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• A3 Pope: Assisi meeting shows desire for peace is real • B1 Porta Fidei
• A3 Pope: Assisi meeting shows desire for peace is real • B1 Porta Fidei


Pope: Assisi meeting shows desire for peace is real
shows desire for peace
is real
A3 Pope: Assisi meeting shows desire for peace is real • B1 Porta Fidei Apostolic Letter


Assisi meeting shows desire for peace is real • B1 Porta Fidei Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio
Porta Fidei
Porta Fidei
meeting shows desire for peace is real • B1 Porta Fidei Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio data”

Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio data”

• B1 Porta Fidei Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio data” • C1 Ugnayan The News Supplement of


Ugnayan The News Supplement of Couples for Christ
The News Supplement of
Couples for Christ
• C1 Ugnayan The News Supplement of Couples for Christ November 7 - 20, 2011 Vol.
• C1 Ugnayan The News Supplement of Couples for Christ November 7 - 20, 2011 Vol.

November 7 - 20, 2011

Vol. 15 No. 23

Php 20. 00

Work ‘claims’ more than 2 million lives annually—groups

THE Institute for Occupational Health, Safety and Development (IOHSAD) has reminded the public that work remains the number cause of death of workers in the world. IOHSAD executive director Noel Colina said in a Facebook wall message, a worker dies from occupation-related risks and diseases every 15 seconds or four in every minute. That, if one would compute, that

Work / A6

Australia mining aid for PH questioned

THE Australian government has launched a $127 million aid package for world’s poor but mineral-rich nations, including the Philippines. But Filipino and Australian or- ganizations, during a forum at the University of Melbourne, has criticized Prime Minister Julia Gil- lard for launching the “Mining for Development Initiative” that aims to help more than 30 developing countries, and address various issues related to mining, includ- ing environmental impacts and governance. Mining Action Philippines–Aus- tralia (MAP-Oz) claimed the “smart aid” initiative will not solve other important issues related to mining, such as extra-judicial killings, hu- man rights violations, indigenous land grabbing, environmental de- struction and corruption. MAP-Oz is a mining watchdog composed of various Filipino and Australian citizens and organiza- tions including Friends of the Earth and Haribon Foundation. “While the main aid for the Philippines is for scholarships and trainings either in the country or in Australia, we cannot deny the fact that there are a lot of conflict- ing mining issues and policies which should be addressed by both the government and the min-

Mining / A6

Nat’l Youth Day to pursue role in social change

Photo courtesy of KC-Columbian Squires
Photo courtesy of KC-Columbian Squires

Key officials of the Luzon Columbian Squires carry the National Youth Cross upon its arrival on Nov. 7 at their headquarters in Intramuros, Manila where it stayed until Nov. 10. The pilgrim cross has been going around the country since December 2010 in observance of the “Year of the Youth” as proclaimed by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. From Intramuros, the cross was then brought to its final stop in Don Bosco Makati for the opening of the National Youth Day on Nov. 14.

By Pinky Barrientos, FSP

THE upcoming celebration of the National Youth Day highlights the potential of the youth to contribute for change amidst social prob- lems confronting church and society today, an official of the Catholic Bishops Confer- ence said.

Fr. Conegundo Garganta, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commis- sion on Youth said NYD 2011is also a challenge for church leaders to rec- ognize the need to prioritize concerns affecting young people today. PCP II tells us that the Church ac- knowledges and recognize that there has to be a preferential option for the youth, Garganta said. “[But] the question here is: have we really reached that stage or level that we can claim that we have placed our priority for them?” he asked. He said the national event is also an invitation for bishops, priests and religious to place more priori- ties in ministering to young people, seeing that the young people are a significant component of church and society.

Youth / A6

End violence against indigenous peoples, PNoy urged


MANILA, Oct. 29, 2011—A human rights leader called on the Aquino government to end the violence perpetrated against indigenous peoples. Judy Pasimio, executive director of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center urged President Benigno Aquino III to stop the state of impunity under his adminis- tration. Mining companies should be made accountable for human rights violations, Pasimio said in a statement, urging Aquino to review the government’s skewed mining policy that tramples on human rights and brings irreversible destruction to the environment. Pasimio lamented that mining has slowly become “synonymous to violence,” as many advocates have been murdered because of their strong stance against mining. On October 14, Datu Roy Gallego, a Manobo chieftain in Surigao del Sur was killed

in an ambush. Gallego, who was also a broadcaster, was a known anti-mining tribal leader. Last October 17, PIME missionary Fr. Fausto Tento- rio, a strong defender of the lumads and known for his anti-mining stance was also gunned down by a motorcy- cle-riding assassin. Pasimio noted that the murder happened just few days after Aquino approved the mining companies’ pro- posal to allow the formation and funding of militias for their protection, at a time the nation celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Month. She rued Aquino’s appar- ent ignorance of the human rights violations suffered by rural communities in the hands of private armies that protect big business like min- ing and logging. Aquino’s decision to al- low mining corporations to have their own paramilitary units for their protection can

Violence / A7

CBCP: ‘Once again, no to RH bill!’

THE Catholic hierarchy has reiterated that the reproduc- tive health (RH) bill is not the solution to the “contra- dictions” seen in the world that now has a seven billion population. Amid renewed calls for RH bill’s passage, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) main-

tained that the problem is not the population but inequality

in the Philippines.

“The reproductive health bill is in no way a measure or solution to this unjust reality,” said Tandag Bish-

op Nereo Odchimar, CBCP president. “In fact, the RH bill could just worsen the situation as billion will be allotted for con- traceptive pills, gadgets and services. We strongly main- tain our preaching that the RH bill should be rejected,” he said. Odchimar also said that the unequal distribution of the country’s wealth, a significant

portion of which is due to cor- ruption, must be addressed to improve the lives of the Filipinos. The CBCP was reacting

to recent calls in Congress for the passage of the RH bill believing that it would be the key in ensuring that everyone has equal access to basic goods. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on October 31, said “the world today is one of terrible contra- dictions” – “lavish lifestyles for a few, but poverty for too many others.” “What kind of world has baby seven billion been born into? What kind of world do we want for our children in

RH / A7

Be role models to your children, parents told

A CATHOLIC prelate has urged parents to

take charge and be “better role models” for their children to learn from.

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said that

it is imperative that parents lead by example for it would encourage their children to be- have the same way. “Teaching children about the right values is not just by telling them about

it but then the parents will do the op-

posite,” Cruz said. “Parents have to show their children what is right.” At the same time, the prelate also stressed that a child’s another great-

the alleged mastermind of the killing last October 28. Ram was the son of former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. with Genelyn Magsaysay. Cruz said he was saddened by the incident hounding the Revilla clan but said “I might be wrong [but] it maybe the culmination of it all.” “The problem here is it will be hard to teach them the right values if their par- ents did not serve as a good model in showing what is right and wrong,” he said. “It’s hard for the children to learn (the right values) if the family back- ground is wrong,” Cruz added. Children from broken families are more likely to get into trouble than those in stable families, he also said. Cruz said that two parents are much better than one if children are to avoid slipping into emotional distress and anti-social behavior. “The victims of conju- gal misunderstanding or conjugal irregularity are always the children,” he stressed. “They are maybe exceptions but usually it’s like that.” (CBCP- News)

exceptions but usually it’s like that.” (CBCP- News) est need is quality time with their parents.

est need is quality time with their parents. “It’s a good thing and means a lot when the family is under one roof, eats together… that’s very important, “ he said. Cruz is reacting to the controversy hounding the powerful Revilla clan following the murder of Ramgen Bautista, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla’s half brother. Authorities investigating the case, however, tagged Ram’s brother Ra- mon Jose and his sister Ma- ria Ramona as

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

CEAP asks help for internally- displaced persons in Mindanao

THE Catholic Education Associa- tion of the Philippines has appealed for help for the internally-displaced persons (IDP) in Mindanao. The ongoing conflict in Mindanao has increased the number of IDPs to 20,000 and may further rise due to escalating skirmishes between the military and MILF, according to Fr. Antonio Moreno, SJ, CEAP acting president. He said as always in the case of military operations, it is the civilians “who take the brunt of the impact of the encounters.” The military in Mindanao are cur- rently on hot pursuit of the rebels to bring justice to those soldiers who lost their lives in Al Barka, Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay. Moreno is asking for donations, either cash or in kind to respond to the growing needs of the displaced families.




World News

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

Vatican Radio director welcomes seven billionth baby

VATICAN CITY, Nov. 5, 2011— Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., the director general of Vatican Radio, welcomed the birth of the seven billionth person in his weekly editorial. “Dear baby number seven bil- lion,” said the Italian priest Nov. 5, “we pray that you can under- stand that your life will find its fullest meaning not in this world but in the next. Because this is what you were born for. Your Creator and Father made you for this.” Fr. Lombardi delivered his thoughts only days after a major United Nations report estimated that world’s population reached the seven billion mark on Oct. 31. The report, “State of World Population 2011,” also estimated that the earth’s total population could number more than 10 bil- lion by the end of this century. Fr. Lombardi speculated about the circumstances and geogra- phy of this week’s seven billionth


“I don’t


www.2.bp.blogspot.com www.img.izismile.com

Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J.

world population trends over the last 60 years,” it comments, adding “our record population size can be viewed in many ways as a success for human- ity.” The report particularly wel- comes the rise in average life expectancy, which “leapt from about 48 years in the early 1950s to about 68 in the first decade of

the new century.” It also cited decline in infant deaths which have “plunged” from about 133 in 1,000 births in the 1950s to 46 per 1,000 in the period from 2005 to 2010. It also praises the work of immunization campaigns that have reduced the prevalence of childhood diseases worldwide. In his words to “baby number seven billion,” Fr. Lombardi









you were

born on

a remote

island, or

in a refu-

gee tent.

