled man. Before entering St. Peters Square, he addressed by satellite thousands of his fellow Argentines gathered in Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, where he had been archbishop before his election as pope. He thanked the people for their prayers and told them: I have a favor to ask. I want to ask that we all walk together, caring for one another ... caring for life. Care for the family, care for nature, care for children, care for the aged. Let there be no hatred, no fighting, put aside envy and dont gossip about anyone. As the Mass began, tens of thousands of pilgrims, faithful and tourists continued to arrive, filling St. Peters Square and crowding around the large video screens placed along the boulevard leading to the square. By the time of Communion, the Vatican said there were between 150,000 and 200,000 people present. In his homily, Pope Francis asked prayers that he would be able to protect the church like St. Joseph protected Mary and Jesus, discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. He said in the Gospels, St. Joseph can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. But more than anything, he said, the churchs patron saint teaches Christians that the core concern of their lives must be Christ. Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation, Pope Francis said. He called for special efforts to protect Gods plan inscribed in nature and to protect one another, especially children, the aged, the poor and the sick. Although according to church law he officially became pope the minute he accepted his election in the Sistine Chapel March 13, Pope Francis received important symbols of his office just before the inauguration Massthe Book of the Gospels, the ring of the fisherman, St. Peter, and the pallium, a woolen band worn around the shoulders to evoke a shepherd carrying a sheep. With members of the College of Cardinals dressed in gold gathered before the main altar in St. Peters Basilica

ness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a protector because he is able to hear Gods voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to Gods call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives,

concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of Gods gifts! Whenever human beings fail

scribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be protectors, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness! Here I would add one more
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Towards a Jurisdictional Structure for the Pastoral Care of Filipino Migrant Workers.1

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 6
March 18 - 31, 2013

Addressing the Plight of the OFWs (Part III)

By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.

IN the first part of this article, we defined the problem we wish to addressi.e., the pastoral care of the 5.5 million OFWs, unstably migrated in areas of either a Catholic minority or a thinly established Catholic hierarchy. Typical of this mass of OFWs are those in the Middle East and certain countries of East and Southeast Asia (e.g., Taiwan, Japan, China, Singapore). In the second part, we focused on what should be the adequate pastoral care of migrants. In this third and final part of this article, we shall focus on the possible structures for the adequate pastoral care of OFWs. A. The Problem with the Present Set-up Reviewing where we left ofbefore the interruption of this 3-part article in order to tackle the question of the conclavelet us recall what we saw as the problem with the present set-up in the care of OFWs, under the auspices of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People. It is simply that all the efforts towards this end, insofar as they are initiatives by the Philippine Hierarchy, are nevertheless all non-hierarchical in nature. The reason is equally simple: because in none of them has the principle of personal jurisdiction been invoked, such that in all of them, the OFWs deployed in foreign lands are neither hierarchically connected with a territorial ecclesiastical circumscription (either because such a host Church doesnt exist where they are, or the language and cultural barrier prevents their being integrated to such Church at the moment), nor with their Church of origin in the Philippines (simply because they are not in Philippine territory at the moment). Now then, no matter how zealous the chaplains/missionaries for migrants may be, or how dedicated to the apostolate with the OFWs the lay members of the covenanted communities might be, it would not suffice for the full delivery of the Churchs spiritual wealth (the Word of God and the sacraments) neces-

sary for the OFWs to fully actualize their universal vocation to holiness. For that to happen, the hierarchical relationship ordoplebs (sacred ministerfaithful) must be in place. Another way of understanding this is to remember that for the Church to effectively exist, the interplay between the ministerial priesthood of the clerics (ultimately stemming from the sacra potestas invested on the sacred Pastors because of apostolic succession) and the royal priesthood of the laity must exist. In other words, if the OFWs are indeed to enjoy maximally the means of salvation, in equal terms with the rest of the Catholic faithful in the Philippine Church, they must form part of an ecclesiastical circumscription, in much the same way as the other Filipino Catholics back

and Itinerant People, through a loosely constituted bond or contract with the same. Because for the most part they are not incardinated or even ascribed to the Church ad quameither because such a Church does not exist or is thinly constituted the Filipino chaplains are pretty much left on their own. While they are expected to minister to the needs of the OFWs, who outnumber them overwhelmingly, there is very little provision for their own spiritual nourishment. How can they infuse zeal to the OFWs if they themselves are not adequately supported to maintain their zeal at a high level? B. The Solution: A Personal Ecclesiastical Circumscription If the problem is the lack of a jurisdictional bond between

to authoritatively exercise the threefold functions of teaching, sanctifying and governing a group of faithful who in turn are bound to be subject to his pastoral care. A presbyterium (sacred ministers), who are incardinated to the prelature and juridically bound to obey the prelate and to take care of the flock. A people (Catholic faithful), who belong to the prelature not through being circumscribed in a given territory, but due to a personal quality and personal election to belong to the said prelature. To date, the only existing personal prelature is the Prelature of Opus Dei, the peculiarity of which is that the type of pastoral care it delivers is not what is called the ordinaria cura animarum (ordinary care of souls), which is

frequent Confession and spiritual direction) and collectively (through days of recollection and retreats) to the faithful of the prelature and their friends. This type of personal ecclesiastical circumscription then provides another layer of pastoral care over and above the ordinary care of souls provided by the territorial circumscriptions to which its faithful primordially belong. But there are also some eventual personal circumscriptions, mentioned in Vatican documents and by authors, which can deliver the ordinaria cura animarum to special groups of faithful, who for some reason would otherwise find themselves deprived of such ordinary pastoral care. Thus, the Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of Gypsies the possibility of establishing a personal prelature to

The ratio of chaplain to OFWs in the Middle East is roughly equivalent to having 3 priests for the entire diocese of Cubao or the Archdiocese of Davao! What would happen to those 3 priests in Davao or Cubao if their Ordinary were resident in another country and they were left to fend for themselves. What would happen to the Catholics of Cubao or Davao? That is what is happening to the OFWs in the Middle East; we can only pray that the Filipino chaplains there are faring better.
home do. The only way they can do that, given the difficulty of their forming part of a territorial ecclesiastical circumscription where they are (either because such does not exist or cultural differences make such inclusion impractical), is for them to form part of a personal ecclesiastical circumscription set up specifically for them. Perhaps of even greater importdue to its grave consequencesis the absence of hierarchical jurisdiction over the chaplains deployed outside the Philippines to care for the OFWs. The typical Filipino priest working as chaplain for migrants in a foreign land is working out of his own diocese in the Philippineseither in a semi-permanent basis through what is known as ascription (he is what is ordinarily called a guest priest) in the host diocese if such existed, or simply as a volunteer for the Episcopal Commission on Migrants the local bishop and the Filipino chaplains for migrants (either because there is no local Church constituted or the local bishop is inaccessible due to distance or cultural difference), and as a consequence the lack of pastoral bond between the OFWs and Pastor, then another type of jurisdiction must be established. This is precisely what a personal ecclesiastical jurisdiction is for. In this type of circumscriptiontypified in the Code of Canon Law by the personal prelature (cc.294-297)the juridic bond between Pastor and presbyterium, and Pastor and faithful, arises not because of territory but because of a personal quality of the faithful (hence personal and not territorial circumscription). The typical composition of a personal prelature is: A prelate (typically a bishop, but not necessarily), who is invested with the sacra potestas or power of jurisdiction already given by the territorial ecclesiastical circumscription (i.e., the dioceses) of which the faithful of the prelature already form part. Rather, this prelature exists for a peculiar pastoral care, aside from the ordinary pastoral care given by the dioceses, in order to capacitate its faithful to live a specific vocation to live the Christian life to the full, in order to be leaven in both secular society and the Church. Thus, the priests of Opus Dei do not ordinarily administer the sacraments of baptism, confirmation or solemnize the marriage involving its faithful: they receive all these in their respective parishes. Neither do the majority of the faithful go to Mass in special centers of Opus Dei. On the other hand, the priests of Opus Dei assiduously impart doctrinal formation (teaching ecclesiastical sciences to all the faithful of the prelature and catechism to their many friends) and spiritual formation, both individually (through take care of those people is mentioned.1 A similar proposal was made to take care of migrants2 and John Paul II made reference to it in the context of immigrants in two Apostolic Exhortations.3 Some authors have also given, as example the care of migrants of same nation displaced in other territories,4 or the pastoral care of the people of the sea,5 as possible, specific pastoral tasks for personal prelatures. Could this not be the solution for the OFWs in those areas where the territorial ecclesiastical circumscription is non-existent or very thinly constituted either absolutely (i.e., it simply has too few priests) or relatively (i.e., it has too few priests in comparison to the millions of OFWs in their territorye.g., in the Middle East)? C. A Personal Prelature for OFWs Such a prelature would be erected by the Holy See and it

would consist of: A Prelate, who would be the Ordinary of the prelature, with ordinary (not delegated) and proper (not vicariate) power of jurisdiction over the prelature. As such, the prelate would be the proper pastor of a specific flock (of chaplains and OFWs). As previously pointed out, Canon Law does not require the prelate to be a bishop (although it would be convenient if he were, since he would be exercising properly episcopal functions). A presbyterium , composed of chaplains for OFWs. Initially and for many years, these would be composed of volunteer priests from other circumscriptions or religious congregations, who could either be incardinated to the prelature (for the secular clergy) or ascribed to it (both secular and religious clergy). In time, it is not inconceivable that the prelature might have its own seminary. In any case, these priests would be the collaborators of the prelate and therefore would be under his pastoral care as well. A people (the OFWs), who automatically belong to the prelature by the fact of being OFWs. In this regard, it is interesting to note that Canon Law provides for the possibility that some of these laypeople could actually cooperate hierarchically with the prelature, such that they are not merely passive subjects of the pastoral care of the prelature, but could cooperate organically with the pastoral work of the prelature, by agreements entered with the prelature; the mode of this organic cooperation and the principal duties and rights connected with it shall be appropriately determined in the statutes of the prelature (c.296). In this latter case, one could only imagine the synergy that could be created between the Prelature for OFWs and a number of covenanted communities (e.g., Couples for Christ, Bukas Loob sa Diyos, Ligaya ng Panginoon, Knights of Columbus to mention a few) with members who are OFWs. Conclusion The late Sen. Benigno Aquino had said that the Filipino
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Children Writing Lists of Their Sins

(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: Our pastor has the children in the parish day school come regularly for the sacrament of reconciliation. Each of the children is required to fill out a page with their name and their sins written in their own hand. While this helps their memory and speeds up the movement of a large number of children, I worry. Some of these pages have been found in the church by others. Parents might find them in their childrens book bags. I am concerned about the confidentiality of the sacrament and the good of the penitent. I have expressed this concern, but the situation continues. Do you have any insight or advice for me? -- D.N., Euclid, Ohio A: I would answer that the question should be considered from several points of view. From the point of view of the penitent, there is nothing inherently wrong about preparing ones confession in written form. Many souls do this so as not to forget at the moment of confession. If for some good reason one is unable to speak, then it is also possible to write ones sins and hand them to a priest. For example, in his historic Manual of Moral Theology, Jesuit Father Thomas Slater (1855-1928) stated that: [O]ral confession is not absolutely necessary for the validity of the sacrament, for mutes or penitents who know no language known also to the confessor, or those who are dying and unable to speak, may confess by signs. Moreover, for good reason, anyone may write his confession, hand it to the priest to read, and accuse himself in general terms, such as I confess all that is written here. This could happen, for example, to a person suffering from some psychological condition which blocks the verbal expression of the sin committed. The only way they can manage a complete confession is through writing. In all such cases it is incumbent upon the penitent to destroy what he has written, although, strictly speaking, he would not be obliged to do so. The obligation of secrecy falls upon the priest, not the penitent. It is quite conceivable that some souls would wish to keep some record in order to discuss the same matters, on a different level, with a spiritual director. In the case of young children, however, I believe that they should not be asked, under any circumstances, to write their name on a list of sins. There is absolutely no need to do this and they also have a right to anonymity in the confessional. I also believe that writing the sins should be a practical suggestion and not an obligation. If there is any danger of their leaving their lists lying around, then I think that the pastors or catechists could help by providing a closed receptacle where the children could tear up the list and deposit it after confessing. The lists should be destroyed at the earliest opportunity. In some places penitents have been encouraged to write their sins and, after confession, burn the list in a brazier that is set up for this purpose. While this has some symbolic value, it could easily detract from grasping the meaning of the priests absolution, which is the sacramental moment when grace is fully restored or increased. The possibility of such misinterpretations makes me somewhat wary of encouraging such practices. Indeed, there have even been some cases where priests have given the impression of substituting the destruction of lists of sins for sacramental absolution, thus casting doubt on the validity of the sacrament.

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 6
March 18 - 31, 2013



Homily of His Holiness, Pope Francis

at the Missa Pro Ecclesia with the Cardinal Electors
Sistine Chapel, 14 March 2013
When we are not walking, we stop moving. When we are not building on the stones, what happens? The same thing that happens to children on the beach when they build sandcastles: everything is swept away, there is no solidity. When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Lon Bloy comes to mind: Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil. When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness. Journeying, building, professing. But things are not so straightforward, because in journeying, building, proIN these three readings, I see a common element: that of movement. In the first reading, it is the movement of a journey; in the second reading, the movement of building the Church; in the third, in the Gospel, the movement involved in professing the faith. Journeying, building, professing. Journeying. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord (Is 2:5). This is the first thing that God said to Abraham: Walk in my presence and live blamelessly. Journeying: our life is a journey, and when we stop moving, things go wrong. Always journeying, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with the blamelessness that God asked of Abraham in his promise. Building. Building the Church. We speak of stones: stones are solid; but living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Building the Church, the Bride of Christ, on the cornerstone that is the Lord himself. This is another kind of movement in our lives: building. Thirdly, professing. We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord. fessing, there can sometimes be jolts, movements that are not properly part of the journey: movements that pull us back. This Gospel continues with a situation of a particular kind. The same Peter who professed Jesus Christ, now says to him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. That has nothing to do with it. I will follow you on other terms, but without the Cross. When we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly: we may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord. My wish is that all of us, after these days of grace, will have the courage, yes, the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Lords Cross; to build the Church on the Lords blood which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward. My prayer for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, will grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ crucified. Amen.

Address of the Holy Father Pope Francis to the College of Cardinals

At the Clementine Hall, 15 March 2013
DEAR Brother Cardinals, The period of the conclave has been a momentous time not only for the College of Cardinals, but also for all the faithful. In these days we have felt almost tangibly the affection and the solidarity of the universal Church, as well as the concern of so many people who, even if they do not share our faith, look to the Church and the Holy See with respect and admiration. From every corner of the earth fervent prayers have been offered up by the Christian people for the new Pope, and my first encounter with the thronging crowd in Saint Peters Square was deeply moving. With that evocative image of the people gathered in joyful prayer still impressed on my memory, I want to express my sincere thanks to the bishops, priests, consecrated persons, young people, families, and the elderly for their spiritual closeness, so touching and so deeply felt. I want to express my sincere and profound gratitude to all of you, my dear venerable brother Cardinals, for your ready cooperation in the task of leading the Church during the period of the Sede Vacante. I greet each one of you warmly, beginning with the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, whom I thank for his devoted words and his fervent good wishes addressed to me on behalf of all of you. I also thank Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, for his attentive service during this transitional period, as well as our dear friend Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who led us during the conclave: thank you very much! My thoughts turn with particular affection to the Cardinals who, on account of age or ill health, made their contribution and expressed their love for the Church by offering up their sufferings and their prayers. And I should tell you that the day before yesterday, Cardinal Mejia had a heart attack and was taken to thePio XIHospital. But they think his condition is stable, and he has sent us his greetings. Nor can I omit to thank all those who carried out various tasks in the preparation and the conduct of the conclave, providing the Cardinals with security and peace of mind in this period of such importance for the life of the Church. My thoughts turn with great affection and profound gratitude to my venerable PredecessorBenedict XVI, who enriched and invigorated the Church during the years of his Pontificate by his teaching, his goodness, his leadership, his faith, his humility and his meekness. All this remains as a spiritual patrimony for us all. The Petrine ministry, lived with total dedication, found in him a wise and humble exponent, his gaze always firmly on Christ, the risen Christ, present and alive in the Eucharist. We will always accompany him with fervent prayers, with constant remembrance, with undying and affectionate gratitude. We feel thatBenedict XVIhas kindled a flame deep within our hearts: a flame that will continue to burn because it will be fed by his prayers, which continue to sustain the Church on her spiri-

Address of the Holy Father Pope Francis to the representatives of the Communications Media
Paul VI Audience Hall, 16 March 2013
DEAR Friends, At the beginning of my ministry in the See of Peter, I am pleased to meet all of you who have worked here in Rome throughout this intense period which began with the unexpected announcement made by my venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI on 11 February last. To each of you I offer a cordial greeting. The role of the mass media has expanded immensely in these years, so much so that they are an essential means of informing the world about the events of contemporary history. I would like, then, to thank you in a special way for the professional coverage which you provided during these daysyou really worked, didnt you?when the eyes of the whole world, and not just those of Catholics, were turned to the Eternal City and particularly to this place which has as its heart the tomb of Saint Peter. Over the past few weeks, you have had to provide information about the Holy See and about the Church, her rituals and traditions, her faith and above all the role of the Pope and his ministry. I am particularly grateful to those who viewed and presented these events of the Churchs history in a way which was sensitive to the right context in which they need to be read, namely that of faith. Historical events almost always demand a nuanced interpretation which at times can also take into account the dimension of faith. Ecclesial events are certainly no more intricate than political or economic events! But they do have one particular underlying feature: they follow a pattern which does not readily correspond to the worldly categories which we are accustomed to use, and so it is not easy to interpret and communicate them to a wider and more varied public. The Church is certainly a human and historical institution with all that that entails, yet her nature is not essentially political but spiritual: the Church is the People of God, the Holy People of God making its way to encounter Jesus Christ. Only from this perspective can a satisfactory account be given of the Churchs life and activity.

tual and missionary path. Dear brother Cardinals, this meeting of ours is intended to be, as it were, a prolongation of the intense ecclesial communion we have experienced during this period. Inspired by a profound sense of responsibility and supported by a great love for Christ and for the Church, we have prayed together, fraternally sharing our feelings, our experiences and reflections. In this atmosphere of great warmth we have come to know one another better in a climate of mutual openness; and this is good, because we are brothers. Someone said to me: the Cardinals are the priests of the Holy Father. That community, that friendship, that closeness will do us all good. And our acquaintance and mutual openness have helped us to be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit. He, the Paraclete, is the ultimate source of every initiative and manifestation of faith. It is a curious thing: it makes me think of this. The Paraclete creates all the differences among the Churches, almost as if he were an Apostle of Babel. But on the other hand, it is he who creates unity from these differences, not in equality, but in harmony. I remember the Father of the Church who described him thus: Ipse harmonia est. The Paraclete, who gives different charisms to each of us, unites us in this community of the Church, that worships the Father, the Son, and Him, the Holy Spirit. On the basis of the authentic affective collegiality that unites the College of Cardinals, I express my desire to serve the Gospel with renewed love, helping the Church to become increasingly, in Christ and with

Christ, the fruitful vine of the Lord. Inspired also by the celebration of the Year of Faith, all of us together, pastors and members of the faithful, will strive to respond faithfully to the Churchs perennial mission: to bring Jesus Christ to mankind and to lead mankind to an encounter with Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, truly present in the Church and also in every person. This meeting leads us to become new men in the mystery of Grace, kindling in the spirit that Christian joy that is the hundredfold given by Christ to those who welcome him into their lives. AsPope Benedict XVIreminded us so many times in his teachings, and at the end by his courageous and humble gesture, it is Christ who leads the Church through his Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church through his life-giving and unifying force: out of many, he makes one single body, the Mystical Body of Christ. Let us never yield to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil offers us every day; let us not yield to pessimism or discouragement: let us be quite certain that the Holy Spirit bestows upon the Church, with his powerful breath, the courage to persevere and also to seek new methods of evangelization, so as to bring to Gospel to the uttermost ends of the earth (cf.Acts1:8). Christian truth is attractive and persuasive because it responds to the profound need of human life, proclaiming convincingly that Christ is the one Saviour of the whole man and of all men. This proclamation remains as valid today as it was at the origin of Christianity, when the first

great missionary expansion of the Gospel took place. Dear brother Cardinals, take courage! Half of us are advanced in age. Old age isas I like to saythe seat of lifes wisdom. The old have acquired the wisdom that comes from having journeyed through life, like the old man Simeon, the old prophetess Anna in the Temple. And that wisdom enabled them to recognize Jesus. Let us pass on this wisdom to the young: like good wine that improves with age, let us give lifes wisdom to the young. I am reminded of a German poet who said of old age: Es is ruhig, das Alter, und fromm: it is a time of tranquillity and prayer. And also a time to pass on this wisdom to the young. You will now return to your respective sees to continue your ministry, enriched by the experience of these days, so full of faith and ecclesial communion. This unique and incomparable experience has enabled us to grasp deeply all the beauty of the Church, which is a glimpse of the radiance of the risen Christ: one day we will gaze upon that beautiful face of the risen Christ! I entrust my ministry and your ministry to the powerful intercession of Mary, our Mother, Mother of the Church. Under her maternal gaze, may each one of you continue gladly along your path, attentive to the voice of her divine Son, strengthening your unity, persevering in your common prayer and bearing witness to the true faith in the constant presence of the Lord. With these sentiments, which I really mean, I impart a heartfelt Apostolic Blessing, which I extend to your co-workers and to all those entrusted to your pastoral care.


Christ is the Churchs Pastor, but his presence in history passes through the freedom of human beings; from their midst one is chosen to serve as his Vicar, the Successor of the Apostle Peter. Yet Christ remains the centre, not the Successor of Peter: Christ, Christ is the centre. Christ is the fundamental point of reference, the heart of the Church. Without him, Peter and the Church would not exist or have reason to exist. As Benedict XVI frequently reminded us, Christ is present in Church and guides her. In everything that has occurred, the principal agent has been, in the final analysis, the Holy Spirit. He prompted the decision of Benedict XVI for the good of the Church; he guided the Cardinals in prayer and in the election. It is important, dear friends, to take into due account this way of looking at things, this hermeneutic, in order to bring into proper focus what really happened in these days. All of this leads me to thank you once more for your work in these particularly demanding days, but also to ask you to try to understand more fully the true nature of the Church, as well as her journey in this world, with her virtues and her sins, and to know the spiritual concerns which guide her and are the most genuine way to understand her. Be assured that the Church, for her part, highly esteems your important work. At your disposal you have the means to hear and to give voice to peoples expectations and demands, and to provide for an analysis and interpretation of current events. Your work calls for careful preparation, sensitivity and experience, like so many other professions, but it also
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CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 6
March 18 - 31, 2013

Homily of His Holiness, Pope Francis given at the Parish of St. Ann
Vatican City, 17 March 2013
THIS is beautiful: first Jesus alone on the mountain praying. He prayed alone (cf. John 8:1). Then he went again to the Temple, and all the people went to him (cf. 8:2). Jesus among the people. And then, at the end, they left him alone with the woman (cf. 8:9). That solitude of Jesus! But it is a fruitful solitude: it is that of prayer with the Father and that other, which is so beautiful, which is precisely the Churchs message today, the [fruitful solitude] of his mercy with this woman. There is also a difference among the people: there are the people who went with him; he sat down and began to teach them: the people who wanted to hear Jesus words, the people with open hearts, in need of the Word of God. There were others, who heard nothing, they could not hear; and they are those who brought the woman: Listen, Master, here is one, and one that ... We must do to her what Moses commanded us to do to these women (cf. 8:4-5). We too believe that we are these people, who, on the one hand wants to listen to Jesus, but, on the other hand, we like to cudgel others, to condemn others. And Jesus message is: mercy. For me, I say this humbly, it is the strongest message of the Lord: mercy. But he himself said it: I have not come for the just; the just justify themselves. Go ahead, blessed Lord, if you can do it, I cannot! But they think that they can do it. I have come for sinners (cf. Mark 2:17). Think about that complaining after the calling of Matthew: But he goes around with sinners! (cf. Matthew 2:16). And he has come for us when we recognize that we are sinners. But if we are like that Pharisee at the altarI thank you, Lord, that I am not like all the others, and that I am not like the man at the gate, like that publican (cf. Luke 18:11-12)then we do not know the Lords heart, and we will never have the joy to experience this mercy! It is not easy to entrust oneself to Gods mercy, because it is an inscrutable abyss. But we must do it! Oh, father, if you knew my life, you would not speak this way! Why, what have you done? Oh, I have done terrible things! All the better! Go to Jesus: he would be happy if you told him these things! He forgets, he has a special capacity to forget. He forgets, he kisses you, he embraces you and he says to you: Neither do I condemn you; go and from now on sin no more (John 8:11). That is the only counsel he gives you. After a month, we are in the same situation ... Let us return to the Lord. The Lord never wearies of forgiving: never! We are the ones who grow weary of asking forgiveness. And let us ask for the grace to never weary of asking forgiveness because he never wearies of forgiving. Let us ask for this grace. [At the conclusion of the Eucharistic Celebration, the pastor priest of SantAnna in the Vatican, Father Bruno Silvestrini, O.S.A., and the vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, offered their greetings to Pope Francis. Then the Holy Father concluded with these words:] T here are a few people here who are not parishioners: these Argentine priests, one is my auxiliary bishop, but today they are parishioners. But I would like to introduce you to a priest who comes from a great distance, who came, a priest who for a long time has been working with street kids, with drug addicts. He opened a school for them, he has done a lot of things to help them to know Jesus, and today all of these young people from the street, because of the studies they undertook, are working, they are able to work, they believe in and love Jesus. I would like to ask you, Gonzalo, come and greet the people: pray for him. He works in Uruguay, he is the founder of the Liceo Jubilar Juan Pablo II, he does this work. I dont know how he came here today. But I will find out! Thank you. Pray for him.