I d o n ’ t

k n




o r

or handi-

capped. I don’t know whether both your parents were there to embrace you at your birth, or whether your mother alone was there to hold you.” Though some commenta- tors have criticized population growth, the U.N. report casts some positive light on the phe- nomenon. “There is much to celebrate in



“I don’t


h e t h e r

e o p l e


there are

too many

too few y o u

and your


raries. To- day, I don’t care about that.” Fr. Lombardi told the land- mark baby that the world he or she is coming into “is a bit complicated and it’s not friendly for everyone.” “We haven’t done a very good job preparing it for you,” he admitted. He noted that the G20 Summit of the world’s wealthiest nations

k n






o f




s i c k

had just concluded its two-day

meeting in the French city of

Cannes. “The leaders of the richest and most powerful nations are sitting around a table, struggling

to find a way forward. We too

are asking ourselves about your

future.” His overall message to the baby, however, was a person- alized and emotional one. He told the baby that he or she is “unique and special, that you are a wonderful gift, that you are a miracle, that your spirit will live forever, and so you are welcome.” “We hope that when you smile someone will respond to your smile, and when you cry some- one will caress you. We hope you can go to school and that you won’t go hungry. We hope that someone will answer your questions wisely and encourage you as you find your place in the world.” (CNA)

Vatican Briefing

Pope: Study the Eastern Catholic Churches

Benedict XVI is praying this month for an increase in knowledge of and esteem for the Eastern Catholic Churches. The Apostleship of Prayer announced the in- tentions chosen by the Pope for this month. His general intention is “that the Eastern Catholic Churches and their venerable traditions may be known and esteemed as a spiritual treasure for the whole Church.” The Eastern Catholic Churches are in full communion with Rome. They originate in Eastern Europe, Asia or Africa and have their own liturgical and legal systems. The national or ethnic character of their regions of origin identifies these Churches. There are 22 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their members number worldwide between 16 million and 17 million. (Zenit)

Pope appeals for peace following attacks in Nigeria

Benedict XVI is reiterating that violence is not the solu- tion for problems, as he appealed on Nov. 6 for peace

in Nigeria. An Islamist sect in northern Nigeria claimed

responsibility for a series of attacks on Nov. 4, including multiple suicide bombings. Six churches, including one Catholic parish, were targeted and at least 150 people were killed in the violence. “I am following with concern the tragic episodes that have occurred in Nigeria in the

past few days and, as I pray for the victims, I ask people

to put an end to all violence, which does not solve prob-

lems but increases them, sowing hatred and division also among believers,” the pope said. The Pontiff will be visiting Nigeria’s western neighbor, Benin, in less than two weeks. (Zenit)

Church must protect universal values, Pope tells German ambassador

Pope Benedict XVI told Germany’s new ambassador to the Holy See on Nov. 7 that the Catholic Church has the duty to defend “truths and values that are under threat,” especially those values basic to human dignity. At the Nov. 7 audience, the new German ambassador Reinhard Scheppe presented his official letters of credence. The pope told the ambassador that his September visit to Germany provided him the chance to reflect on how the Catholic Church and the Holy See can be of service in a pluralistic society. “Many of our contemporaries see the influence of Christianity, and of other religions as a way of imposing a specific culture and lifestyle upon society. This view is not incorrect, but it is not a complete understanding of the Catholic Church,” he said. (CNA)

New US nuncio calls American Church ‘beacon of hope’

The Pope’s new representative to the United States says the youth of the country’s Catholic Church is a beacon

of hope to the rest of the Catholic world, especially in

Europe. “It is very exciting,” Archbishop Carlo Maria

Viganò said. “I know the United States is the greatest country in many ways, but also from the Church point

of view, because there are many young religious insti-

tutions and many young people. Europe has become an ‘old continent,’ but the United States has a youth that is brilliant and enthusiastic. I hope to be able to work with them in my new position,” he said. Viganò will take up his new post as the papal nuncio to the United States on Nov. 12. (CNA)

Pius X Society leader doubtful of reconciliation with Vatican


British superior in the traditionalist Society of St. Pius


called Vatican attempts to reconcile with the group

through a doctrinal agreement “clearly unacceptable.” Father Paul Morgan, a district head in Britain, said in a November newsletter that despite recent talks between society leaders and Vatican officials, the group is far from agreeing to Rome’s proposal. “Indeed, the document itself conveys the impression that there is no crisis in the church,” Fr. Morgan said in his online newsletter. “Hence the stated consensus of those in attendance was that the doctrinal preamble was clearly unacceptable and that the time has certainly not come to pursue any practical agree- ment as long as the doctrinal issues remain outstanding.” (CNA)

Physicists, cosmologists meet at Vatican to discuss nature of universe

World-renown physicists, who study everything from imperceptible particles to the expanding cosmos, came

together for a Vatican-sponsored conference on the “new frontier of physics” ― the sub-nuclear world of electrons, hadrons and neutrinos. From the ancient Greeks to the Nobel Prize-winning scientists of today, humanity has sought to delve into the nature and origin of matter and discover the basic building blocks of the universe. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences provided a forum for about 52 experts to showcase the latest discoveries when

it hosted an international symposium Oct. 30-Nov. 2 on

the future of sub-nuclear physics and the puzzles left to piece together. (CNS)

Bishop remembers martyrs of Spanish Civil War

CORDOBA, Spain, Nov. 4, 2011—Bishop Demetrio Fernandez of Cordoba, Spain has announced that the Church in Spain will remember the martyrs of the Spanish Civil War on Nov. 6. Bishop Cordoba recalled that this year marks the “75th anniversary of the cruel mar- tyrdom of thousands and thousands of Span- iards who gave their lives for Jesus Christ, openly confessing their faith and sealing it with their blood,” reports Europa Press. “There is no greater love. Around a thousand have already been beatified and

thousands more are in the process of being declared martyrs of Christ. In each case the Church carries out a thorough examination of their deaths, the motives for their deaths and how they confronted this supreme mo- ment,” he said. “The martyrs are not those who fall on the battle front in the line of fire, but rather those who were taken from their homes, ar- rested, taken to prison and executed simply for being Christians,” the bishop explained. “They were executed out of hatred for the faith.”

He noted that the hatred of God and Ca- tholicism “becomes the occasion to express

a greater love, a love that dies forgiving

one’s executioners, a love that dies singing

what is most beautiful in the human heart. Once again, hatred does not have the last word. The last word belongs to love, be- cause God is love,” he stated. Bishop Fernandez explained that the Church “does not celebrate the cruelty of torture” but rather the “greater love that each one of her children was able to ex- press.” (CNA)

Our Lady of Guadalupe unites all Americans, says Vatican official

ROME, Italy, Nov. 2, 2011—The under secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Guzman Carriquiry Lecour, recent- ly stressed that Our Lady of Guada- lupe brings together the people of North and South America. Pointing to Blessed John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation, “Ecclesia in America,”CarriquirynotedthatOur

Lady of Guadalupe “is the patroness of America, and she makes us— Americans and Latin Americans— into a family of sons and daughters and brothers and sisters.” “This is what we need to be pro- moting through the bonds and ties of communion between Catholics, between Churches, but also be- tween lay Catholics in the United States and Latin America.”

In an interview with CNA, Car-

riquiry said the two peoples of North and South America are unit-

ed by the Catholic faith. “The first Christian presence in the United States … passing through New Orleans to the great California, was Catholic,” he recalled. In addition, he continued, te presence of Hispanics in the heart of the Church in American culture “will continue to grow and they will be half of all Catholics in the U.S. within 10 to 15 years.” The Catholic faith will again unite these groups, Carriquiry argued. “It is important that these two peoples are not in opposition to one another, distracted with one another and isolated from one another, but rather that they have a much more intense relationship of mutual enrichment,” he said. Carriquiry, a native of Montevi- deo, Uruguay, is the highest rank- ing layman in the Roman Curia. He is married to Lidice Maria Gomez


Mango and has four children and three grandchildren. He was a close collaborator to Pope Benedict XVI, first at the Consilium dei Laicis and later at the Pontifical Council for the Laity. He also participated as an advisor at the Latin American Bishops’ Meetings at Puebla in 1979, Santo Domingo in 1992 and Aparecida in 2007. (CNA)

Institute lauds the accomplishments of late Cardinal Kim

SEOUL, Korea, Nov. 4, 2011—The late Cardi- nal Stephen Kim Sou- hwan was an icon of Korean society during his lifetime and remains so two years after his death.

A symposium held

by the Stephen Cardinal Kim Institute on October 28 at the Catholic Uni- versity of Korea (CUK)

examined the cardinal’s

pivotal spiritual contribu- tions to society.

In his keynote address,

John Park Il-young, a CUK professor, said that prior to the first plenary assembly of the Federa- tion of Asian Bishops’ Conference in Manila in 1971, Cardinal Kim told all Korean dioc- esan ordinaries that “the Church should be the yeast of the society, to

that “the Church should be the yeast of the society, to The late Cardinal Stephen Kim

The late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan

fully commit itself in building humanized society.” He added that under Cardinal Kim’s leader- ship, the Korean Catholic Church had played a vi- tal role in South Korean democratization during the 1970s and 1980s. Park told the estimat- ed 50 attendees of the symposium that among Cardinal Kim’s most enduring accomplish-

ments was his call for “reducing the large gap between the rich and the poor, and actualizing distributive justice.” He added that Car- dinal Kim has served “to defend democratic values of our civil so- ciety beyond the wall of the Church,” there- by earning respect for the Catholic faith as a source of political justice and spiritual liberation. Rosa You Jung-weon, a lecturer at Suwon Catholic University and a presenter at the sym- posium, praised Cardi- nal Kim for his efforts on behalf of the poor. She said Cardinal Kim saw that economic justice could only be realized by changing “structures,” not just by giving alms.