Rend your hearts, so that through that crack we can really look at ourselves
(Lenten Message of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, issued on February 13, 2013, a month before his election to the See of Peter)
limitation, of our weakness and of our inability to transform this innumerable list of destructive realities. The trap of impotence makes us think: Does it make sense to try to change this? Can we do anything in face of this situation? Is it worthwhile to try if the world continues its carnival dance disguising everything for a while? However, when the mask falls, the truth appears and, although for many it is anachronistic to say it, sin reappears, which wounds our flesh with all its destructive force, twisting the destinies of the world and of history. Lent comes to us as a cry of truth and sure hope, which answers yes, that it is possible not to put on makeup and draw plastic smiles as if nothing is happening. Yes, it is possible that everything be made new and different because God continues to be rich in kindness and mercy, always willing to forgive, and He encourages us to begin again and again. Today we are again invited to undertake a paschal journey to Truth, a journey that includes the cross and renunciation, which will be uncomfortable but not sterile. We are invited to admit that something is not right in ourselves, in society and in the Church to change, to turn around, to be converted. Strong and challenging on this day are the words of the prophet Joel: Rend your hearts, not your garments: be converted to the Lord your God. It is an invitation to all peoples; no one is excluded. Rend your hearts, not your garments, artificial penance without guarantees for the future. Rend your hearts, not your garments, formal and fulfilled fast which continues to keep us satisfied. Rend your hearts, not your garments, superficial and egoistic prayer which does not reach the depth of our life to allow it to be touched by God. Rend your hearts to say with the Psalmist: we have sinned. Sin is the wound of the soul: Oh poor wounded one, recognize your Physician! Show him the wounds of your guilt. And given that our secret thoughts are not hidden from Him, make him hear the groan of your heart. Move Him to compassion with your tears, with your insistence. Importune Him! May He hear your sighs, make your pain reach Him so that, in the end, He can say to you: The Lord has forgiven your sin (Saint Gregory the Great). This is the reality of our human condition. This is the truth that can bring us closer to genuine reconciliation with God and with men. It is not about discrediting self-esteem but about penetrating the depth of our hearts and of assuming the mystery of suffering and pain which has bound us for centuries, thousands of years, always. Rend your hearts, so that through that crack we can really look at ourselves.
Homily / B1

TO the priests, the consecrated and the laity of the Archdiocese, Rend your hearts, not your garments; Return now to the Lord your God, Because He is compassionate and merciful, Slow to anger and rich in mercy Little by little we get used to hearing and seeing, through the media, the black chronicle of contemporary society, presented almost with perverse enjoyment and we also get used to touching it and hearing it around us and in our own flesh. The drama is in the street, in the neighborhood, in our home, and, why not, in our heart. The suffering of the innocent and peaceful never ceases to hit us; contempt for the rights of the most fragile persons and peoples are not that foreign to us; the dominance of money with its demonic effects such as drugs, corruption, the trafficking of persons, including children, together with material and moral misery are the common currency. The destruction of fitting work, the painful emigrations and the lack of a future are also added to this symphony. Our errors and sins as Church are also not absent from this great panorama. The most personal egoisms are justified, and not because of this are they lesser, the lack of ethical values in a society that metastasizes in families, in the coexistence of neighborhoods, villages and cities, speak to us of our
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Rend your hearts, open your hearts, because only in a broken and open heart can the merciful love of God enter, who loves and heals us. Rend your hearts says the prophet, and Paul asks us almost on his knees be reconciled with God. To change ones way of living is the sign and fruit of this broken and reconciled heart by a love that surpasses us. This is the invitation, given the many wounds that harm us and that can lead us to the temptation of hardening us: Rend your hearts to experience in silent and serene prayer the gentleness of Gods tenderness. Rend your hearts to be able to love with the love with which we are loved, to console with the consolation that consoles us and to share what we have received. The liturgical time that the Church begins today is not only for us, but also for the transformation of our families, our communities, our Church, our homeland, of the whole world. They are forty days to be converted to the very holiness of God; to become collaborators who receive grace and the possibility to reconstruct human life so that every man will experience the salvation that Christ won for us with his Death and Resurrection. Together with prayer and penance, as a sign of our faith in the strength of Easter which transforms every thing, we also prepare to begin as in other years our solidaristic Lenten

gesture. As Church in Buenos Aires that marches towards Easter and that believes that the Kingdom of God is possible, we need to have spring from our hearts, broken by the desire of conversion and love, the grace and effective gesture that will alleviate the sorrow of so many brothers who walk with us. No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great (Saint John Chrysostom). This Year of Faith we are living is also an opportunity that God gives us to grow and mature in our encounter with the Lord who makes Himself visible in the suffering face of so many youth without a future, in the trembling hands of the forgotten elderly and in the vacillating knees of so many families that continue to face life without finding anyone to support them. I wish you a holy Lent, a penitential and fruitful Lent and, please, I ask you to pray for me. May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin look after you. Paternally, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J. Buenos Aires, February 13, 2013 Ash Wednesday

demands a particular concern for what is true, good and beautiful. This is something which we have in common, since the Church exists to communicate precisely this: Truth, Goodness and Beauty in person. It should be apparent that all of us are called not to communicate ourselves, but this existential triad made up of truth, beauty and goodness. Some people wanted to know why the Bishop of Rome wished to be called Francis. Some thought of Francis Xavier, Francis De Sales, and also Francis of Assisi. I will tell you the story. During the election, I was seated next to the Archbishop Emeritus of So Paolo and Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes: a good friend, a good friend! When things were looking dangerous, he encouraged me. And when the votes reached two thirds, there was the usual applause, because the Pope

had been elected. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said: Dont forget the poor! And those words came to me: the poor, the poor. Then, right away, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of all the wars, as the votes were still being counted, till the end. Francis is also the man of peace. That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we? He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor! Afterwards, people were joking with me. But you should call yourself Hadrian, because Hadrian VI was the reformer, we need a reform And someone else said to me: No, no: your name should be Clement.

But why? Clement XV: thus you pay back Clement XIV who suppressed the Society of Jesus! These were jokes. I love all of you very much, I thank you for everything you have done. I pray that your work will always be serene and fruitful, and that you will come to know ever better the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the rich reality of the Churchs life. I commend you to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization, and with cordial good wishes for you and your families, each of your families. I cordially impart to all of you my blessing. Thank you. I told you I was cordially imparting my blessing. Since many of you are not members of the Catholic Church, and others are not believers, I cordially give this blessing silently, to each of you, respecting the conscience of each, but in the knowledge that each of you is a child of God. May God bless you!

thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness! Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must

enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of Gods people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect! In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, hoping against hope, believed ( Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon

them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God. To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us! I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! Amen.


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Vol. 17 No. 6
March 18 - 31, 2013



LET us join the whole Church and the world in thanking God for His special gift in the extraordinary person of Pope Francis. I thank you for your fervent prayers for the Cardinal Electors. We never felt alone even for a moment. Your love sustained us. When I approached Pope Francis to assure him of the closeness and collaboration of the Filipinos, he said,

Message of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle on the election of His Holiness Pope Francis

I have high hopes for the Philippines. May your faith prosper, as well as your devotion to Our Lady and mission to the poor. What a compelling message from this humble man of God! All praise and glory to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. + L U I S A N T O NI O CARDINAL TAGLE Archbishop of Manila March 14, 2013


OUR new Pope Francis has chosen St. Francis of Assisi to be his patron in the papal ministry of New Evangelization, starting this Year of Faith. St. Francis of Assisi was a man of social action among the poor. Two other Francis may inspire Pope Francis, Francis Xavier, who was a missionary par excellence; and St. Francis de Sales, an educator of deep faith and gentle approach to religious divisions. Pope Francis, from his background, will do just the same, as he was doing in his former local church in

Message on the Election of Pope Francis

Argentina. He now brings the same experience and charism to the wider world of the Church. Pope Francis was chosen by both the Cardinal-Electors and the Holy Spirit (human and divine election) in less than two days of conclave and even from outside the number of papabile. The conclave was the hour of God for the Church, choosing Pope Francis. Long live the new Pope! +ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, DD Archbishop of Jaro March 14, 2013

Save our people with honor

A Joint Pastoral Letter on Peace in the Philippines
TO our Government Leaders: You may not agree with the methods used. You may not agree with the ultimate aim. You may say that the entire Sabah event was both foolhardy and also wrong. You might even suspect that there are unseen minds behind the event. The fact is: Filipino lives have been lost. Even now Filipino lives are at stake. They were lost because they believed they have a right to reclaim a naturally rich territory for which they are being paid a measly sum every year. We cannot simply let them sacrifice more lives for that cause. And government leaders can do more than just tell them to get out. We appeal to you our government leaders for the sake of life and peace: 1. to support the appeal of the United Nations for an immediate end of the violence in Sabah; 2. to press upon the two contending forces to heed the U.N. call; 3. to resume the diplomatic work of resolving the proprietary and the sovereignty question, a task historically entrusted to the government by the Sultanate of Sulu; 4. and thus to ensure the withdrawal with honor of armed forces from the area. We pray that government leaders on both sides demonstrate wisdom and statesmanship in preventing further bloodshed and resolving the basic issues that resulted in tragedy. We pray for all the casualties, both Filipino and Malaysian, in the conflict. We pray for their grieving families. As Religious Leaders we make this appeal, invoking the name of the One Merciful and Omnipotent God. Catholic Bishops of Mindanao: Bp. Guillermo Afable (Digos) Bp. Colin Bagaforo (Cotabato) Bp. Antonieto Cabajog (Surigao) Bp. Jose Cabantan (Malaybalay) Bp. Edwin de la Pea (Marawi) Bp. Elenito Galido (Iligan) Bp. Dinualdo Gutierrez (Marbel) Bp. Martin Jumoad (Isabela) Bp. Angelito Lampon, OMI (Jolo) Abp. Antonio Ledesma, SJ (Cagayan de Oro) Msgr. Cris Manongas (Zamboanga) Abp. Orlando Quevedo, OMI (Cotabato) Bp. George Rimando (Davao) Bp. Julius Tonel (Ipil) Abp. Romulo Valles (Davao) and others March 9, 2013

An Open Letter to President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III

Re: Follow-up appeal to the President to cause the immediate cessation of black sand mining operations in Ilocos Sur. From: Priests Assembly, Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia Your Excellency: In letters dated March 5, 2012 and March 19, 2012, received by the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection on March 8, 2012 and March 23, 2012 respectively, some groups of concerned citizens of Ilocos Sur brought to your attention the ongoing black sand mining operations along the shorelines of the province. Such operations have brought destruction to the environment such as soil erosion and pose grave threat to the homes, livelihood and indeed, the survival of communities especially those living along the coastline. In response to the appeal, Director Leo Jazareno of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, sent a team from the National Office to conduct an investigation in April 2012, and another team from the Regional Office on January 27, 2013. These, however, failed to stop black sand mining activities in the province. To this day, mining operations continue unabatedly in the shorelines of the province. Truckloads of black sand extracted from the shorelines of Barangay Caparacadan, Caoayan, Barangay Tamorong in Santa Catalina, Barangays Nagtupacan and San Sebastian in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur are brought to Salomague Port in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur where they are prepared for shipment. We likewise have information that there are small scale mining activities in Santa Cruz, Ilocos, Sur. Earlier, letters of appeal and complaint had been sent to the National Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) which directed its Regional Office (Region I) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to act on the complaint. After conducting an investigation the said offices concluded that there are no black sand mining activities in Ilocos Sur. We, concerned citizens of Ilocos Sur, wish to refute the conclusion arrived at by the investigating teams. We have concrete evidences to support the claim that indeed, to this day, back sand mining operations continue in Ilocos Sur. Convinced of the evil effects of black sand mining and impelled by faith in the Creator who entrusted to humanity the stewardship of creation, concerned citizens of Ilocos Sur endorsed and signed a Manifesto clamoring for IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF BLACK SAND MINING OPERATIONS IN ILOCOS SUR. To publicly express this clamor a Prayer Rally was held last February 9, 2013 at Plaza Burgos, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, participated in by thousands representing various faith-groups, civic-oriented groups, students of Catholic and public schools, seminarians, nuns and priests of the province. As shepherds of the faithful in Ilocos Sur we cannot, in conscience, simply allow this to continue without lifting a finger. Therefore, we, the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, urgently appeal to Your Excellency to IMMEDIATELY CAUSE THE CESSATION OF BLACK SAND MINING ACTIVITIES IN OUR PROVINCE. We appeal to Your Office to intervene and pressure local officials and government agencies to immediately stop black sand mining operations in Ilocos Sur. We appeal to Your Office to intervene and revoke without further delay, any permit, if any had been issued, to operate black sand mining in Ilocos Sur. We appeal to Your Office to intervene and order the dismantling without further delay the erected black sand mining station in Sitio Namnama, Brgy. Tamorong, Sta. Catalina, Ilocos Sur. We appeal to Your Office to order the immediate pull out of all black sand mining equipments at Brgy. Caparacadan, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur. We appeal to Your Office to intervene so that full disclosure to the public shall be made as to the expanse and extent of Ilocos Sur shoreline emptied of black sand. We request that a competent group be commissioned to study the adverse effects of black sand mining and make recommendations towards the rehabilitation, risk reduction and management of the environment especially the areas affected by mining activities. We appeal to Your Office to intervene so that the local officials and government agencies found to have been neglectful of their sworn duty to serve the common good and to have violated existing Laws related to the issue of black sand mining, should be brought to justice. We end with the assurance of our wholehearted support for your program of good governance convinced that Ang Daang Matuwid ay Pagmamalasakit sa Bayan at Kalikasan. Very respectfully yours, MOST REV. ERNESTO A. SALGADO, DD Archbishop of Nueva Segovia MOST REV. DAVID WILLIAM ANTONIO, DD Auxiliary Bishop of Nueva Segovia Signed by 70 members of the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. 19 February 2013