Fr Raphael Cho Jeong- hwan, also a professor at CUK, told attendees that Cardinal Kim always em- phasized the importance of human rights, saying the “violation of human rights is not only to insult humans but to blaspheme Christ and God.” The institute was es- tablished last year to study the life, thoughts and practice of the first cardinal in Korea. Cardinal Kim retired from the ordinary run- ning of the Seoul arch- diocese in 1998 after 30 years of service. His death in 2009 was greeted with deep sorrow by members of various faiths in Korea because of his contribu- tions to democracy and social harmony in the country. (UCAN)

Congress urges more mission work

RAIPUR, India, Nov. 4, 2011—Catholics in central India have resolved to revive the faith European missioners introduced among their ancestors more than a century ago. Around 1,600 delegates from 200 parishes spread over five dioceses in Chhattisgarh at- tended a mission congress that ended October 28, during which attendees were urged to be better witnesses for their faith in the predominantly Hindu nation. “We need more light of Christ these days since there is too much darkness in the world,” Bishop Paul Toppo of Raigarh said in his keynote address to the congress. Jesuit missioners from Bel- gium first introduced the Catho- lic faith to Oraon tribal people of central and eastern India. Chhattisgarh state has 410,035 Catholics, mostly tribal and dalit people, in a population of 20.8 million. Congress attendees acknowl- edged the pioneering missioners’ hard labor and the persecution suffered by the early Christians, and resolved to live their faith boldly and to preserve their culture. They also resolved to organize spiritual programs in an effort to revitalize Catholic faith, and to implement new campaigns to curb social and human rights problems including alcoholism, human trafficking, and govern- ment corruption that have hin- dered the spiritual and economic growth of Catholic communities in the region. Bishop Emmanuel Kerketta of Jashpur expressed his gratitude for the work of early missioners in educating people for service to the Church and the nation. The Oraon tribal prelate said missioners from the region now serve the Church throughout the world. (UCAN)

Bishops ask Karnataka chief minister for justice for arrested Christians

BANGALORE, India, Nov. 4, 2011—On October 28 a delega- tion of bishops of Karnataka, led by the Archbishop of Bangalore Bernard Moras, and the Bishop of Mangalore Aloysius Paul D’Souza met Prime Minister Sadananda Gowda to ask him to withdraw all cases pending against some young Christians. Archbishop Moras, and the President of the United Chris- tian Forum of Karnataka have demanded that the cases should be withdrawn at the earliest pos- sible because 150 innocent young people are subjected to investiga- tions and limits on their personal freedom. Archbishop Moras reminded that Interior Minister Ashok, after consultation with the then Prime Minister Yeddyurappa had promised that there would

be action within 45 days, but still nothing has happened. He asked the Prime Minister to put the issue on the agenda at the next meeting of the State Govern- ment. The Prime Minister had promised Archbishop Moras and the Bishop of Mangalore, that he would withdraw the cases against the young as soon as pos- sible. Sadananda Gowda said he understood the anxiety of the Christian community, but that the withdrawal of charges takes time because the police reports must be verified by the prosecu- tor and the government must take the final decision. On 10 October a group affiliat- ed to the Global Council of Indian Christians, the Christian Okkutta Bharath (India’s Christian Asso- ciation) met with the Governor of Karnataka, HR Bhardwaj, asking

for his intervention to control the ties between politicians, police and government officials in the persecution against evangelical pastors and their flocks in the State. “ After open and dare-devil at- tacks against us throughout the state during the last three and odd years, now the same fanat- ics use subtler and more cun- ning methods to undermine and subjugate Christians in the state, allegedly because of forcible and fraudulent conversions of Hindus to Christianity,” the delegation expressed in a memorandum to the Governor. According to the association, the police is an ac- complice of the fanatics, “select- ing Christian targets and their congregations in some areas of the state.” The memorandum highlights

attacks on house churches and states that the police often work in agreement with the Sangh Pari- var extremists. “Sometimes the police themselves, without cause, would enter and disrupt celebra- tions, attacking the participants, arresting and holding pastors in jail for hours, and charging them under various pretexts.” Sajan K George, presi- dent of the GCIC, told AsiaN- ews that it is regrettable that in spite of numerous meetings with the Prime Minister the climate of terrorism continues against Christian communities, and justice for the victims of the wave of violence against the Christian community is slow and ineffective. The GCIC reported 37 attacks against Christians in Karnataka since January of this year. (AsiaNews)

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

News Features


Pope: Assisi meeting shows desire for peace is real

VATICAN City, Oct. 28, 2011—Pope Benedict XVI met this morning with delegates who participated in yester- day’s Assisi gathering and said that the meeting showed how genuine the desire for peace and the good of others is. “In a certain sense, this gathering is representative of the billions of men and women throughout our world who are actively engaged in promoting justice and peace,” said the Pope. He told them the day had also been “a sign of the friendship and fraternity which has flourished” because of the work of those engaged in dialogue. He expressed hope that such friendships would “continue to grow.” Pope Benedict praised the foresight of Pope John Paul II in calling the first Assisi meeting in 1986 and said that the gatherings are a “vivid expression of the fact that every day, throughout our world, people of different religious traditions live and work together in harmony.” “It is surely significant,” he contin- ued, that so many people are committed


to working for the good of the human

family. “As we go our separate ways,” the Pope said as he bade them farewell, “let us draw strength from this experi-

ence and, wherever we may be, let us continue refreshed on the journey that leads to truth, the pilgrimage that leads to peace. I thank all of you from my heart!” (CNA/EWTN News)

Birth of 7 billionth baby is challenge to help all, newspaper says

VATICAN City, Nov. 2, 2011—The challenge posed to the world by the birth of its 7 billionth inhabitant isn't how to stop population growth, but to find ways to ensure the continued growth can benefit all hu- manity, said an article in the Vatican newspaper. According to the United Nations, the world's popu- lation hit — and quickly ex- ceeded—7 billion Oct. 31. At a time when people are talking again about over- population, "it's worth ask- ing which overpopulation we're talking about," said Cristian Martini Grimaldi, writing on the front page of

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. The author said people talk as if population growth in some parts of the world or some individual countries is so exaggerated that it's like an "abnormal growth" on part of a diseased body or a form of gigantism. "The problem is not demographic gigantism and never was, not even way back in 1968 when the bestseller, 'The Popu- lation Bomb,' disturbed the consciences of millions by predicting planetary catastrophe," he wrote in L'Osservatore Nov. 2. "Perhaps the point isn't

to stop growth, but how to continue to grow," spe- cifically by "emphasizing development that does not privilege only a few, but all," he said. The author said that in discussions about exces- sive population growth, "the experts always and only indicate two places:

sub-Saharan Africa and Asia," particularly China and India. But if one looks at popu- lation density—the number of people per square mile — Germany faces more of a population problem than China does. And India population density is "basi-

cally analogous to that of Japan," he said. S o m e p e o p l e h a v e been promoting the idea of a sustainable negative growth campaign focused on convincing people in the West to reduce their consumption of food and natural resources while simultaneously convinc- ing people in the develop- ing world to reduce their population growth rates, he said. "The underlying assump- tion is that the West," in the area of population growth, "has already done its part," Martini Grimaldi wrote. (CNS)

HK human rights groups protest extra judicial killings in PH

MANILA, Nov. 5, 2011—Hong Kong’s human rights groups held a picket in front of Philippine Consulate General to protest the murder of Fr. Fausto Ten- torio, PIME and the rising cases of extra judicial killings in the Philippines. The HK Committee for the Advance- ment of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP) and Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) HK chapter have expressed alarm on the increasing number of hu- man rights advocates being killed in the country. Expressing their solidarity with their compatriots, the HK groups slammed the culture of impunity that victimized those who take the cause of the margin- alized, like Fr. Tentorio. “The culture of impunity persists and yet again victimized another man of the Church whose devotion the cause of the Lumad in Mindanao, the poor, and the Filipino people has been unflappable.

Like that of all others before him, Fr. Tentorio’s death needs for immediate justice,” said Joram Calimutan of the United Church of Christ in the Philip- pines (UCCP) and a member of the Executive Committee of PCPR-HK. The groups handed to the consulate

a letter signed by 19 Religious leaders,

Churches and Church-related groups expressing their condemnation on the kill- ing of Fr. Tentorio and other activists. Local and migrant workers organiza- tions and a Hong Kong legislator also endorsed the statement. Calling for a swift investigation of Fr. Tentorio’s death and Oplan Bayanihan, the protesters also urged the junking of Mining Act of 1995 which Fr. Tentorio had opposed in his work among the Lumads. HKCAHRPP spokesperson Bruce Van Voorhis decried that the Aquino

government has not stemmed the cul- ture of impunity that was so rampant in

the previous administration. “The body count is again on the rise. While the more than 1,000 cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance[s] under the GMA (Ar- royo) government still await justice, the Aquino government seems more intent in adding more atrocities and human rights violations instead of delivering justice and ending the culture of impu- nity in the country,” he remarked. The Oplan Bantay-Laya of the pre- vious administration, he said, now called Oplan Bayanihan by the Aquino government, “clearly appears to head to the same direction as its predeces- sor – killings, enforced disappearance, displacement of militarized people, and fading hopes for a just peace.” The (PCPR) HK chapter and HKCAH- RPP were joined by migrant workers and priests from Fr. Tentorio’s order, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mis- sions (PIME). (CBCPNews)

Accountability critical for sex abuse prevention, says Vatican official

VATICAN City, Nov. 3, 2011—Child abuse prevention policies will never work without ac- countability and an unwavering commitment to children’s welfare, said the Vatican’s top investigator of clerical sex abuse. “No strategy for the prevention of child abuse will ever work without commitment and accountability,” es- pecially from the world’s bishops, said Msgr. Charles Scicluna, promoter


Msgr. Charles Scicluna


justice for the Congregation for the

nities where authority is held in high

Doctrine of the Faith. The monsignor was one of three Vatican officials invited to speak about protection strategies at an international forum on preventing child abuse. Car- dinal Renato Martino, retired president

esteem,” he wrote. Parents and guardians have a right and duty to “disclose abuse to a higher authority.” However, “where ministers of religion are concerned, disclosure may be complicated by ill-informed and

of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Archbishop Zygmunt Zi- mowski, head of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, were also invited to speak at the forum, “The World’s Children and the Abuse of Their Rights,” at the Italian senate Nov. 3. The forum was sponsored by the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va., the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., the Vatican-related Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome and SOS Telefono Azzurro—an Italian hotline for reporting child abuse. The Vatican released a copy of Msgr. Scicluna’s speech in English Nov. 3. The five-page speech looked at the role of the Catholic Church in protect- ing children from abuse, using numer- ous citations from Pope Benedict XVI’s

misplaced considerations of loyalty and belonging,” he said in his talk. The “sacred power” of a priest or religious leader may “unfortunately and wrongly” generate fear and pre- vent such crimes from being revealed, he wrote. Communities must be empowered through education and open channels of communication so people are able to “denounce abuse of sacred power for what it is: a betrayal of trust,” he wrote. While Msgr. Scicluna’s speech looked at actions the Catholic Church has tak- en, it also said there is more to do. The church and all institutions are still “on a learning curve” and should show more openness to learning about preventative strategies from researchers, he said. The church also has “the duty to undertake an honest analysis of what



Letter to the Catholics of Ireland,

went wrong in tragic cases where stew-


papal address to Irish bishops in

ardship was lacking and the response to


and the doctrinal congregation’s

child abuse was inadequate because of


circular letter to bishops’ confer-

misplaced concerns for the good name

ences on the need to develop clear abuse guidelines. In his speech, Msgr. Scicluna said the protection and respect of children must be paramount, and seeing them as a gift

of the institutions we represent.” He noted the problem of deciding what role, if any, perpetrators of abuse should be allowed to have in the church, adding that the welfare of children and


God “is the true basis of prevention

the community must be the deciding


child abuse.”