Let Us Start Rebuilding

(Nehemiah 2: 18)
WE are church leaders and shepherds of the flock from the five religious federations gathered in Baguio City, March 5-7, 2013, for the 3rd Ecumenical Church Leaders Summit on Peace. This has been the largest gathering of church leaders brought together by the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP), with 76 church leaders from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We are for the continuing of the peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and we are concerned with the continuing impasse. We have gathered to bring our collective strength together in an effort to encourage a breakthrough in the impasse that has stalled the Peace Talks since February 2011. As we recall, the PEPP issued a statement last year, pleading for the government to release on recognizance (ROR) under the collective custodial guarantee the NDFP consultants who are willing to be under the sanctuary of the churches. This plea to release the detained consultants in order for the formal peace talks to resume is not hinged solely on the contested issue of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) but also on the basis of humanitarian and other practical reasons as stated in the Oslo Joint Statement of 21 February 2011. However, a condition required by the GPH with regard to the ROR proposal
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has discouraged the consultants to avail themselves of this remedy, saying that it would expose them to greater threats. We have been made aware of a Special Track in the negotiation to hasten the peace process. We were hoping for good news about this development that we first heard about in December 2012. We understand that the special track has not prospered. Thus, the impasse remains. B ut we will not falter. Together with organizations with similar calls like Sulong CARHRIHL, Pilgrims for Peace and Waging Peace, we are here to show the country that there is a strong constituency supporting the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations. As written in the book of Nehemiah, Gods people said, let us start rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. We therefore exhort both panels to REBUILD! Break the impasse now! Our call to rebuild is also an appeal to President Benigno S. Aquino III to shepherd the formal peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP just like the way he did with the MILF. His commitment to the negotiations can help create a positive atmosphere to resume the formal talks. We also reiterate our appeal to the government to release the detained NDFP consultants as articulated in the Oslo Joint Statement of 21 February 2011, on the basis of humanitarian and other practical reasons to enable the talks to resume. If need be, we support that both panels immediately reconstruct the JASIG list

to ensure that the security of all those involved from both sides is respected and guaranteed. We enjoin our faithful to work and persevere in guarding the commitment of the GPH and NDFP to uphold the four substantive issues framed in the Hague Joint Declaration especially the Social and Economic Reforms. We pray for both sides to pursue all tracks to peace. We keep our kindred spirits high and we will seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34:14, 1 Peter 3:11). Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform, Baguio City, March 7, 2013. (Signed) Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J., D.D. Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Rev. Fr. Rex R.B. Reyes, Jr. National Council of Churches in the Philippines Bishop John R. Tayoto Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches Sr. Aurora A. Codiam, SIHM Association of Major Superiors of Women Religious in the Philippines Bishop Felixberto L. Calang Ecumenical Bishops Forum

and brass players sounding a fanfare, the rites began at the tomb of St. Peter. Pope Francis venerated the mortal remains of his predecessor as head of the church and was joined there by the heads of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Processing behind the Eastern church leaders and the cardinals, Pope Francis wearing a simple, mostly white chasuble and his black shoescame out into St. Peters Square while the choir chanted a special litany to Christ the King. French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who had announced Pope Francis election to the world six days earlier, placed the pallium, which had been worn by Pope Benedict XVI, around the new popes neck. The retired pope did not attend the Mass. The Good Shepherd charged Peter to feed his lambs and his sheep; today you succeed him as the bishop of this church to which he and the Apostle Paul

were fathers in faith, Cardinal Tauran said. Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, presented Pope Francis with the fishermans ring, a gold-plated silver band featuring St. Peter holding keys, a reminder that Jesus told St. Peter: I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Giving the pope the ring, the seal of Peter the fisherman, Cardinal Sodano told the pope he was called, as bishop of Rome, to preside over the church with charity. He prayed the pope would have the gentleness and strength to preserve, through your ministry, all those who believe in Christ in unity and fellowship. Six cardinals, representing the entire College of Cardinals, publicly pledged obedience to

the pope. While many Christians acknowledge the special role of the bishop of Rome as the one who presides over the entire Christian community in love, the way the papacy has been exercised over the centuries is one of the key factors in the ongoing division of Christians. For the first time since the Great Schism of 1054 split the main Christian community into East and West, the ecumenical patriarch attended the installation Mass. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, first among equals of the Eastern Orthodox, sat in a place of honor near the papal altar. Catholicos Karekin II of Etchmiadzin, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, also attended the Mass along with delegations from 12 other Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, 10 Anglican and Protestant communities and three international Christian

organizations, including the World Council of Churches. After the Lords prayer, Pope Francis exchanged a sign of peace with Patriarch Bartholomew and with Catholicos Karekin. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Jewish community of Rome and several international Jewish organizations sent representatives to the ceremony, as did Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain and Hindu communities and organizations. Also present were representatives of 132 governments, led by the presidents of Italy and Argentina, the reigning royals of six countriesincluding Belgiums king and queen and 31 heads of state. Vice President Joe Biden led the U.S. delegation while David Lloyd Johnston, governor general, led the Canadian delegation. (Cindy Wooden / Catholic News Service)


Ref lections
moral. But, for the innocent to suffer for a crime he did not committhat is beyond human understanding. Reason does not provide any basis for it. That is why it is beyond comprehension why Jesus should undergo his passion. The Jewish leaders, according to Luke, lodged three accusations against Jesus: subversion, opposition to the payment of taxes to Caesar, and claim to kingship (23:2). The plot, of course, makes us understand that these accusations were false. In an episode which is found only in Luke, Herod declared Jesus innocent (23:6). Jesus innocence runs like a refrain in the utterance of Pilate: I have examined him in your presence and have no charge against him arising from your allegations. Neither has Herod who therefore has sent him back to us; obviously, this man has done nothing that calls for death (23:14b-15; see also 23:4,22). One of the criminals crucified with him likewise recognized Jesus innocence: We are only paying the price for what weve done, but this man has done nothing wrong (23:41). When Jesus expired, the centurion, having seen what had happened, exclaimed: Surely, this was an innocent man(23:47). Of course, in Lukes Gospel, more than innocence is implied hereJesus is the righteous one (cf 23:50; 20:21). Innocent though he was, Jesus was made to suffer and die. Luke portrays Jesus as a rejected prophet, which he already indicated in the pericope on Jesus visit to Nazareth (4:16-30). In the passion narrative, soldiers taunted him to prophesy (22:64). Herod and his guard treated him with contempt and insult (23:11). At the crucifixion, Jewish leaders kept jeering at him, soldiers made fun of him, one of the criminals blasphemed him (23:35,36,39) and the crowd called for his death (23:21). Now fulfilled was what the prophets foretold: He was counted among the wicked (Isa 53:12). Here, Jesus is depicted as the suffering servant of Yahweh, the innocent servant who suffers on behalf of many, and the reference to the drinking of the sour wine implies that he was the suffering innocent, righteous one (Ps 69:21). Of course, Jesus accepted his suffering and death as the will of his Father: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit (Luke 23:46). This was part of the plan of God (24:43,46). He was faithful to the end, dying as Gods righteous Son.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 6
March 18 - 31, 2013

Jesus: the innocent One who extends Gods mercy till death
An Exegetical Reflection on the Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Year C, Luke 22:14-23:56, March 24, 2013
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
SO central to all the synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke) that the stories of the Lords passion, not without reason, have been described as passion narratives with an introduction. (By passion narrative we mean the sections of the canonical gospels which recount the last days of Jesus, beginning with his entrance to Jerusalem and ending with his crucifixion, death and burial.) But although they basically agree in the general outline of the story of the passion, yet they differ in many details and in their theological emphases. This year, we read the passion narrative according to Luke (22:14-23:56), whose unique features are the lack of any formal night hearing (22:54) and a separate hearing before Herod (23:6-11). But its theological interest lies, among others, in presenting Jesus as the innocent righteous one who suffers and extends Gods mercy until death. That the innocent suffers is one of the enigmas of human life. That the guilty should go to jail, suffer and even die for his crime is logical as it is Despite the fraudulence involved in the trial and the travesty of justice, Jesus never harbored any ill feeling toward those who brought him suffering and death. When, during his arrest at the Mount of Olives, his companions asked whether they would use sword, he said Enough! He even healed the high priests servant whose ear was cut off (2249-51). On the contrary, he continued to offer the mercy of God: Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing (23:34). Such an attitude on the part of Jesus is consistent with his teaching on loving ones enemies, on prayer for those who maltreat him (6:27-28) and on forgiveness (17:4). Even the criminal who was crucified with him received compassion: Today, you will be with me in Paradise (23:43). Clearly, Luke portrays Jesus as the embodiment of Gods mercy, the One who took the initiative in the work of reconciliation between God and man, and between man and his fellow man. Far from being meant as an objective account of what actually transpired, Lukes passion story is intended to present a Christology that invites
Innocent / B7

An Exegetical Reflection on the Easter Sunday of the Lords Resurrection, Year C, Luke 24:1-12 / John 20:1-9, March 31, 2013
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
DIVIDE et Impera (Divide and rule) so advises ancient wisdom that if one wishes to conquer, he has to divide the enemy. However invincible one appears to be, it is simply impossible to fight on many fronts and win, as Adolf Hitler realized too late. If one wishes to reform the nation, he cannot therefore afford to antagonize the people, quarrel with the political establishment and go up against the religious establishment. Once he does these, he will virtually be a goner. Nothing is in store for him except defeat. The fate of Jesus appears to be like this. From the Roman and Jewish point of view, Jesus, who had invited the people to repent and enter the Kingdom of God, had to die. Because of his teaching and behavior, the Jewish leaders accused him, among others, of threatening to destroy the Temple (Mark 14:58), of leading people astray as a false prophet (John 7:12; Matt 27:63), and of assuming divine prerogative (Mark 14:64). These charges, of course, would not make sense in a Roman trial. This is why the Jewish leaders brought him to Pilate, the Roman governor, on charges of insurrection: subverting the nation, opposing tax payment and pretending to be king (Luke 23:3). And it is almost historically certain that Rome gave the verdict: capital punishment. But the end of Jesus was not defeat. Those who opposed him never triumphed. He was not a goner, after all. For God reversed the verdict. He raised Jesus from the dead (1 Thess 1:10; Rom 10:9). The Jewish and Roman leaders took his life; God gave him a new one. This is the Easter Gospel. Resurrection, however, is a metahistorical event; it transcends time and space. It is not like a resuscitation to an old life, as in the raising of the widows son at Naim (Luke 7:11). It is a new form of existence. Hence, in Lukes resurrection narrative, only a negative witness could be provided. When the women entered the tomb, they did not find Jesus body (Luke 24:3). But the empty tomb is not an apodictic argument for the resurrection. It could be interpreted differently. In Matthew, for example, the chief priests claimed that the disciples stole the body (Matt 28:12; cf John 20:2). Some claimed that the empty tomb was simply a product of wishful thinking. Others alleged that Jesus merely swooned on the cross and subsequently extricated himself from the bands and the tomb.
Life / B7

The life that Jesus now lives is given to those who believe

Saved by Christs heroic love

Passion (Palm) Sunday, March 24, 2013
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
JESUS had a mission to accomplishto save mankind from the disastrous consequences of sin and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. That was the very reason why he was born. And the whole of his life was a continuous effort to fulfill the divine plan, even if he knew that this entailed the greatest humiliation and suffering on his part. All this had been foreseen by the prophets, particularly the prophet Isaiah. Jesus did not back out at the last moment. He went through it in full awareness and in perfect freedom. In speaking of himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep, he had stated forcefully: I lay down my life freely. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it up again (Jn 10:18). The last act of his dramatic life began with his entry into Jerusalem, through which he fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9-10. But the rejoicing of that triumphant and peaceful entry would not last long. The clouds of human envy and hatred had already begun to darken the horizon. (See Lk 19:39.) Soon it would be pitch dark. (See Lk 23:44.) And Jesus would find himself in it, alone and trusting only in the love of the Father. (See 22:45.) Today we are faced with the Paschal Mystery in reverse: from triumph to defeat. But even in Christs most humiliating defeat we find in his LOVE the seed of the forthcoming final victory. Jesus undergoes his suffering and death out of love for all and with love for all, including his executioners (see Lk 23:34) and the repentant thief. (See Lk 23:43.) It is his wounded love suffering love that is the source of our
Saved / B7