Sex abuse of minors by clergy and pastoral workers causes “indescribably repugnant damage” to the child and inflicts “a tragic wound” on the church community. Sex abuse is not only a crime accord- ing to canon law, it is “a crime pros- ecuted by civil law,” he wrote. “Although relations with civil au- thorities will differ in various countries, nevertheless it is important to cooper- ate with such authority within their responsibilities,” he said. Where the law requires, the reporting of such crimes to the proper authorities should always be followed, he said. Empowering children and families to understand, detect and speak up about abuse is critical especially “in commu-

He also noted the church understands that “if the perpetrator of abuse is left to his or her own devices the risk of reof- fending is very high.” Religious institutions and com- munities need to “offer leadership in the formation and screening” of seminarians, priests and pastoral workers, he wrote, and they must adopt clear codes of conduct as well as guidelines for how to deal with cases of misconduct. The doctrinal congregation released a circular letter earlier this year requiring each bishops’ conference in the world to submit by May 2012 a set of guide- lines on how it deals with accusations of abuse and on how it will minister to victims. (CNS)

Family, faith vital in teens’ well-being—psychiatrist

MANILA, Nov. 5, 2011–Open com- munication with parents as well as faith practices carried out as a family are among the things vital to young people’s well-being and which mini- mize risk factors for suicide, accord- ing to a psychiatrist. Things that have proven to be beneficial in keeping the youth happy and healthy in relation to family are “a sense of being ac- cepted and loved for who they are, a sense of being understood, being able to communicate openly with parents without fear of rejec- tion or anger, and having some independence — being given some amount of autonomy [with a] background of clear, reasonable house rules. Consistent, supportive parenting [is also crucial],” said Aileene Nepomuceno, M.D., who specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry. Also important is “some form of spirituality that the family practices together,” she added. Many of the reported cases of suicide in the Philippines during the last several months have involved conflicts in relationships around the time of each incident. Notably, a number of the cases involved teens and stressful situations they were experiencing with either loved ones or peers. Suicide attempts in young people nearly always follow some stressful event, most often a problem in a re-

lationship, Nepomuceno observed, adding that among the risk factors based on a study she did were family conflicts, substance abuse, stressful domestic situation (involving people

with whom the person was living before the suicide), and involvement in a relationship. “Rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in 1/3 of countries, in both de- veloped and developing countries,” stated clinical psychiatrist Ma. Rita Esguerra, M.D. Factors such as feelings of hope- lessness and inadequacy, as well as

a sense that one is better off dead

have contributed to young people’s consideration of taking their own lives, based on studies. “Such factors usually rise from

a sense of not being understood

by significant others or from the perception that one has lost the sup- port of significant others,” Esguerra explained. The role of the person’s cognitive state, however, is also to be consid- ered, she pointed out.

Since it is in the home that people spend their formative and teenage years, much of establishing strong family bonds and grounding them on faith practices — two of the things that contribute to young people’s happiness and well-being — depend on the family. (CBCP for Life)

Obando landfill, an environmental disaster—PHILVOCS

MANILA, Nov. 4, 2011―The controversial landfill project being proposed in Obando, Bulacan is highly vulnerable to flooding, storm surges and other environmental risks, according to PHIVOLCS Di- rector Renato Solidum, Jr. Solidum said the low and flat altitude of Obando is susceptible to liquefaction, and flooding as what had happened when the country was visited by Typhoon Pe- dring recently. “[Obando] is prone to liquefaction based on our indicative Liquefaction Sus- ceptibility Map,” he said in response to a query asked by environmental network EcoWaste Coalition. Literature defines liquefac- tion as a process by which sediment that is very wet starts to behave like a liquid, often due to severe shak- ing especially that associ- ated with earthquakes, which could destroy structures especially those whose foun- dations bear directly on the soil which liquefies. The proposed landfill in Obando’s Barangay Salam- bao is a 44 hectare area that is located in a fishing village near the mouth of Salambao- Binuangan River, a tributary that empties to Manila Bay. Because of Obando’s vul- nerability to natural disasters, the planned sanitary landfill,


if pushes through, would have disastrous impact on the environment and people’s health and livelihood, ac- cording to residents. Those against the proj- ect, which include citizens’ groups, Church and religious associations, an environmen- tal coalition, and a fisherfolk alliance, stressed that the waste facility will be harmful to health, destroy livelihood, worsen the perennial prob- lem of flooding in the town and aggravate the deteriora- tion of Manila Bay. Concerned Citizens of Obando has recently asked the Supreme Court to issue a writ of Kalikasan and a tem- porary environmental order (TEPO) against the proposed landfill. Solidum further stated that “the coastal areas of the municipality are prone to tsu- nami inundation especially in the event of major earthquake

occurrence coming from the Manila Trench and other nearby offshore earthquakes close to Bulacan.” EcoWaste Coalition hit Region III’s DENR-Environ- mental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) for failing to consider the unsuitability of the area as a waste disposal facility. “They even allowed the establishment of toxic time bomb in an established geo- logic and climate hazard zone,” the coalition pointed out. Coalition’s Dumps and Incineration Task Force Co- Chair Romeo Hidalgo said DENR should heed the sci- entific opinion of PHIVOLCS and stop right away the land- fill project. “The technical opinion of PHIVOLCS should prompt authorities, specifically the Department of Environ- ment and Natural Resources

(DENR) to immediately halt the Obando Landfill project, as well as order the clo- sure and rehabilitation of all disposal facilities in the Manila Bay area which has been shown to be vulner- able to acts of God,” Hidalgo added. According to concerned groups, the proposed landfill goes against the provisions of RA 9003 or Ecological Solid Management Act. They also pointed out the pollutive effects of the project as it may leak toxic “juice” from dumped garbage and contaminate water sources. The project also perpetu- ates a clear case of envi- ronmental injustice, they added. On December 22, 2010, the EMB regional office for Central Luzon had issued an Environmental Compli- ance Certificate (ECC) to EcoShield Development Cor- poration for the construction and operation of the Obando landfill. EcoShield is headed by businessman and former Ambassador Antonio L. Ca- bangon Chua, according to the ECC. The landfill can contain a capacity of 1,000 metric tons of wastes per day and is expected to cater to Metro Manila’s garbage. (CBCPNews)



CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011


Tracing the rub back to parents

IT is hard for the children to learn the right values if the family background is wrong. This wisdom came from a recent blog of a catholic bishop, who, seemingly, is alarmed with the rising incidence of family related crimes or conflict in this country.

The dailies are plastered every now and then with stories of children shrouded in domestic fracas. The latest is one of the children of “the other family” murdering their own brother, or so police reports say. A few days earlier, the early morning news awakened with a story of a scion of a wealthy family jumping to his death from a high-rise. And still earlier than that was a 13-year old shooting to death his bosom friend and then himself reportedly due to hitches in affection or relationships.

Of course, this is not a case of “one swallow does not a summer make” or something that one can consider isolated, because the trend is increasing and, therefore, alarming.And like extrajudicial killings and summary disappearances, the majority response is one of impunity or “deadma”, to use the lingo of the young. While there is a basket-full of laws and government agencies to implement them, nothing serious has really come up to address this growing domestic problem squarely.

Take for instance how Philippine society has learned to condone, in fact to admire as a feat of machismo, a philandering husband siring scores of children from a bevy of mothers. This male chauvinist concoction is sure to beget a failure in a family and children going haywire. There is a bad joke circulating in texts that when a man has five or more wives he is certainly a Christian, because a Muslim is limited only to four. But aren’t there any laws to limit a man to his keep?

Another case would be of parents geographically separating early on because one has to work abroad in order to float the financial needs of the family. This is the most common and the most destructive. The social cost of at least 15 million Filipinos working abroad with most of them leaving their families behind is sure to exact its toll in Philippine society. In the years to come, the country will have grown up children from split-parent families now contracting their own families, but definitely multiplying the dark effects of single-parenthood.

The welfare of children and, ultimately, of society should be prominent in contemplating laws relative to the family. Which is why, a divorce bill or any variation of such bill should not make any headway to the halls of congress. In the blog cited earlier, Archbishop Oscar Cruz who heads the Church’s Matrimonial Tribunal posits “The victims of conjugal misunderstanding or conjugal irregularity are always the children.” He adds: children from broken families are more likely to get into trouble than those in stable families. And two parents are much better than one if children are to avoid slipping into emotional distress and anti-social disorder.

Indeed, it’s all about parents.

Concern for the rural poor

THE greater number of our poor is in the rural areas. The poor abound in our cities too, and we must be as concerned for them as for our rural poor. But if the urban poor are growing in numbers, it is largely because of rural folk crowding into our cities to escape the debilitating poverty of the countryside. It seems obvious then that to attend to the first problem (rural poverty) would be to help lessen the second (urban poverty).

The one big effort of the government at alleviating rural poverty has been its on-going land reform program, the CARP (the ComprehensiveAgrarian Reform Program). The law instituting it was passed years ago but its full implementation is still far off in the future, if ever. The law was defective in the first place, emasculated in the very beginning in a landlord dominated Congress, further watered down in its implementation. At this stage, a year before the scheduled end of the program, there is much that has not yet been done a nd the general situation of our farmers is still as bleak as ever.

The lack of vigor and determination shown by the government in its poor implementation of the law mirrors the still over-powering opposition of the landed classes, the traditional political and economic elite of our country. What this means simply is that selfish class interests outweigh concern for the common good, the main target of the Church’s social teaching. And that selfish unconcern in turn translates into sheer neglect of the poor, an utter disregard of the dignity of a whole class merely because of their bad economic plight.

This disregard is horrendously displayed in the recent extra- judicial killings, perpetrated by groups from both the right and the left, of farmers whose only “crime” is their continuing struggle for agrarian reform or their inability to pay the “revolutionary tax” demanded of them by the NPA. As a religious people and it doesn’t matter whether we are Christians, Muslims or adherents of other religions we must vehemently condemn the continuing murder of such rural folk.

We condemn too, just as vehemently, the unabated killing of unarmed men and women on the mere charge or suspicion that they support or belong to leftist political groups.

―The dignity of the rural poor—a gospel concern, 2007

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Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso, JCD, DD Tidbits
Bp. Leonardo Y. Medroso, JCD, DD

Faith and the world of 7 billion humans

JUST some days ago the ‘Philippine Daily Inquirer’ carried a banner article on its front page anent the world population which is to hit 7 billion anytime these days. Relative to this is the account that while the number of children in the family has been reduced to 2.5, the infant mortality has substantially dropped and life expectancy has soared to 68 years. Released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the statistic was received with differing reactions. Some take it as an alarming news for it augurs the threat of overpopulation with its concomi- tant problems in the area of economy, such as the equitable distribution of wealth and services, the creation of new jobs, housing and other necessary facilities; of the environ- ment, such as the rise of carbon emissions, garbage management and proper disposals; of social concerns as migration of rural folks to the cities, the rising gap between the haves and the have-nots. Others take the UN report with optimism and a bit of a swagger for it

bespeaks of man’s triumph on this earth:

human spirit over dense matter, science over superstitions, knowledge over darkness and ignorance, modern technology over man’s limitations, confidence over the forces that ever threaten man’s life. The true Christian welcomes the United Nations statistical data regarding popula- tion, for he is convinced that the report is a

statement of fact. After all, Christian faith is about reality, flesh and blood truths. It is not

a religion of the imagination, but of facts; it

does not teach man what is apparently good, but what is really good. Reality is the locus of Christian faith for it is in reality where the

man of faith meets his God. The God of the Christian is the God who listens to the cries of the poor, the God who deigned to take up the human flesh, and lived out his story with us, giving it up as a ransom for all. Hence, reality has to be faced squarely. That man has survived and increased to

a staggering number of 7 billion in spite

of the negative factors that have so often threatened his survival, that his life span has expanded to almost 70, and that mortality rate of his children has plunged, is a good news. He has faithfully responded to what God has enjoined him to do with this world when He said: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the things that move on the earth” (Gn 1:28). The report on the reduction of the number of children in the family to 2.5 is objectively a good news. But it does not stop the man of faith to probe with the question: in what way was the number of children reduced? The man of faith believes that the world and everything in it is a creation of God. He knows that the world did not just pop out from a big explosion, for he believes in the existence of a Transcendental One who cre- ated everything out of nothing and breathed into man’s nostril the breath of life. He

Tidbits / A6

National AIDS Sunday 2011

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS Love Life
Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS
Love Life

“THE Philippines is now one of the seven countries in the world with steadily increasing cases of the HIV (human immunode- ficiency virus) causing AIDS, in contrast to a decreasing global trend.” This is how the letter of Bishop Broderick Pabillo began, inviting the youth, families and educators to a prayer rally on December 4, National AIDS Sunday. While pro-RH Bill groups criticize the Catholic Church for our position against promotion of condoms as a form of inac- tion or even contributing to the proliferation of HIV-AIDS, the Pastoral Letter of CBCP last July 2011 proves that our Bishops are indeed very much concerned about the issue. It was also at that CBCP General Assembly that they declared every first Sun- day of December to be National AIDS Sunday. The Pastoral Letter “Who is my neighbour?” calls on every Christian to reach out to mem- bers of our families and society who may be at risk of the virus and offer them compassionate

understanding and the support they need. Theme for the activity on Dec. 4 is GET TO ZERO! This means, we should all put our efforts to aim at Zero HIV-AIDS infec- tions and Zero discrimination to PLHIV-AIDS (Persons Living with HIV-AIDS). And how do we get there? Let us all BE TRUE!

* True to the beautiful gift of life and sexuality.

* True to Filipino value of

respect for life, family and sexu- ality

* True to the spouse and the


* True to Christian service to

those who are in need, no matter what their past had been. And not only to be true, let us


* Be not swayed by new trends

and fads that destroy our val- ues

* Constancy in our faith and our values

* Perseverance in helping

others. The highlights of the event are the formation of a giant human

AIDS red ribbon by the partici- pants so all are asked to come in red. (Who knows, we might make it to the Guinness World Record!) The symbolic launching will culminate in the Eucharistic celebration presided by Bishops and clergy. The event will be at the UST grounds. Spearheading this activity is PHILCHAN (Phil Catholic HIV-AIDS Network)

in coordination with CEAP and PBSP.

In the meantime, Pro-life Phil- ippines will organize a forum on “Pastoral Awareness on HIV-

AIDS” with Rev. Dan Cancino Jr, as speaker. He is the Regional

Coordinator of the Southeast Asia HIV-AIDS Catholic Net- work. It will be held on Novem- ber 19 at the Good Shepherd Convent Conference Hall, QC.

Over 60 teachers, guidance coun- sellors, parish workers, youth leaders and pro-life activists are

expected to attend. Since 1984, a total of 7,431

HIV-AIDS cases have been reported in the Philippines. What is alarming is that 30 percent of this year’s cases

are from the 15-24 age group and 55 percent are from the National Capital Region. Data also show that majority of the cases are among MSM (men having sex with men), more than from overseas workers or women in prostitution or drug addicts. The issue of homosexual activity then has to be challenged, not only on the moral level but as a social responsibility by those who engage in it. Since 1984, a total of 7,431 HIV-AIDS cases have been re- ported in the Philippines. What is alarming is that 30 percent of this year’s cases are from the 15-24 age group and 55 percent are from the National Capital Region. Data also show that majority of the cases are among MSM (men having sex with men), more than from overseas workers or women in prostitu- tion or drug addicts. The issue of homosexual activity then has to be challenged, not only on the moral level but as a social responsibility by those who engage in it.

Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM Living Mission
Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM
Living Mission

The tragic 9/11 event and the response of the Church

RECENTLY this monthly column focused on the Church’s commitment to interreligious dialogue, especially as Pope Benedict XVI traveled to Assisi for the twenty-fifth an- niversary of the 1986 World Day of Prayer for Peace. The pope chose a unique theme for the October 27, 2011 event: “Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace.” Assisi was also the center for a unique response of the Church to the tragedy of the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Center in New York, the tenth anniversary of which the world recently recalled. Within a few weeks after 9/11, as Pope John Paul II saw tensions rise around the world, he invited religious leaders to assemble in Assisi. He noted his reason: “In particular, we wish

to bring Christians and Muslims together to proclaim to the world that religion must never be a reason for conflict, hatred and violence.” The ecumenical and interreligious as- sembly in Assisi on January 24, 2002 issued guidelines for dialogue and peace called “The Decalogue of Assisi for Peace.” The full ten-point statement of this remarkable commitment follows:

1. We commit ourselves to proclaiming

our firm conviction that violence and ter- rorism are incompatible with the authentic spirit of religion, and, as we condemn every recourse to violence and war in the name

of God or religion, we commit ourselves to doing everything possible to eliminate the

root causes of terrorism.

2. We commit ourselves to educating peo-

ple to mutual respect and esteem, in order to help bring about a peaceful and fraternal coexistence between people of different eth- nic groups, cultures and religions. 3. We commit ourselves to fostering the

culture of dialogue, so that there will be an increase of understanding and mutual trust between individuals and among peoples, for these are the premises of authentic peace.

4. We commit ourselves to defending

the right of everyone to live a decent life in accordance with their own cultural identity, and to form freely a family of their own.

5. We commit ourselves to frank and

Living Mission / A6

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011



Fr. Roy Cimagala Candidly Speaking
Fr. Roy Cimagala
Candidly Speaking

A NUMBER of times, I have been

invited to give talks or preside over some liturgical activities by groups of laymen who have formed themselves together for

a spiritual or religious purpose.

These invitations are, of course, outside of my regular pastoral assignments. On these occasions, they can ask me to give some spiritual inputs, if not conduct for them a morning or afternoon of recollec- tion and things like that. When I have the time, I usually accept the requests, and I always end up being moved to see how these lay people are actually hunger- ing for spiritual nourishment. I notice lately that the invi- tations have been increasing while my availability has been decreasing, and so I have been refusing these invitations more than accepting them. This, of course, pains me. It’s undeniable that contrary to some negative and dark reports about people getting secularized, we can also say that there are many

people who are trying their best to find God in their daily life. I consider this a marvelous work

of the Holy Spirit. There’s a lot of

sheep out there looking for their


Even youngsters are into this

phenomenon. The other day, for example, a group of Filipino- Chinese youth asked me if I could give them some talk. They have been looking for priests,

but they could not get one. I was their last resort.

I am sure this wonderful de-

velopment is caught in the ra-

dar of our Church authorities.