The fruits of Christs resurrection in our lives

Easter Sunday; March 31, 2013
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
THE Resurrection is, first of all, an event that concerns Jesus Christ. It is his personal triumph over death, and the affirmation of the truth of his teaching. He had spoken about it before it happened. The fulfillment of that prophecy underscores the power of Christ and the truthfulness of his message. He experienced his physical resurrection in all its transforming vitality, just as he had experienced the destructive power of sin in his agony and death. This is what the Paschal Mystery is all about. The Resurrection reveals this with a glorious clarity perceived through the eyes of faith. But whatever happened to Christ has also a cosmic resonance. It influences and affects positively the whole universe, but especially mankind. At the Incarnation, the Son of God united himself in a permanent way to every human being with a solidarity that makes him share in all the miseries of every individual (including the deadly consequences of sin), but also makes every human being a sharer in Christs dignity, holiness, and glory. This is why Jesus coming out of the tomb alive, transformed, immortal . . . concerns us, too. It concerns all human beings. His Resurrection is also mankinds resurrection because it marks mankinds liberation from the oppression of sin. Christs shattering the shackles of death (manifested through the breaking of the seals of his grave) is like the cracking of the shell of a seed which allows the sprout to burst forth with all the freshness of the new life it carries. That sprout is Christ, but is also all mankind. It is also each of us. On Easter morning a new world dawned, a new humanity rose from the slavery of sin and death, in Jesus, through him and with him. (See Col 2:12-13.) No human expression can exhaust the transforming greatness of this mystery. The Church has been proclaiming it during her 20 centuries of existence through her liturgy, her creeds, and her life. She will continue to do so until the liberating power of the Resurrection will have reached its full manifestation in the Kingdom of Heaven. There are a billion and one reasons for celebrating, then, as we commemorate and re-live the Resurrection of Jesus. But we are also challenged to prove that the resurrection of Christ marks also our resurrection by living a new life. We
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Bishop Pat Alo


A transitory life
WE ought to be humble enough to accept what is evident to our eyes, as we see the world that it is a passing world. So must we live in humility and reconciliation with our fellow man and woman, thanking God who is the Almighty and provident source of life and goodness. Thus the Bible reminds us: How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God, happy are you who are hungry now; you shall be satisfied, happy are you who weep now; you shall laugh (Lk. 6:20). Let us not forget the lives of Jesus, and the Apostles and the Saints, why they preferred to live the poor and simple life St. James in his letter explains this: It is for the poor brother to be proud of his high rank, and the rich one to be thankful that he has been humbled, because riches last no longer than the flowers in the grass; the scorching sun comes up, and the grass withers, the flower falls; what looked so beautiful now disappears. It is the same with the rich man: his business goes on; he himself perishes (Jas. 1:9-11). This privilege of the poor is recognized in the early Church; it (the kingdom of heaven) is barred to the rich unless they reduce themselves to the same humble state. It is the reason why the example of the saints shows their free use of the worlds goods without being unduly attached to them and in accord with Gods will and laws. In that same letter of St. James he criticizes in chapter 2 those attitudes or acts of discrimination towards the poor. This could be a timely reminder for us in the Church and in society.

Bo Sanchez

Accept your weaknesses
LET me begin with one of my favorite stories On her way home, a woman was walking on the sidewalk. She saw a parrot in a pet shop window.Upon seeing her, the parrot said, Lady, you are really ugly! Shocked, the woman walked away in a huff. The next day, she walked again on the same road. She saw again the parrot peering through the pet shop window. And sure enough, when the parrot saw her, it said, Lady, you are really ugly! The woman couldnt take it anymore She barged in the pet shop and told the owner, Your bird outside has been telling me that Im ugly. You better do something about that parrot. When I walk here tomorrow, and that bird says the same thing about me, Ill sue you! The owner was very apologetic and said, It wont happen again, Maam. The next day, she walked home on that same road. Once again, she sees the parrot, and the parrot sees her. She stopped and with an icy stare asked, Yes? The bird, strutting back and forth, cocked, You know. You dont have to be perfect to love yourself Friends, many of us have an inner parrot that tells us, Youre ugly. We have an inner parrot that we carry around within us, cruel and rude. We actually dont need the devil anymore to accuse us and damn us to Hell. Because we do it ourselves. These feelings of shame drive us to our addictions. Friend, fire your inner parrot. (Better yet, fry him with olive oil, a little garlic, and chilli.) Start telling yourself the truth: That youre Gods child and beautiful beyond imagination.And that God will use even your worst weaknesses. Remember: You dont have to be perfect to be loved. Your weakness is a gift In the Bible, St. Paul boasted of his Thorn in the Flesh.It was his weakness. But whatever it was, about this weakness, he said these immortal, mindboggling words.At first I didnt think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; its all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.(2 Corinthians


Soulfood / B7

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 6
March 18 - 31, 2013

Social Concerns


MINING or extractive industry can be destructive to the environmentOur experiences of environmental tragedies and incidents with the mining transnational corporations belie all assurances of sustainable and responsible mining that the government is claiming. Increasing number of mining affected communities, Christians and non-Christians alike, are subjected to human rights violations and economic deprivations. We see no relief in sight (CBCP, A Statement on Mining Issues and Concerns, January 29, 2006). The Church challenges the government policy on mining and categorically declares that: the Mining Act destroys life. The right to life of people is inseparable from their right to sources of food and livelihood. Allowing the interests of big mining corporations to prevail over peoples right to these sources amounts to violating their right to life. Furthermore, mining threatens peoples health and environmental safety through the wanton dumping of waste and tailings in rivers and seas (CBCP, A Statement on Mining Issues and Concerns, January 29, 2006). We pursue our advocacy for a sustainable ecology because it is part of our Christian responsibility. With the late Pope John Paul II, we believe that Christians, in particular, realize that their responsibility within creation and their duty towards nature and the Creator are an essential part of their faith (The Ecological Crisis No. 15, Message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II for the celebration of the World Day of Peace). The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines also emphasized the issue of human accountability due to neglect of the ecology: Because the integrity of Gods creation is violated, our people suffer the destruction brought
Innocent / B6

Position Paper for the Senate Hearing of Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on the issue of Philex Mine waste spill
about by droughts and floods. Those disasters cannot be traced merely to uncontrollable powers of nature, but also to human greed for short term economic gain . . . (Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, Acts 323). The recent tailing spill in Philex is another tragedy in the mining industry that illustrates how mining activity can irreversibly damage the livelihood of affected communities and the river ecosystem. After months of recurring leakages, the Philex mine spill in Benguet has become the biggest mining disaster in the Philippines in terms of volume. Some 20 million metric tons of sediments have flowed into water channels from the Philex tailings pond in Itogon since its drainage tunnel was breached last August 2012. This is ten times more than the volume of mine tailings that spilled out of the Marcopper mine in 1996 in Marinduque, which dumped some two million metric tons of waste into the Boac River and is still considered the worst mining disaster in terms of toxicity. The Philex spill incident invites us to see the need to go beyond the myopic monetary valuation of our natural resources to give weightier consideration to the demand for ecological protection, promotion of environmental justice and the common good. We recognize the flaw is in the governments framework which regards the natural resources as something to be exploited rather than a crucial reserve to be sustained and protected in order to preserve the ecological balance and to ensure sustainability for allboth for the human community and the threatened ecosystems. Premises considered, we reiterate our positions and pastoral statements calling for policy reform in the mining industry: 1. The country faces more and
Saved / B6

more environmental problems because of the governments liberal policies on extractive operations. The Mining Act of 1995, which lays down the policy for the governments near-fanatical campaign to attract investors to invest in the mining distorts the goal of genuine development. By single-mindedly pursuing the economic benefits or financial gain, it failed to weigh the greater consideration in the equation the human and ecosystems well-being, the human rights of the indigenous peoples and the local communities, the food security and ecological integrity of our country. Therefore, the Church together with the civil society advocates, call for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment of an alternative law on mining and environment protection. The Church has thrown its full weight on the campaign for the passage of the alternative Minerals Resources Act, which offers a far more sustainable approach to utilization and protection of

our countrys natural resources. 2. The CBCP-NASSA submits to this Honorable Committee the major recommendations that we enumerated in the Fact-Finding Report that we submitted to government offices for appropriate action, and in this case, for legislative consideration. a) There is a need for an immediate and impartial investigation on the impacts of the spill to the watershed, the people and the impacted communities: Technical assessment on the structural safety of the TP3 given its terminal life span and vulnerabilities to climate change and geo-hazards. The status of TP1 and TP2 should also be reviewed for strong compliance to rehabilitation of its environment; Regular and continuing laboratory testing for water, fish and environment quality and for heavy metals contamination of the TP3, Balog River, Agno River and the San Roque Dam (SRD). Bathymetric survey
OFWs / B2

on the collapsed TP3 and the SRD needs to be immediately undertaken; and Conduct impact studies on rice farms, irrigation system and the downstream communities where the mine tailings flow from San Roque Dam to Agno River and to the provinces of Pangasinan and Tarlac b) Compliance with environment standards and to local government clearances and payment of due taxes to Itogon and Tuba municipalities should be ensured. c) Clean up and rehabilitation of the entire impact and watershed area should be undertaken. The Church joins the local communities and the civil society in calling for a mining moratorium to put a stop to the plunder of our natural resources by the large-scale mining companies. The mining operations, under the guise of development, promise to bring the muchneeded investment but to the detriment of the environment

and the welfare of our people. We believe that environment should never be sacrificed that an economy respectful of the environment will not have the maximization of profit as its only objective, because environmental protection cannot be assured solely on the basis of financial calculations . . . The environment is one of those goods that cannot be adequately safeguarded or promoted by market forces. (John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 40: AAS 83 (1991), 843). We reiterate our objection to the prevailing neo-liberal pitch that there is no other path to development except through further economic liberalization, especially in mining industry. Recent empirical researches show otherwise Mining has the highest poverty incidence (48.7%) of any sector in the country. It is the only sector where poverty incidence increased between 1988-2009. Therefore, we also demand for a cost-benefit analysis of the mining industry vis--vis its impact to ecology and food security. As our experience on the ground confirms: the adverse social impact of affected communities, especially our indigenous brothers and sisters far outweigh the gains promised by large-scale mining cor p or a t ions. Ou r p eop le living in the mountains and along the affected shorelines can no longer avail of the bounty of nature. Rice fields are devastated and bays rich with sea foods become health hazards (A Statement of Concern on the Mining Act of 1995, February 28, 1998). For the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA). FR. EDWIN A. GARIGUEZ Executive Secretary 19 March 2013

the Christian reader to participate in the salvific event. Unlike Simon of Cyrene had to be forced to carry the cross (23:26), the disciple follows the way of faithfulness and forgiveness voluntarily and from the heart. Of course, the invitation exacts a high price for discipleship. For in this way of following Jesus, one has to go beyond an ethic solely based on the Ten Commandments. To forgive and pray for those who hate us, freely to suffer for them even though one is not conscious of any guilt, to repay injustice with absolute pardon, to seek their salvation when one is being condemnedand still be consistent in all thesethat is what is distinctively Christian. A costly demand, it is true, but not impossible. This, however, requires a deep spirituality whereby one follows no longer his own will, but that of the Father, and really serves people. It assumes that one has been touched by the Spirit, which enables him to empty himself of his own desires, wants and needs, if only for the sake of others, especially the scum of the earth.
Life / B6

salvation! His behavior is a lesson for us all. Christ made his choice and stood by it. We too are called to make our choices and honor our commitments. The doctrine of non-alignment may be acceptable in the balance of power between opposite blocks of nations, but it is not valid when it is a matter of right or wrong, life or death. In particular, it cannot be applied to our attitude toward Jesus. He is not one of the many possible and equally good choices. Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE (Jn 14:6). He is the only one who can give meaning and direction to our life. But he is demanding. And this may hurt our pride, our complacency, and our tendency to procrastinate and compromise. To refrain from declaring ourselves for him, out of selfish considerations or cowardice, amounts to a rejection. Today our heart is like Jerusalem. At its gates, waiting for our decision, stands Jesus. What will be our attitude toward him? Shall we welcome

him with a radiant smile and an open heart, as our No. 1, the one with whom we are prepared to stay, even if all others should desert him? . . . Or shall we opt for what is easier, more fashionable and gratifying, while sending word to him: Tomorrow, maybe . . .? We should not take God for granted. That tomorrow may never come! Jesus is waiting for our answer NOW. He did not hesitate to enter Jerusalem to die for us. Shall we hesitate to live for him?

Fruits / B6

have to get rid of the old yeast of corruption and wickedness, and live a life characterized by sincerity and truth. (See 1 Cor 5:7-8.) We have to set our hearts on what pertains to higher realms (Col 3:1). Then will our actions ring the joyous notes of the Easter alleluia, and we shall become a living proof of Christs Resurrection.

is worth dying for. I prefer to say that the OFW is worth living for but not just by extolling their great sacrifice and contribution (about P20 billion annually and growing) to the Philippine economy, or providing them a semblance of pastoral care (to the tune of one chaplain per 500,000 OFWs in the Middle East). The ratio of chaplain to OFWs in the Middle East is roughly equivalent to having 3 priests for the entire diocese of Cubao or the Archdiocese of Davao! What would happen to those 3 priests in Davao or Cubao if their Ordinary were resident in another country and they were left to fend for themselves. What would happen to the Catholics of Cubao or Davao? That is what is happening to the OFWs in the Middle East; we can only pray that the Filipino chaplains there are faring better.