I remember some years ago

that the late Pope John Paul II organized in Rome a gathering of lay groups to highlight this heavenly gift of the laity taking the initiative to strengthen and deepen their spiritual lives. But I think a lot more has to be done. While it’s true that Church life has to revolve around the parish, especially around the sacraments, most especially around the Holy Eucharist, it’s also true that the Church cannot be confined in these environ- ments. While it’s true that in the Church, the laity cannot be with- out the clergy, it is also true that the clergy ought to truly look after the laity in all their spiritual needs. The priests should not just wait for the laity to go to

them nor to limit themselves do- ing strictly liturgical functions. Spiritual and Church life actu- ally covers the whole range of

A new way of being priest for a new way of being Church

Laity’s challenge to the clergy

human life in its different aspects and levels. It cannot be confined simply within church premises and parochial concerns. There is

a lot more to it than just restrict- ing it to the sacraments. The clerics, always indispens-

able in all these, should know how to be present everywhere, effectively engaging everyone

in his spiritual and moral needs. People need to be formed hu- manly, spiritually, doctrinally, apostolically, professionally, etc., and priests do have a hand in all these. For example, do priests spend time hearing individual confes- sions of penitents and giving spiritual direction in a very per- sonal way, as is expected of this delicate practice? These are very important duties that cannot be renounced. Or are they succumbing to

a mere bureaucrat’s mentality,

contented only with managing the parish, doing the accounting and the purchasing of materials, etc.? It’s not so much a matter of physical presence of the priests in the different parts of the world as his adequate spiritual and competent pastoral presence in the world. They have to learn to work in tandem with the lay, knowing the art of functional

delegation and supervision. They have to learn how to accompany everyone in the entirety of his earthly journey,

without getting lost or unduly entangled with things. This is a big challenge. For this, of course, a certain training is needed, starting in the seminary days and going all the way to the never-ending forma- tion of priests even up to their old age. There’s a need to be clear about priorities, since definitely many and all things can demand the attention of priests. And they (we) just have to know how to put order in all of them. For sure, this will require a continuing study of everyone concerned, with the Church authorities always taking the lead and inspiring everyone to contribute his observations and suggestions. They have to know

how to get the act together. With world developments get- ting faster-paced and more com- plex, bishops and priests have to do some retooling to cope with the emerging challenges. And yes, also greater sacrifices, more heroic generosity of one’s time, talents and resources. We all have to discern more keenly what the Holy Spirit is telling us.

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, SThD Along The Way
Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR, SThD
Along The Way

DURING the National Gathering of Dioc-

esan BEC Directors held last October 11-12,

2011 in Taytay, Rizal, the result of the initial

survey on the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) in the Philippines was discussed. One of the findings was the vital role that the clergy, especially the parish priests, play in the promotion and formation of BECs.

Where the clergy adopt the formation of BECs as a pastoral priority and support the lay pastoral workers and BEC leaders, the BECs become vibrant. In dioceses and par- ishes where BECs fail to grow or develop,

the lack of support from the parish priests

is considered as one of the primary factors.

The regular reshuffling of priests can have a negative effect on BECs especially when the new parish priests are not as supportive as the previous pastors. In dioceses where the formation of BECs has been adopted as the diocesan pastoral thrust, the implementa- tion still depends on the parish priests. The findings of this survey are consistent with the results of previous surveys conducted over the last 10 years. Why is the support of the clergy neces- sary for the growth of BECs? PCP II regards the BECs as a realization of its vision of a renewed Church – the Church as the com- munity of disciples, living in communion, participating in the mission of Christ as a priestly, prophetic, kingly/servant people, and as the Church of the poor (PCP II no. 137). The BECs are not mere lay organiza- tions or associations, but the Church at the grassroots, in the neighborhood, barangay or the village. They are a new way of being Church. Hence, PCP II decreed the vigor- ous promotion of BECs in all dioceses and parishes all over the country (PCP II art 103). This means renewing and restructuring of the parish into a network of BECs, a com- munity of small Christian communities.

Since the BECs are a realization of a renewed Church, then a renewed clergy is required. Since BECs are a new way of being Church, then a new way of being priest is necessary. The renewal of the Church requires the renewal of the clergy. This means going beyond a narrow cultic understanding of priesthood. To be a priest is not simply to say Mass and administer the other sacraments. Vatican II and PCP II have broadened the understanding of the ordained ministry. “Hence, we can appropriately call ordained ministers as servant-leaders of the commu- nity. They are in-charge of the community. They are to build-up the Christian commu- nity. Their task extends by right also to the formation of a genuine Christian commu- nity.” (PCP II no. 518). The ordained ministry is, therefore, ori- ented towards forming and leading a genu- ine Christian community that is prophetic, priestly and kingly in nature – a witnessing, worshipping and serving community. The role of the priest is not simply a matter of celebrating communion during the Eucharist but building up communion (loving union, sharing and fellowship) among the members of the community in their day to day life. Thus, according to PCP II, the priest is a ser- vant-leader who presides over a prophetic, priestly and servant community. The formation of BECs is therefore a con- stitutive part of the ordained ministry. Our parishes are too big to form one community. They have to be decentralized and restruc- tured into a community of communities, a network of BECs where the ordinary lay faithful can truly experience communion and actively participate in Christ’s prophetic, priestly, and servant mission. Through his prophetic ministry—a ministry of preaching, evangelizing and catechizing,

the priest animates the parish community and BECs to become prophetic and evangelizing communities that announce the Good News and denounce evil and all its manifestation (including the culture of death). Through his liturgical and sacramental leadership, the priest enables the parish community and the BECs to actualize their common priesthood and actively participate in the liturgical celebration. Through his kingly/servant ministry, the priest animates the parish community and the BECs to become truly servant communi- ties actively involved in the Church’s social mission and apostolate—caring for the poor and the needy, working for peace, justice and the integrity of creation. This requires an option and love for the poor and living a more simple lifestyle. All these require good pastoral leadership and management on the part of the priest. Collaboration and teamwork with other priests, lay pastoral workers, lay leaders and religious is necessary in the pastoral ministry. The priest is called to be a Good Shepherd—who forms and leads the flock. This demands availability and closeness to the people he is ordained to serve. This also requires getting rid of patterns of leadership condemned by Christ– of lording it over the flock, of authority exercised in the spirit of self-service, power, privilege and prestige. This also demands a moral and ethical lead- ership that does not tolerate clerical abuse. The understanding of ministry that the Vatican II and PCP II promote is not easy to realize. It requires continuing conversion and ongoing formation of priests. But this is necessary because without a renewed clergy, the vision of a renewed Church advanced by Vatican II almost 50 years ago and reaf- firmed by PCP II 20 years ago will remain a dream.

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola Spaces of Hope
Fr. Carmelo O. Diola
Spaces of Hope

No Forrest Gumps

IN one of our stops in Laguna, a PNP officer approached my running partner, Kuya Sam, to ask why he was not having his

hair long and sporting a beard, ala Forrest Gump. My friend merely smiled at the friendly comment. In the unforgettable

1994 movie starring Tom Hanks,

a scene portrays Tom, in the

starring role of Forrest Gump, deciding to run from one end of the USA to another, after a depressing experience with his only love, Jenny. He does so with single-minded devotion and soon people take notice. He develops a cult-like following with people noticing every seemingly out-of-the- ordinary action he makes and even giving it meaning. They do the same to every utterance he makes. What they do not know is that he was merely in pain and depressed. When he abruptly stops after three years, his followers are stumped, not knowing what to make of it. We are no Forrest Gumps. We

are not depressed, and are com- fortable with our crew cuts and clean-shaven look. Sam and I are not running away from some-

thing or someone. We are running towards something, captured in the statement: “Takbo Maharlika Tungo sa Pagkakaisa.”

I must confess, however, that

I had an odd feeling early on

in the run that we actually had some affinity with Forrest. ***

When we started to articulate the objectives of Takbo Maha- rlika just before the run, we tended to be rather wordy and lacking in focus. I realize now that the wordiness had to do with starting out mainly with good intentions, rather than lived experience. It took time, effort, mistakes, and much re- flection and prayer to translate good intentions into something more solid. As they say, non multa, sed multum. We began, for instance, with two 10 kilometer runs, one in the morn- ing and another in the afternoon. Both of us did the runs twice a day. We also followed the weekly secular calendar for our daily runs, except Saturday and Sunday. But running twice a day soon took its toll and we were not ex- plaining to people what the run was all about since we only had

one or two fora weekly. It was time for a change. After running for about 320 kilometers, we decided to hold

daily fora to anyone interested to

hear our stories and to do alternate running. If Gen. Tucay runs in the morning, I do the afternoon one. We were on our way to under- standing what the run was really all about.

*** Nearly three years ago, Sam and I were reflecting on the pro- cess of cultural change. We noted that whenever change is being in- troduced, there were common and recurring elements involved. How do certain expressions or turns of phrases get introduced into mainstream culture? Where, for instance, did the “dehins” (“hindi”) of yesteryears or the contemporary expression “see you at FB” come from, to cite just two examples? Where do our con- temporary mindsets originate? While I leave it to cultural anthropologists or sociologists to explain these matters, Sam and I note five recurring elements in introducing cultural change. These are what we call the five Ns in Tagalog: napapansin,

napapag-usapan, naisagawa, naisasabuhay, at nabubuo. Or in Cebuano the five Ms: mama- tikdan, mahisgotan, mahimo, mapuy-an, ug matibuok. Takbo Maharlika was actually losing a golden opportunity of engaging in cultural change by just focusing on running. We decided to conduct daily fora to explain what the advocacy was all about. We also decided to stagger the runs so that more people, especially those who have not embarked on a fitness rhythm, could join. The partici- pation had to be fun and easy. After all, Takbo Maharlika calls for a “coming together, to change ourselves and the Philippines, one step at a time.” Our “runs” begin with a two kilometer walk, followed by five kilometers of conversational running (i.e. runners can still talk to each other), then a kilometer of walking, followed by three of running, and finally a kilometer walk to the end-point. More people have joined with as many as 1000 at the starting line. It is fun and easy with no judgments made on those who run only a portion of the stretch.

Rev. Eutiquio ‘Euly’ B. Belizar, Jr., SThD By the Roadside
Rev. Eutiquio ‘Euly’ B. Belizar, Jr., SThD
By the Roadside

Man: crown or frown of God’s creation?

I WAS once on my way to Borongan and was driving very

slowly as I climbed a hilly road at Brgy Can-abong. In fact, my speed was between 30 to 40 KPH. All of a sudden a dog crossed the road. I remember reducing my speed to 25 KPH. To my horror, as it reached the other side of the road, the dog made a turn-around and ran back to the middle of the road right smack against the car. It was too late. I had neither way

nor time to avoid it. Before I knew it, the car hit the dog. I heard an incredible noise as I automatically stepped on the brakes.

I said to myself, “I could have killed a dog today.” But, to my

surprise, the dog was not hit by the tires. It simply ran through the middle of the car’s tires and, when I looked back, I saw it running away in the direction of a house. I breathed a sigh of relief. But a thought occurred to me, “What if it was a child?”

I felt a cold sweat run through my neck. Why is it that when drivers talk of running over dogs or chickens there is not much concern? But when they talk of accidentally hitting a child, the equation changes radically? The answer is simple. Because it involves a human life and a human life is notches higher than those of dogs and chickens or any other animals. But where did we get this idea? Where else but from the Scriptures, specifically from the book of Genesis 1:26-27. It is only when he creates the human being that God makes a radical change in the form and substance of his act of creating. Form because he no longer just wills and commands into existence a creature he envisions. He seems to speak to another person or other persons with him, “Let us make man in our image and likeness”. Biblical experts are at variance about what this signifies. There are those who say the expression is just ‘majestic plural’ underlining God’s transcendence. But

there are those who say that these words contain the seeds of the doctrine of the Trinity. However, our point at issue is the high value of the creature, the human being—in God’s image and likeness. Scholastic philosophy had taught that this can only mean that the human person shares in God’s properties of intellect and will. Genesis does not explicitly explain what

it means. But we are given an important hint when it speaks of

how the human being must have “dominion” over creatures under him, namely, the birds, the fishes and all others lower in rank. Gaudium et Spes again declares that it is a unanimous teaching of “believers and unbelievers alike” that “all things on earth should be related to human persons as their center and crown” (GS 12). Psalm 8: 5-7 is even more explicit: “What is man that you should be mindful of him or the son of man that you should care for him? You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet.” This is why we say no to extra-judicial killings, to capital punishment, wars, murders, homicides, abortions and, by extension, to contraception. Why no to contraception? Let me illustrate from our everyday experience. Why do we fence our houses or lock our doors especially when we are resting? Because we want to defend our lives and the lives of those in- side the house. Saying no to contraception is our act of fencing around human life, whether or not that life is already in the womb or still to be formed. We want to defend it because it is not just any creature’s life. It is the life of God’s ‘image and likeness’. We say no to suicides for the same reason. By what logic do we appropriate for ourselves the act of ending life since it is not our own to dispose of but God’s? We certainly are alive but only because God has gifted us with life. In the case of human life the receiver does not own the gift. Not only that. Human life has such a soaring value because, as the gospel of Luke 1:26-38 attests, the Son of God became a human being through Mary. As the Blessed Pope John Paul II once taught, when the Son of God became a human being, he effectively united himself with every human being. In other words, human life is valuable not only because the human person was created in God’s image and likeness but, more so, because the human person through Christ has become God’s son, God’s child. When people tell me of times when they are tempted to give in to thoughts of abortion, abuse or contracep- tion, I tell them about my first-year college friend who is fond of the words “paradigm shift”. And I would say, “Why don’t you too make a paradigm shift to more positive thoughts on the dignity of human life and how before the Lord every human life is sacred because it is life that has no identification other than ‘of God’, ‘for God’ and ‘with God’ as his child?” When we consider the mystery of God becoming man, Mary provides us the example of how to respond to God’s action. She is disturbed when the angel tells her of the news because, ap- parently (as the early Fathers of the Church taught) she was not intent on marriage. But as God’s plan becomes more transpar- ent, with the involvement of the Holy Spirit and God’s power, Mary decides by faith. She gives her assent and, with it, her complete and full obedience to God’s plan. “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word.” I was struck by a nun’s story of a woman who wanted to have an abortion so she could apply for a visa to Japan. She was brought to the nun’s convent. Thinking she could get an abortion there, she was given counseling instead. Still deter- mined to have an abortion, the nun just entrusted her to the Lord in prayer. The next time the woman called, she informed the nun she had decided to keep her baby and say goodbye to Japan. That, to my mind, was a definitive paradigm shift. When a healthy beautiful baby was born, the happy mother said how right her decision was and thanked the nun for her counseling but, especially, for her prayers. The only paradigm shift worth taking is one that leads to preserving human life because the human person who pos- sesses it is the crown of God’s creation. The opposite paradigm makes the crown a tragic frown.

*** Our forum consists in sharing the basic advocacy of Takbo Ma- harlika which is “to live and lead by the basics.” The basics consist of the acronym PFC which is Prayer, Fitness, and Citizenship. Citizenship, in turn, is broken down into four doables: come on Time; fall in Line and stay in line; read, listen to and follow Instruc- tions; and manage your Garbage well. The acronym is TLIG. The first three actually comes from an article written by sociologist Randy David who showed that any act of good citizenship is traceable to these three. We added the fourth one for good measure. The acronyms are actually easy to remember with PFC

reminding us that a PInoy First Class (or Patrolman or Private, for police officers or the AFP, respectively) is engaged in TLIG or True Love Inspired by God. As the priest-companion of Takbo Maharlika, I have come to an even-deeper realization of how badly our lay Catholics are in need of catechesis that connects their faith with their daily lives. Slowly our running is making its little contributions to the effort. As we reach 1099 kilometers of our run at the beautiful town of Daet, Camarines Norte, we realize more profoundly the challenges of making this jour- ney towards unity, in body and in spirit.


Local News

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

Bishop appeals for restraint in Mindanao

BASILAN Bishop Martin Jumoad is calling for sobriety and restraint amid recent armed clashes in Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay. Jumoad urged the Aquino govern- ment forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to restrain themselves from using force in Min- danao. He also called on leaders of both parties to make decisions that are in citizens’ best interest. “We appeal to them to remain calm and just please maintain peace and order in the province,” said Jumoad. “Please just let wisdom prevail among us so we can know how to properly react in the situation we are in,” he furthered.

On October 31, the MILF was al- ready bracing for attacks that may be

waged by the AFP in its territory in Al Barka, Basilan, which is the same place where the 19 soldiers were killed.

It was in response to the statement

given last October 30 by the AFP West- ern Mindanao Command of its plan to deploy an Army brigade in Basilan. Jumoad then challenged the peace process stakeholders not to let armed conflict reigned in Mindanao again by pushing for a final solution to the Moro question. “Our government has already said it is committed to the peace talks… so we hope we can have a sincere, honest and committed peace talks instead,” said Jumoad. (CBCPNews)

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

Bishop Martin Jumoad

CBCP warned of suspended Filipino priest

THE Catholic Bishops Con- ference of the Philippines has been warned on the sta- tus of a US-based Filipino priest who was suspended due to trial charges of theft and possession of porno- graphic materials. Most Rev. Robert Mc- Manus of Worcester di- ocese in Massachusetts, USA told CBCP president and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar in a letter that the priest has fled his dio- cese and might be in the Philippines. The US-based priest, Rev.

Lowe B. Dongor, has been charged with theft and possession of child por- nography and was about to go on trial last October 25 when he disappeared from the diocese before he could appear in court. McManus in his letter to Odchimar said that the priest left a note saying that he was returning ‘home.’ “I presume that he meant the Philippines,” McManus said in his letter dated Oc- tober 13. McManus also revealed in his letter that on May 3,

2011 a recent clarification

from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith de- clared that “the acquisition, possession and distribution of child pornography is a canonical delict that per- tains to the sexual abuse of

a minor.” Because of the charges Dongor has been removed from active ministry and prohibited from wearing

a clerical attire or pres-

ent himself publicly as a priest. “I bring this matter to Your Excellency’s atten-

tion in case Fr. Dongor presents himself to Bishops in the arch/dioceses of the Philippines as a priest in good canonical standing,” McManus said, adding:

“Obviously this is not the case.”

Diocesan records re- vealed that Dongor was born on February 17, 1976 in Iloilo, Philippines and attended Barotac Nuevo

High School, graduating in 1993. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 2010. (Melo Acuna/CBCPNews)

Mining / A1

ing industry. The Gillard government

should think twice in granting aids to

a country where issues are not solved

and wrongly addressed,” MAP-Oz declared in a statement. At least 11 Australian mining com- panies are currently in the Philippines with licenses to operate and explore including OceanaGold, Xstrata, In- dophil, Central Gold Asia, Pelican Resources and Mindoro Resources Limited. Earlier this year, OceanaGold was

cited by the Commission of Human Rights for serious violations of human rights against the people, including illegal and violent demolition of 187 houses. The Australian company operates

a nickel-gold mining site in Didipio,

Nueva Viscaya. Jubilee Australia executive director Adele Webb claimed that the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework of UN Special Representative Professor John Ruggie, endorsed by Australia as member of the UN Human Rights Council this year, makes it clear that states have a duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties including business enterprises, through appropriate policies, regulation, and adjudication. “Yet the Australia government gives companies no authoritative guidance

on how to avoid negative affects in their operations overseas, and there exists no accountability and enforce- ment mechanisms when such breaches occur and while there is much patting on the back about joint industry and Australian aid funded scholarship programs in countries like the Philip-

pines, there is an eerie silence about what remote indigenous communities are facing on the ground,” lamented Webb. Meanwhile, MAP-Oz convener Aly- ansa Tigil Mina, a Philippine-based alliance with more than 90 mining affected community organizations and support groups, exposed that

a large mine owned by Australia-

based Xstrata Copper and Indophil Resources NL will soon be opened in Mindanao. The region has the largest underde- veloped copper-gold deposit in South- east Asia. But in South Cotabato, the local gov- ernment had banned open pit mining because of the great environmental destruction it will cause. According to technical studies of the mining company, the mines will cause extensive disturbance in al- most 10,000 hectares of forest lands, which serve as watersheds of South Cotabato and other three Mindanao provinces, and will cut down 4,000

hectares of forests including old growth forests, which are initial components of the protected areas system. It will also displace more than 2,600 people belonging to the B’laan indigenous community. The mining company is presently pressuring the national government and the local officials to lift the ban. “With the recent approval of deploy- ing mining militia; and emerging issues on human rights violations, environ- mental destruction, inequitable tax share and questionable mining licenses; is the Philippines ready for Australia’s ‘smart aid’? Are the Australian people ready to share and participate in the ongoing history of Philippine min- ing?” Alyansa Tigil Mina declared in a statement. The Philippine Catholic hierarchy and other Christian churches together with civil society movements have been calling for the repeal of Executive Order 270-A, which liberalizes the mining in- dustry, and the scrapping of Philippine Mining Act of 1995. In its place, they urged for the swift passage of alternative minerals man- agement bills currently pending in the House of Representatives, which will lead to a human rights-centered law, establishment of mining no go zones and respect of indigenous peoples’ rights. (CBCPNews)

Living Mission / A4

patient dialogue, refusing to consider our differences as an insurmountable barrier, but recognizing instead that to encounter the diversity of others can become an oppor- tunity for greater reciprocal understanding. 6. We commit ourselves to forgiving one another for past and present errors and prejudices, and to support- ing one another in a com- mon effort both to overcome selfishness and arrogance, hatred and violence, and

to learn from the past that

peace without justice is no true peace.