M igrants and I tinerant P eople , Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of Gypsies, 8.XII.2005, n.88, in People on the Move, N 100 (Suppl.), April 2006, and in http://www.vatic.va/roman_curia/ pontifical_councils/migrants/documents/ rc_pc_migrants_doc_20051208_orientamentizingari_en.html (13-04-2010). 2 Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Instruction Erga migrantes caritas Christi , 3.V.2004, n.24, in http://www.vatic.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/migrants/documents/rc_pc_migrants_doc_20040514_erga-migrantes-caritaschristi_en.html#Conical%20norms (13-04-2010); also in J.I Arrieta, Il sistema dellorganizzazione ecclesiastica -Norme e Documenti, Roma (2009), pp.713-725. 3 Cf. Venerable John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America (6.XI.1999), n.65, note 237, in AAS, 91 (1999), p.800 and Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa (28.VI.2003), n.103, note 166 in AAS 95 (2003) 707. 4 Cf. E Baura, Le attuali riflessioni della conistica sulle prelature personali, inS.Gerro (ed.), Le prelature personali nella normativa e nella vita della Chiesa, Padova (2002), pp.15-53, on pp.20-22. 5 Cf. L.M. de Bernardis, La giurisdizione ecclesiastica sulle navi , in Rivista de Diritto della Navigazione, 6 (1940), pp.425-426 (quoted by Baura, ibidem, note 10).

(Endnotes) 1 Pontifical Council

for the

Pastoral Care


Soulfood / B6

Hence, faith in the resurrection cannot rest on an incontrovertible empirical evidence. How then, according to Luke, do we know that Jesus rose from the dead? First, God himself told us in the mouth of two men in dazzling garments who said to the women: Why do you search for the Living One among the dead? He is not here; he has been raised up (Luke 24:5b). (According to Jewish law, this testimony is conclusive because two witnesses made it [Deut 19:15]). Second, Jesus himself prophesied it: The Son of Man must first endure many sufferings, be rejected by the elders, the high priests, and the scribes, and be put to death, and then be raised up on the third day (9:22,24; 12:50; 17:35; 18:31-33). For Luke, the guarantee of resurrection is the trustworthiness of Jesus words. Thus, at the instance of the two men, the women disciples (Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, etc. [24:10]) remembered his words. Of course, they remembered because they had accompanied him in his Galilean ministry (8:1-3), and they witnessed the crucifixion (23:49) and burial (23:55). In Lukes theology, what the women heard was crucial in interpreting the empty tomb. Because of it, they took the

empty tomb as a sign that Jesus is alive. Faith thus comes from remembering what is heard (cf Rom 10:17). With this faith, they began to proclaim the Easter Gospel (24:8-9). What is the significance of the Easter Gospel? The resurrection of Jesus lies at the heart of Christian faith. If he was not raised from the dead, our faith is empty (1 Cor 15:14). God vindicated the persecuted Jesushe was not a false prophet, after all. On the contrary, he is the Savior (Rom 4:25), the living Lord (Rom 10:9; 1 Cor 12:3), the Son (Acts 12:33; Rom 1:34). In fact, all the books of the New Testament were written from the point of view of his resurrection. But not only that. Because God raised him, he will also vindicate those of us who followed him (1 Cor 4:14). Those who died with him will live with him (2 Tim 2:11). Moreover, even in the here and now, the life that Jesus lives is given to us who believe (Rom 8:12). This is made possible through our baptism (Rom 6:412). We acquire a new being (2 Cor 5:17-21). Christ lives in us (Gal 2:20). And in Lukes Gospel, the first beneficiary of this new being in Christ is the repentant criminal: I assure you, this day, you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).

12:7-10) How can your weakness be gift? Your weakness blesses you in three great ways First,my weaknesses humble me. It makes me depend in God even more. And I see how He uses me mightily despite all

my weaknesses!That is why the Bible says,God chooses what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful.(1 Corinthians 1:27) Second, my weaknesses make me more merciful towards others. I believe that someone who easily judges others hasnt yet accepted his

own weaknesses. If he had, he wouldnt be judgmental.But because he hasnt, he projects his self-anger towards other people. Third,my weaknesses bond me with others in a way that nothing else can. When I share the story of my past and my addiction to someone else, I dis-

Photo courtesy of NASSA

robe my defences and become vulnerable to him.In this way, I also give permission to that person to disrobe his defenses as well. =Friend, thank God for your weaknesses, your struggles, and your problems. They are great gifts that will bless you and others.


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It is 1902. Small-time illusionist at a small town circus in Kansas, Oscar Oz Diggs (James Franco) is a magician of dubious ethics. He is actually more serious about perfecting his skills at oneupmanship than improving his repertoire. Escaping the ire of the circus strongman he had apparently shortchanged, he scampered into a hot air balloon; unfortunatelyor fortunately the balloon gets sucked by a twister that spits him out into the fantastic Land of Oz. He is met by a beautiful witch, Theodora (Mila Kunis), who believes Oz is the fulfillment of a prophecythe arrival of a great wizard who would save the Land of Oz from the wicked witch. Theodora takes him to the Emerald City where he meets her sister, another beauteous witch, Evanora (Rachel Weisz), who takes him to a cavernous room filled with gold. It would be all his, says Evanora, provided Oz would destroy the wicked witch Glinda the Good (Michelle Williams). Oz sets forth to search for the wicked witch to break her wandwhich should spell the end of all her powers. Directed by Sam Raimi, Disneys family movie, Oz the Great and Powerful, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baums beloved wizard character. Baum wrote 14 Land of Oz novels but not one of them spoke about the wizards origins. Thus, this brave attempt at establishing once and for all the beginnings of this legendary character. Reportedly the third choice for the lead roleafter it was turned down by Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp Franco nonetheless delivers a credible character that combines

conman and charmer. Williams Glinda is bland, sugary at most, but every inch a Disney witch; by the way, she plays a dual role, first as Oscars sweetheart in Kansas, then as Glinda in Oz. Kunis Theodora turns from seductress into a harmless Halloween party witch, possessing a nose, chin and hat as pointy as her black talons, cackling her way to vengeance and riding a broom that pollutes the air of the Land of Oz. (Doesnt it remind you of the exhaust pipes of the smoke-belching buses on EDSA?) And Weisz? Shes perfect as the deceiver-in-disguise, lovely to look at even when she is being at her rotten-best. (But oh, maybe we just have a soft spot for the actress because she was very nice to fans when she was shooting Bourne Legacy in the Philippines). The effects are as good as demanded by a fantasy movie, emphasized by the contrast in color: black and white for the scenes in Kansas, and blooming in full technicolor grandeur for the Land of Oz. Special mention must be made of two non-human characters that have very human characteristics, Finley the flying monkey, and the frail China Doll. They are so well-developed that you can almost take them in as members of your family. Oz the Great and Powerful is about good and evil, for sure, and the transformation of one man from charlatan to one of character. Oscar is shown as a con artist in his earthly life in Kansas. When his sweetheart tells him she is now engaged to another man, he lets her go, admitting the other man is good and will make a good husband. He himself says he is not a good man, but he dreams of becoming
TITLE: Oz the Great and Powerful LEAD CAST: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Zach Braff, Bill Cobs, Joey King DIRECTOR: Sam Raimi SCREENWRITER: David Lindsay-Abaire GENRE: Fantasy/Adventure RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Pictures LOCATION: United States Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: CINEMA rating: PG 13 MTRCB rating: General Patronage
Moral Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 6
March 18 - 31 2013

Technical Assessment

Abhorrent Disturbing Acceptable Wholesome Exemplary

Poor Below average Average Above average E xcellent

a great man, someone the likes of Thomas Alva Edison, his idol. Enveloped by the Kansas twister Oscar bargains with God to give him another chancehe doesnt want to die without having done something meaningful in his life. Placed by fate in the Land of Oz, he cannot help but confess to his companion that he is not a wizard but simply a carnival magician. The Land of Oz has no army and people are forbidden to kill even in self-defense, Oscar is the reluctant savior who is compelled to employ his magical arts and scientific knowledgeably assisted by Ozs tradesmen to carry on a plan to defend their land from the evil witches. At the end, someone smilingly tells Oscar that a great man can also be a good man. Thats a happy enough ending for the whole family. But although CINEMA gives this a PG 13 rating, we warn that some of the images are scary enough to rob very young children of sleep.

TITLE: Lincoln Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawke Director: Steven Spielberg. Screenplay: Tony Kushner, based on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin Genre: Drama Running Length: 2:30 U.S. Distributor: Touchstone Pictures. Technical Assessment: Moral Assessment: CINEMA rating: PG 13 MTRCB rating: PG 13


Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya
Look for the image of Pope Francis, Sistine Chapel, and Holy water container. (Illustration by Bladimer Usi)

Film is indeed a powerful medium for teaching history. Had we not watched Lincoln and been awed by the riveting performance of Daniel DayLewis, the United States 16th president would have remained in our mind as nothing more than a shiny marble statue. Lincoln chronicles the last month, January 1865, in the life of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, as he zeroes in on the last and greatest win of his political careerthe abolition of slavery in America. Director Spielberg does right in depicting a Lincoln that is at once iconic and human. Far from being a traditional bio-pic that tends to paint a glossier-than-reality picture of a revered character, Lincoln shows how a principled man may still be admired despite his political savvy that enabled him to resort to the maneuverings prevalent in his time. President # 16 has been played by so many estimable actors since 1930, but in Lincoln, the role is not played, it is livedto the point that it becomes difficult to tell whether it is the actor Day-Lewis inhabiting the Lincoln character, or the spirit of Lincoln inhabiting the actors body. A well-chosen cast combined with matchless supporting performancesnotably by Tommy Lee Jones (as Thaddeus Stevens) and Sally field (as Mary Todd Lincoln) add to an authentic reliving of Lincolns struggle towards his goal. To the last detail, the rich production sets are adjudged

faithful to Abes life and times, bringing the past vividly back to life to afford the viewer a peek into history. The sessions in Congress where the battle over the 13th Amendment is raging is particularly eyeopening to contemporary political observers. They reveal that some things in the field of public service have not changedand perhaps never willsuch as under the table deals, patronage positions as bribes, presidential strategizing and pressure on the House of Representatives to ensure the passage of an amendment, etc. The latter may evoke a feeling of dj vu in people quite familiar with the debates that not too long ago raged over an RH bill in the Philippine Congress, and the nonchalance with which some lawmakers dismissed the Executive railroading of the contentious bill. In his rush to pass the 13th amendment, Lincoln utilized all the tricks in his arsenal. Sounds familiar? But of course, presidential maneuvering of the Legislative branch takes on a different coloration depending on the issue at hand: a law abolishing slavery is not the same as a law establishing a contraceptive mentality. It might also come as some form of warped consolation to Filipinos that their present-day solons (mis)behavior is civil compared to that of the insult-hurling American counterparts in 1865. If in 1865 their congressional session room resembled a saloon filled with trigger happy cowboys, ours in 2012 was simply reminiscent of classroom of overgrown kindergarteners who couldnt differentiate between study and play. One noticeable thing, though: the 1865 lawmakers hurled verbal darts at one another, but God was acknowledged in the process of lawmaking. In the 2012 RH arena well, make your own conclusions. Kudos to the Spielberg-Kushner tandem that brought out the Oscar-winning performance of Day-Lewis, the Abraham Lincoln that came alive onscreen proves worthy of the reverence accorded him by his countrymena doting father, a sympathetic husband, a statesman made of fire and ice, wisdom and wile, a soul blessed with courage and grace, a human being who passionately went after his dream and paid the price for it. Certainly a very very far cry from being a mere marble monument.

C1 C4

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

Annual Awards

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

The Cross
AM of the Year

BRO. Salvador Aspuria, Sr. of Cordillera Braves brought home the 2012 Area Manager (AM) of the Year trophy. He was also the first AM to hit the 2012 Target as early as July. He is a KC member of Council 12568 or Bishop Galasgas Coun-

FC of the Year

cil and presently residing at La Trinidad, Benguet. He is blessed with three loving kids, Sharry Mae Joy, Kristofferson and Salvador Jr. and a supportive wife, Mercedes. He was also the 2011 AM of the Year. (MPCabra/KCFAPI News)

TO honor the finest of 2012, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) celebrated its 36th Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Annual Family Service awards at the Hotel Centro Grand Ballroom in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan last March 8, 2013. Seventy Fraternal Counselors and 14 Area Managers with their spouses and

other companions attended the most prestigious awards night that everyone was looking forward to every year. Bro. Salvador Aspuria of Cordillera Braves bagged the 2012 Area Manager of the Year while Bro. Rodante Sultan won the most coveted 2012 Fraternal Counselor of the Year. The night was also graced by the presence of KCFAPI Board of Trustees headed

by Honorable Hilario G. Davide, Jr. Among those present were KCFAPI President Guillermo N. Hernandez, Executive Vice-President Ma.Theresa G. Curia, Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, SK Emiliano R. Deleverio, Visayas Deputy Rodrigo N. Sorongon and Mindanao Deputy Balbino C. Fauni. (MPCabra/KCFAPI News)

KCFAPI celebrates Puso Month with fund raising activities

THE Gift Giving Committee of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc (KCFAPI) conducted various activities to raise funds during the month-long celebration of the Puso Month last February. Among the activities were photo booth, song requests, heart messages, flower/stuff toys for a cause and rosary bracelets. Through the said project, the Committee was able to raise P15,000.00 which will benefit the Tulay ng Kabataan located near the Manila Cathedral. Flowers and bracelets for a cause is now a year round project and available in their Facebook Fan Page, www.facebook. com/KCFAPI Gift Giving. The members of the KCFAPI gift giving committee are Evangelina F. Dawal, Ma. Luisa P. Manuel, Nina S. Hongayo, Ira J. Tee, Annie M. Nicolas, Ma. Celina T. Pelayo, Michael P. Cabra, Atty. Neil Jerome A. Rapatan, and Committee Chairman Carmelita S. Ruiz. Rosary bracelets are still available for sale. For interested parties, you may call KCFAPI trunkline 527-2223 and look for any member of the Gift Giving Committee. (KCFAPI News) Bro. Rodante Sultan of Eastern Visayas Fighters snatched the 2012 Fraternal Counselor (FC) of the year award. He is a KC member of Council 4686 or San Ignacio Lahora Council and presently residing at Catarman, Northern Samar. He is the son of the late Bro. Antonio D. Sultan, Jr. who was also a consistent FC awardee. In his speech, Bro. Rodante expressed his unending gratitude for his loving mom as well as to his ever-supportive Benefit Certificate (BC) Holders who supported and helped him attain his 2012 First Year Contribution. (MPCabra/KCFAPI News)

KC holds simultaneous vigils for conclave

THE Knights of Columbus in the Philippines together with its insurance arm, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) held a simultaneous prayer vigil for the conclave that elected Pope Francis which ran for 2 days starting March 12. Worthy Deputies Arsenio Isidro Yap (Luzon), Rodrigo Sorongon (Visayas), and Balbino Fauni (Mindanao) asked every councils from their respective jurisdictions to hold a vigil prayer in their own parish church or chapel for the election of the new Pope. During the vigil, Brother Knights prayed that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the cardinals in choosing the new leader of more than one billion Catholics throughout the world. The YouthPinoy, an organization under the auspices of the CBCP Media Office and the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), spearheaded the vigil that commenced last March 12 at the Arzobispado de

KCFAPI Gift Giving Committee members headed by their Chairperson, Ms. Carmelita S. Ruiz (center).

Manila Chapel of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) in Intramuros, Manila. The prayer vigil started with a Eucharistic Celebration presided by KCFAPI Spiritual Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III. This was followed by an hourly vigil until midnight. The vigil ended on the eve of March 14, the day when Pope Francis was proclaimed the new Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (KC News with reports from Jandel Posion)

RENEWAL OF MARRIAGE VOWS. Thirty couples from Luzon District Deputies, Officials of Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) led by Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia and the organizing committee of the Luzon Jurisdiction renewed their marriage vows last February 17 held at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel, Sta. Cruz, Manila. Rev. Fr. William Araa, OSA from the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila celebrated the mass. Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap gave rose lapel pins to the wives. There was dancing after dinner, accompanied by a live band. Brother Knights sang songs which they lovingly dedicated to their wives. (Mon Sanchez)

K of C Luzon deputy urges members to junk Team Patay candidates

Knights of Columbus Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap called on members to junk Team Patay candidates this coming elections. We need to voice out to politicians that we Catholics also have a voice in society that should be heard, says Yap in the vernacular. Yap made the pitch during the 6th Annual Walk for Life where around 4,000 fraternal members of the Knights of Columbus coming from different parts of Luzon gathered at the San Andres Gymnasium in Malate. Dubbed, A Walk for Life is a Vote for Life this years theme is focused on the need to restore morality in public office. The event kicked off with a Mass at San Agustin Church celebrated by Cubao bishop Most. Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D. before heading off to San Andres Gym. Yap also reiterated the need to have a government that protects the family, respects the right to religious expression and shows authentic concern in solving the ills besetting the country. With voice reverberating throughout the gymnasium, Yap one by one dropped the names of the Team Patay candidates and urged his fellow Brother Knights not to forget these politicians who voted in favor of RH bill and likewise urged them to vote this election according to their faith and convictions. Late January, the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod Team Patay (pro-RH) includes senatorial candidates Juan Edgardo Angara, Teddy Casio, Allan Peter Cayetano, Jack Enrile, Francis Escudero, Risa Hontiveros, and Loren Legarda. Partylist groups included in the Team Patay are Gabriela, Akbayan, Bayan Muna, and AnakPawis. The controversy has reached the Supreme Court with the high court issuing a temporary restraining order that stopped the Comelec from tearing down the controversial posters. The Supreme Court is set to tackle the highly anticipated oral debate today at 2 in the afternoon. (CBCP for Life)

created controversy for putting up a giant tarpaulin outside the church listing the names of senatorial candidates and party-list groups who either opposed or supported the RH law. Team Patay groups were those who voted for the law while those who opposed it were under Team Buhay (life).

More than 4,000 Walk for Life, Vote for Life participants make their way up Roxas Boulevard to the San Andres Gym in Manila in protest of abortion and related legislation, March 16, 2013. (Roy Lagarde)

Chairmans Message
KCFAPIs theme for the month of March focuses on the 36th Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Annual Family Service Awards, scheduled on 8-10 March 2013 in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, to honor individuals who in the year 2012 demonstrated exemplary and outstanding performance in the pursuit of the Associations primary objective of providing mutual aid benefits to the Knights in the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Jurisdictions of the KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS and the members of their families. These are the awardees as Fraternal Counselor (FC) of the Year, Area Manager (AM) of the Year, FC and AM of the Year Runners-Up, Fr. Willmann, SJ Knights of the Roundtable (WKRT), and Knights of the Chairmans Circle. They are the men and women who worked beyond the call of duty to inspire and convince brother knights and members of their families to take advantage of the various protection products of KCFAPI and assure them of service that guarantees an enhanced family protection especially at times when the need thereof is most desired. On the other hand, the Annual Awards also, although indirectly, honor Knights who positively responded to the inspiration given by the awardees. Thus, I congratulate and commend the awardees; and I express my profound hope that our fraternal counselors and area managers would further strengthen their resolve to solidify the bonds of charity, unity and fraternity of our Order through the availment of KCFAPI benefits. This will definitely go a long way in our celebration of the Year of Faith and our faithful pursuit of the New Evangelization. VIVAT JESUS!

The Cross

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

Hilario G. Davide, Jr.

Message of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines on the Election of His Holiness Pope Francis
WE join the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Church in the Philippines and the whole world in thanking the Lord for and welcoming with joy the election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina as the new Pontiff of the Church, His Holiness Pope Francis. When he assumed with the unprecedented papal name of Francis we recalled the evangelical spirituality and radical poverty of St. Francis of Assisi which according to CBCP President and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, hints of the renewal of the Church where he remains committed and the care of Gods creation where St. Francis of Assisi is known for. In his pastoral ministry as the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in the past and as the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was well known for his practice of charity, which is the first principle of the Order of the Knights of Columbus. He is well-known, too, for his staunch advocacy for life and the family, which is also our overarching advocacy specially now in the Philippines that the Reproductive Health Law is in effect and the passage of other anti-life bills is imminent. This makes us feel a very special sense of closeness and confidence with the Holy Father, Pope Francis. We assure His Holiness Pope Francis of our collective prayer for the success of his Petrine Ministry and to resolve that we will continue with our efforts in evangelization and charitable work in our families, councils and parish communities and the Philippines in general. VIVAT JESUS!

SK Arsenio Isidro G. Yap State Deputy Luzon Jurisdiction SK Rodrigo N. Sorongon State Deputy Visayas Jurisdiction

SK HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR Chairman, Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) SK Balbino C. Fauni State Deputy Mindanao Jurisdiction

Guillermo N. Hernandez

Presidents Message
Undoubtedly for KCFAPI, the biggest event of the year is the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Annual Family Service Awards. It can be viewed as somewhat akin to an Oscars in Hollywood or our local FAMAS where the best of the best among our Area Managers and Fraternal Counselors in terms of accomplishments are duly recognized and awarded. It is also a weekend of fun where these AMs and FCs in the company of our Trustees and other Officers under the KCFAPI umbrella are treated to an out of town holiday. Like real actors and actresses, these AMs and FCs together with their families performed on stage in a fierce competition for the best presentation and the best in costume. The highlight of course of the big event is the proclamation of the AM of the Year and FC of the Year. For this year, the beautiful and very clean city of Puerto Pricesa which boasts of the new wonder of the world Underground River, was chosen as site of the event. Providentially indeed for KCFAPI as it boasts likewise of a new wonder our full-year performance results for 2012. FYCI which defines the amount of new business generated was at its highest ever in 2012 at Php138.32 M, so does total contributions received from all products, new or renewal, breaching for the first time the half-billion level, and total resources posting an all-time high of Php3.90 B for KCFAPI alone. The last item cited did not even involve any revaluation of assets by KCFAPI despite the prevailing higher prices of properties in the market these days. More than the numbers though, KCFAPIs greatest achievement is and will always be the human resources that collectively made this financial results possible. From the Board of Trustees headed by Hon. Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., to the management and employees and support staff, and to the KCFAPI personnel in the field, the AMs and FCs, you are all KCFAPIs enviable treasures. This was best exhibited by our Area Manager of the Year, Salvador Aspuria, Sr. who did it in back to back fashion, more than doubling his targeted production again for the second straight year. Not to be outdone was our Fraternal Counselor of the Year, Rodante Sultan who as a neophyte surprised everyone with an accomplishment never heard of before, breaching the Php5 M level in FYCI and even surpassing the areas production of several of our AMs. This certainly makes me proud and inspires me to hopefully inspire all the more our KCFAPI organization to do a better job for 2013. As I have said in Puerto Princesa, KCFAPI which is essentially a Fraternal Association in Christ is first and foremost pro-family with fraternal benefit programs and products intended for the family as beneficiaries, and devoid of personal interests. KCFAPI therefore indeed stands for Keep Christian Family Above Personal Interest. Given the foregoing as perspective and with the grace of our Lord on our side, I wish everyone the Best of You or simply BOY. Vivat Jesus!

Michael Cabra

My Brother's Keeper
AFTER Cain killed his brother Abel because of jealousy, God asked him where his brother was. And Cain answered, Am I my Brothers Keeper? As Knights of Columbus (KC) Member we are our brothers keeper. We make sure that every brother knight member is financially protected with the fraternal protection offered by Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI). As we inched into the Year of Faith, we hold on to our new by-line, My Brothers Keeper. We believed that keeping our fellow KC Brothers Knight protected from any financial harm due to premature

CMBP... a good start to be My Brother's Keeper

death, disability or old-age is our number one advocacy. Ensuring the protection of our fellow KC Brothers and their families need not be expensive. KCFAPI offers even the most basic protection with the most affordable contribution in the form of Council Mortuary Benefit Plan or CMBP. It provides immediate cash to the beneficiary in the event of a Brother Knights early demise. The protection provides coverage on a yearly basis at a very minimal contribution. It is available to all the Knights of Columbus members nationwide including their wives and dependents aged 20 and below. There are three (3) plans available: CMBP 30 (P30,000.00), 40 (P40,000) and 50 (P50,000). Yearly contribution is very affordable at P365.00, P475.00 and P585.00 respectively. No other Church organization offers members basic protection plan of similar value. Theres only one KCFAPI CMBP. For other details of the plan you may approach the Fraternal Counselor in your area. With CMBP, imagine the life of each KC Member dependent whom they will leave behind. We know it is not enough but it is a good start...a good start of becoming My Brothers Keeper!

Luzon Jurisdiction approves installation of fish sanctuary in Ilocos Norte

AN artificial fish sanctuary or Payaw will be installed this year as a livelihood project in Ilocos Norte by the Knights of Columbus Luzon Jurisdiction, in coordination with the local councils and parish. Council 14302 of the Saint Francis of Assisi Davila, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte has sent a letter to the Luzon Jurisdiction requesting for an installation of payaw or artificial fish sanctuary in order for the council to meet its financial needs since most of the members are fishermen. Council Chaplain and Parish Priest of St. Francis of Assisi Fr. Lester T. Menor together with Grand Knight Laurencio A.

Council Chaplain and Parish Priest of St. Francis of Assisi Fr. Lester T. Menor, Brother Knights and officials of Council 14302 with Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro Yap and State Secretary Joven B. Joaquin.

Pacleb Jr. and District Deputy Edralin V. Culangco of District L06 received the amount of P100,000.00 from the Luzon Jurisdiction for the payaw project to be installed later this year. The signing of Memorandum of Understanding was done last February 10 during the parish community mass at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish and was witnessed by Barangay Captain of Davila Elviro Agoo and Special Project Chairman Jeffrey G. Rentegrado. The Luzon Jurisdiction was represented by Luzon Deputy Arsenio Isidro G. Yap, State Secretary Joven B. Joaquin and Technical Assistant Ramon C. Sanchez. (LuzonNews)

Council 11847 holds multiple Lenten activities

NUMEROUS activities such as Youth Recollection, film showing, Father and Son camping, and Walk for Life as well as a Prayer Rally for Pope emeritus Benedict XVI were held by the Luzon Jurisdictions Council 11847 of Mary Mother of Good Counsel, Marcelo shoes for a living and how he gave his best for God. He said God has blessed him to reach his goal and become successful. At the end of the recollection, the youth did their part on sharing and reflection. One of the youth acknowledged that the blessing that benefitted Bro. Tim could also happen to all of them and he believe that God will give His blessings to all of them. Another participant said that he learned that If I will be busy working for God God will also be busy working for my concerns. Participants were inspired by the recollection. It ended with a prayer asking God to bless the youth with His grace and a commitment from the youth to give their best to God. youth and Squires also attended a film showing. The objective of the activity was for the youth to honor their parents and for fathers to develop a stronger bond with their children after watching the film CourageousHonor Begins at Home. Viewers found themselves laughing, crying, and cheering as they were challenged and inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kind of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children. After the film viewing, Brother Glenn Gallos facilitated short activities to process the movie with the youth and fathers. The youth realized how important is the role of the fathers in the family and in the society, while the fathers who watched the film also realized the importance of being courageous to protect and love the family and to build a stronger relationship with their children. At the end of the activity, the fathers and the youth made a commitment to put God first in the family and to protect and love the family at all times. Those who attended the film showing shouted I will to express their commitment. The film showing was extended with the viewing of The Passion of Christ to remind the participants of the Love of God and the suffering of Christ. Father and son camp The Father and Son camping of Council 11847 is aimed to strengthen the relationship of the brother knights and their sons. Forty young ones and about 18 fathers arrived at MGV Phase 4 Clubhouse to participate in the activity. Grand Knight Rolando B. Zabala welcomed participants and encouraged the fathers and the youth to participate in all the events to make it successful. The group was divided into two groups for all the activities and challenges. Evening activities began with parstarted with a Eucharistic celebration at the Mary of Good Counsel Parish. Brother Knights, Squires and some parishioners gathered in front of the Church to start the Walk for Life after the mass. The objective of the activity was to show the Knights stand to protect life and to honor the Holy Father. It was a 2-kilometer walk going

Green, Paraaque City last February 16 in commemoration of the Lenten season. Youth recollection The Youth Recollection was attended by 40 youngsters including Squires members from different areas in Paraaque. The recollection started with a very inspiring talk by Grand Knight Rolando Zabala. State Formator Tim Acedo facilitated the recollection with a theme Discovery: A Youth Recollection. Acedo shared his experiences on how he started as a poor kid who shines

ticipants (father and son) preparing and cooking their barbecue for dinner. After dinner the bonfire was lit and the two groups started their cheering competition and Talents Night under the stars with only the bonfire lighting the camp. The evening was filled with fun and excitement. Walk for life Walk for Life and Prayer Rally for Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. The event

Film showing Meanwhile, brother knights and 40

through the major streets of Marcelo Green Village towards Phase 4 Club house. While walking, Squires cheered and clapped catching the attention of the neighborhood. At 7am, the walk has reached the Phase 4 covered court and the program started with Prayers for Pope emeritus Benedict XVI and a short message from Phase 4 Homeowners Association President and past Grand Knight Manuel Jacela and Grand Knight Rolando B. Zabala. Participants enjoyed a simple fellowship breakfast prepared for them after the activities. (Frich Policarpio / KC News)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013

The Cross
Since the legislation was first introduced more than a year ago, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has repeatedly said that the HHS mandate violates our fundamental right to the free exercise of religion. Historian Steven Waldman, in his book Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty (2009), reminds us that from the time of the Declaration of Independence to the Bill of Rights and shortly thereafter, a transformation took place in the United States in the way that religion was treated. In drafting these documents, the Founding Fathers rejected the old European model of an established state religion in which religious minorities were only granted some level of toleration by government. Thomas Paine put the matter very clearly in his book Rights of Man (1791): Toleration is not the opposite of intolerance but the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms: the one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it. Likewise, James Madison and others would not accept the idea that Americans were to petition their government for permission to exercise their religion. Instead, Madison argued that the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, was a natural and absolute right. According to Waldman, this shifted the terms of debate from toleration to liberty. In his famous Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785), Madison wrote: The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. Madisons concern went beyond diversity or pluralism to something far more important. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him, he wrote. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe. Today, we must ask whether we see in the intransigence of government a regressiona shift away from liberty first and a return to a form of government-granted toleration, which is followed quickly by government intolerance of our free exercise of religion. Though we now face unprecedented challenges to religious liberty, history tells us that the cause of freedom in America is not an isolated event, but a journey. This is the lesson of the great Civil Rights Move-


Religious Freedom is a Natural Right

By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
RECENTLY, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act . Many hoped that the Obama administration would abandon the so-called HHS mandate of contraception, sterilization and abortion-causing drugs in employee health care plans, considering the extraordinary criticism thats been given by a wide spectrum of religious leaders. Others hoped the rule would move beyond exempting only houses of worship. But the new rules have done neither. Instead, the government stated that the universe of employer plans that would qualify for the exemption would not be expanded beyond that which was intended in the 2012 final rules.
Alan Holdren / CNA

ment of the last century, which told us to envision a day when all Gods children could say, Thank God Almighty we are free at last. Every legal system rests upon a certain vision of the human person. Our laws affecting religious liberty are no exception. As we look to safeguard our liberty, it is essential that we do so with a clear explanation

of how freedom is rooted in the dignity of each person. As Madison observed in The Federalist Papers No. 51, What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? And since that is true, in the days ahead our country will need the clear voice and enduring wisdom of the Catholic Church. Vivat Jesus!

Atty. Neil Jerome A. Rapatan

Law in Laymans Term What really is Separation of the Church and State?
WE often hear in the news the term Separation of Church and State. The government invokes this when it implements a measure that is generally contrary to the teachings of the Church; the Church invokes the same when it exercises its right to teach morality that influence the actions of its parishioners, even in the exercise of their political rights. But, in the eyes of the law, what really is separation of Church and State? There are two major provisions in the 1987 Constitution which treats of the separation of the Church and State. Art. II, Sec. 6 provides, The separation of the Church and State shall be inviolable. Art. III, Sec. 5, then provides, No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. From the reading of these constitutional provisions, it can be gleaned that the concept of Separation of Church and State and Freedom of Religion is interrelated. There are two principal aspects of the Separation of Church and State. These are the 1) non-establishment clause and 2) the free-exercise clause. The non-establishment clause means that the State can neither set up a religion or a church, nor participate in the affairs of any religious organization. The State also cannot pass laws that will aid a religion or favor one religion over the other. Further, public funds are not allowed to be spent for the benefit of any church, religion or sect. On the other hand, free-exercise clause means that the State cannot force a person to accept any form of religion or prevent him to believe in any form of worship or religion as his conscience dictates. In laymans term, the Separation of Church and State simply means that the State cannot establish a religion or interfere on purely religious matters. Conversely, the Church cannot intervene in the business of running of the state which is left solely to the government. While the freedom to believe is absolute, the freedom to act based on ones belief maybe looked upon by the government on the grounds of public welfare. (Iglesia ni Cristo vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 119673, July 26, 1996) On the issue of oversized posters hoisted in the face of a Church, it involves another fundamental right that is protected by the Constitution: Freedom of Expression. Let us just wait and see how the Supreme Court performs the balancing act between the rights asserted by the parties and how the scales of justice would tilt on this matter.

DEAF AND BLIND SPORTSFEST. The Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. led by its President, Bro. Guillermo N. Hernandez together with Brother Knights of Columbus Council 6114 and representatives from the US Embassy joined the Philippine School for the Deaf and the Philippine National School for the Blind in celebrating their Sportsfest last February 22, in Pasay.

K of C Maharlika Assembly and International group hold joint mission in Ilocos

FBG holds Fraternal Service Training

THE Fraternal Benefits Group (FBG) of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI) held a two-day fraternal service training program last February 19-20 at the KCFAPI Social Hall in Intramuros, Manila. Training participants came from Metro Manila, Bicol Region, Southern Luzon, Southwestern Luzon, Northeastern Luzon, Northwestern Luzon, and Central Luzon. The participants learned about KCFAPIs featured plans like KC C.A.R.E.S and other insurance products. This monthly training is being held in view of strategizing the presentation of products and services of KCFAPI and to motivate the fraternal counselors to achieve and to improve their sales performance. The FBG also helped the participants become familiar with the Knights of Co- FBS Manager Michael P. Cabra, Atty. Neil Jerome A. Rapatan and other participants lumbus in order to of FBGs monthly Fraternal Service Training. provide optimum mutual benefits to all its members dent Gari M. San Sebastian, tions Manager Edwin B. Dawal, and their immediate families. FBG Manager Michael P. Cabra, and Marketing Staff Jemwel Speakers were FBG Vice Presi- Benefit Certificate Holders Rela- Santillan. (FBG News)

More than 1,200 individuals of Santiago, Ilocos Sur benefited from the joint humanitarian mission of the Maharlika Assembly and Lions Club of Los Angeles California, USA last February 12 to 14.

THE Maharlika Assembly of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines and the Lions Club of Los Angeles California, USA conducted a joint humanitarian mission in Santiago, Ilocos Sur last February 12-14. Some 1,200 individuals received medical and dental services provided by the groups. Faithful Navigator Danilo F. del Rosario of the Maharlika Assembly said that the Lions Club provided prescription glasses, some of which were made from Italy and USA. We have six optometrists and six dentists. Beneficiaries were from the 24 barangays of Santiago, Ilocos Sur. Each barangay was allowed to bring 50 patients. So we have 1,200 beneficiaries for the opto, while more than 80 patients were served by the dentists, said del Rosario. Eight members from the Lions Club including the president of Unity Lions Club of Los Angeles California, Sonny del Rosario and the former President Andrea de Guzman visited the municipality of Santiago together with

the Brother Knights. The Knights of Columbus and Lions Club prepared for three months and coordinated with the local government units headed by Mayor Michael Miranda and Vice Mayor Josefino Miranda before embarking on the mission. The joint humanitarian mission was in line with the objectives of both groups: the K of C, which is to perform charitable, educational and patriotic works; and Lions Clubs to take an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community. Beneficiaries also received tshirts from Brother Knights and Lions Club members. We had a great time for this humanitarian mission and we are hoping for the next projects these coming years, Maharlika Assemblys Faithful Navigator furthered. The Maharlika Assembly (NCR District 4) has 23 new members under Master of the Fourth Degree Jovy Reyes. (KC News)

Trekkers urged to support Churchs prolife advocacy

Participants of the 22nd Trek to Mt. Taklang Damulag headed by Ret. Major General Restituto Padilla Sr., Chairman Emeritus Rene Odulio, Fr. (Major) Leo C. Balanlay, K of C leaders Dindo Berino and Manuel Naldoza. The trek was held last February 15 to 16 in coordination with the 7th ID and Southern Command of the Philippine Army.

Luzon to hold 12th state convention

ALL District Deputies and Grand Knights in Luzon Jurisdiction are encouraged to participate in the upcoming 12th Luzon State Convention on April 27 at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel. The Luzon Jurisdiction will accommodate up to 500 maximum delegates only and the registration is limited to the incumbent State Officers, State Directors/ Chairmen, District Deputies, and Grand Knights. Registration fee for early registrants is at P1,600.00 per delegate until March 31. Delegates who will register from April 1-19 will be charged P1,800.00, while those registering from April 20-26 will pay P2,500.00. On-site registrants will pay P3,000.00 and will not be given a convention bag. Included in the convention bag are laminated ID, certificates, meal stubs, one raffle stub for door prize and other giveaways. Payment for the registration fee may be in cash or check and payable to Luzon Jurisdiction or may be deposited under the current account of K of C Luzon, according to State Convention Chairman Bonifacio B. Martinez. For details, interested parties may call (02) 527-2248 or email at kofcluzon@yahoo.com. (Luzon News)

MORE than 300 participants of this years Trek to Mt. Taklang Damulag in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija were encouraged to support the Churchs prolife advocacies. Themed In Communion with God and Nature and Walk for Life, the activity held last February 15-16 also included a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Father Orly Valino of the Holy Cross Parish emphasized in his homily that praying in the mountain is an imitation of what Jesus did and he encouraged participants to love nature and support the advocacies of the Catholic Church. Tagumpay ang pag-akyat dahil nagkaroon tayo ng sharing at pagsasalo-salo. Taimtim natin kinausap ang Panginoon. Ang pagiging pro-life ay isinasaloob natin at dapat lamang na ating ipagdiwang at ipagpasalamat ang ating buhay sa Diyos, Fr. Valino said. Chairman Emeritus of the Round Table of District Deputies (RTDD) of Nueva Ecija and

Aurora Rene Odulio, Ret. Major General Restituto Padilla, and other K of C leaders paid a courtesy call to Col. Harold N. Cabreros who welcomed the group on behalf of BGen. Gregorio Pio P. Catapang, Jr, AFP Commander, 7th ID PA. Trek participants were given an educational tour at the Aquino-Diokno Memorial within the camp, including a 30-minute film showing about the struggle of the martyred Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr and Jose Pepe Wright Diokno. The group also had a Boodle fight at the Pahingahan Complex and witnessed the static show of the army artillery regiment and the platoon maneuver by the AFP Special Forces. The 7th ID provided the group with support personnel guides, medical team and vehicle. They also assisted in bringing up provisions, while the Southern Command provided the demos. Other trekkers include Fr. (Major) Leo C.

Balanlay, Chaplain of the 7th ID, who is one of the candidates for the top soldiers to be awarded by Metrobank; College of the Immaculate Conception Chorale, families and guests of the K of C members across the country; employees of the Suzuki and Kawasaki motors and Wheeltek Motor Sales Corporation, which are among the major sponsors. Mt. Taklang Damulag is located in one of the biggest camp in Asia, at Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija. The trek is an annual event initiated by the Chairman Emeritus Rene Odulio and Ret. Major General Restituto Padilla, Sr. It was organized by the RTDD of Nueva Ecija and Aurora Chairman Dindo Berino and Central Luzon Conquerors Area Manager of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KCFAPI), Manuel Naldoza in coordination with the 7th ID and Southern Command of the Philippine Army. (KC News)


The Cross

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 17 No. 06
March 18 - 31, 2013