7. We commit ourselves

to taking the side of the poor and the helpless, to speak- ing out for those who have no voice, and to working effectively to change these situations, out of the convic- tion that no one can be happy


8. We commit ourselves

to taking up the cry of those who refuse to be resigned to violence and evil, and we

desire to make every effort

possible to offer the men and women of our time real hope

for justice and peace. 9. We commit ourselves

to encouraging all efforts to

promote friendship between peoples, for we are convinced that, in the absence of solidar- ity and understanding be- tween peoples, technological progress exposes the world to

a growing risk of destruction and death.

10. We commit ourselves

to urging leaders of nations

to make every effort to cre- ate and consolidate, on the national and international levels, a world of solidarity and peace based on justice.

Pope John Paul II, with clearly evident emotion, concluded the January 24, 2002 Assisi event with these words: “Violence never again! War never again! Ter- rorism never again! In the

name of God, may every religion bring upon earth:

Justice and Peace, Forgive-

ness and Life, Love!”

Missionary hits Aquino’s position on mining

THE behavior that President Aquino

is showing when it comes to mining

appears to be “contrary” to his pro- nouncement that the people are his boss, an Irish Catholic missionary in the Philippines said. Despite the massive destruction that mining afflicts the environment, Father Archie Casey of the Xaverian Missionaries (SX) said that Aquino remains to be in favor of it. The priest said he made the as- sumption because the President has continuously neglected the call made by the Catholic Church and several non-government organiza- tions to stop mining operations in the country. “The Church has been calling for

a moratorium on mining. There is no moratorium… We support, 100 percent, the CBCP call for a morato- rium on mining in the Philippines,” he said. Casey is the coordinator of the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Cre- ation Commission of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP). He added that several environ-

mental organizations and even

faith leaders have demanded for the government to reject mining in the country but the government instead welcomed more mining projects. “That call has been made in 2006 and it’s already 2011… and the administration is not listening to the Church, to the religious and it’s definitely not listening to the people,” he said. To recall, the Catholic bishops’ hierarchy had long been calling for the abolition of the Mining Act of 1995, recall all approved mining concessions and cancel pending ap- plication. The bishops said that the guar- anteed economic benefits of mining

are outweighed by dislocation of communities, the risks to health and livelihood, and massive envi- ronmental damage and the loss of mining resources to giant foreign companies. Casey said that among the cur- rent mining operations they are opposing are those in South Co- tabato and Zamboanga del Norte. (CBCPNews)

Kids honor saints, biblical characters at annual school event

LITTLE “saints” and diminutive “an- gels” dashed around the grounds, partaking of snacks and dropping by the different game booths for some fun as Everest Academy held its annual All Saints’ Day Carnival several days before the Solemnity of All Saints. The carnival, held yearly at the Catholic international school in Tagu- ig City, had the students parade in their costumes depicting saints and other Biblical characters such as Sts. Maria Goretti, Rose of Lima, Maxi- milian Kolbe, Lorenzo Ruiz, the three children at Fatima, even David and Goliath, as well as the Virgin Mary and St. Michael the Archangel, to name a few. “It makes them aware of the remark- able lives and qualities of the saints.

They get encouraged to learn more about them and why we should emu- late them,” said Mike Mapa, one of the parents of Everest students. “There’s a parade, games and snacks, and usually people will ask the kids who they are supposed to be,” he added. The Carnival was organized by school-based clubs Kids for Jesus (K4J), ConQuest, Challenge and Junior Chal- lenge — with the help of some parents — and is also “our way of countering the usual Halloween thing,” explained Amelia Ann Alba, another Everest parent. The annual event is held to provide a learning opportunity for the children as well as their families to nurture a more meaningful and lasting relationship with the Saints and Blessed. (CBCP for Life)

Tidbits / A4

knows too that this Cre- ator of his is a personal God, a God of the liv- ing. He knows that God came into this earth and declared to His creation:

“Do not be concerned for your life, what you are to eat, or for your body, what you are to wear. Consider the ravens: they do not sow, they do not reap, they have neither cellar nor barn – yet God feeds them. How much more important you are than the birds. Which of you by worrying can add a moment to his life span? … Stop worrying. The unbelievers of this world are always running after these things. Your Father knows that you need such things. Seek out instead his kingship over you, and the rest will follow in turn” (Lk 12:22-25; 29-31). The man of faith therefore walks this earth with confidence and poise no matter the forces that threaten him.

It is for this reason too that the Holy Father hav- ing perceived the many fears that have hounded modern man came out with a Letter “Porta Fi- dei” announcing a year- long celebration of Faith by 2012. He knows that man has gone astray be- cause of these fears that he has forgotten to hope and to love. He knows that left to himself man can easily be swamped by thousand and one existential problems and death threatening events. The proclamation of the content of Faith should bring man to a personal encounter with Christ, know His ways, under- stand a little his plans. Or it should bring God into the consciousness of man so that he can realize that God’s hands made him and shaped him in his mother’s womb, that God’s Law is always right, governing the world in perfect harmony.

Through the celebra- tion of the Year of Faith we are hopeful that the world alarmed by its 7 billion citizens would soon realize that God is more powerful than all our problems. The Holy Father put it this way:

“To a greater extent than in the past, faith is now being subjected to a se- ries of questions arising from a changed men- tality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discover- ies. Nevertheless, the Church has never been afraid of demonstrating that there cannot be any conflict between faith and genuine science, because both, albeit via different routes, tend towards the truth” (Porta Fidei). Christ being with us this earth of 7 billion warm bodies is still our best possible world.

Youth / A1

Agents for change Garganta added that the youth can become catalysts for change. “I feel they are only waiting to be able to share more and to contrib- ute more to be responsive to issues that affect the church and society as a whole,” the priest said. He believed that the youth on their part, want to be acknowl- edged and given opportunity to be heard, have their views respected and be taken as part of shaping the society or community. “We train them, we prepare them, but that it is still to be seen in terms of how we really allow our young people become active members, [who are] really shaping and forming a community that is responding to the call of the gos- pel,” Garganta explained. The priest said there has to be “a mutual expression of this need from our young people and from those [who are] tasked to lead them.” Each has to complement one another, so that the gifts that our

young people have― their dyna- mism, enthusiasm, fresh ideas― will be put to good use, Garganta stressed.

Social issues highlight NYD Among the issues NYD will tackle are the many social concerns that affect today’s youth, such as drug addiction, out of school youth and gender issues, the ECY secretary said. The gathering will also stress on the youth’s capacity to respond to issues that would have impact on them, one of which is the reproduc- tive health bill. Although local dioceses already came up with their own statements on the RH bill, the NYD delegates are expected to draw up a unity statement that would support the church’s stand on the issue.

Evangelizers to fellow youth The youth event will also give attention on the need for our young to be evangelized and be-

come evangelizers to their fellow youth. That’s the rationale behind the foster family program of the NYD, according to Garganta. “It is our desire that the del- egates truly benefit from their stay with their host families, not only to be evangelized but become evan- gelizers themselves, through their encounter and interaction with the foster families. The NYD has three-day cateche- ses that would include workshops and sharing with respective host families. Garganta explained that the sharing is part of the program as it is structured. He said the whole- day catechesis from November 15-17 will end at 6:30 p.m. to give time for family sharing. “This is quite a challenge be- cause we would like our delegates to hold to that goal that enough time will be spent significantly with the foster families,” he said. Doubly significant

The NYD celebration this year is doubly significant as it is celebrated during the celebration of the Year of the Youth as proclaimed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. All dioceses have been given 50 slots each but can send more delegates if they wish. To date 3,329 delegates have al- ready registered but Garganta said they are expecting around 6,000 participants for the gathering. The delegates will be equally distributed in six festival sites in the metropolis: Mary Help of Christians in Parañaque, Miracu- lous Medal Shrine in Sucat, Don Bosco in Tondo and Mandaluyong, Claret School in Quezon City and St. Joseph Parish in Las Piñas. The culminating highlight of the NYD event will be the awarding on November 18 of youth ministry award or John Paul II award to out- standing youth ministers and youth organizations across the country.

Work / A1

would be 5,760 deaths a day, 172,800 deaths per month, and a whopping 2,073,600 deaths annually. The International La- bour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva also reported that every 15 seconds at work, a worker is at risk of meeting an accident due to non-compliance of the company to local and international labor safety standards. “The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domes- tic Product each year,” says the ILO in its web- site (http://www.ilo.org/



“The safety and

health conditions at work



are very different between countries, economic sectors and social groups. Deaths and injuries take a particu- larly heavy toll in devel- oping countries, where a large part of the population is engaged in hazardous activities, such as agricul- ture, fishing and mining. Throughout the world, the poorest and least protect- ed—often women, children and migrants—are among the most affected,” the ILO added. IOHSAD and other groups such as the Inter- national Seafarers’ Action Center urged for safety at work, with the latter press- ing for the ratification of the Maritime Labor Convention of 2006, which the group believes would lessen, if not eliminate, work hazards at sea. (Noel Sales Barcelona/ CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

Diocesan News


BECs launch Living Rosary for life and peace

TAYTAY, Rizal— The Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) of St. John the Baptist parish reiterated their strong rejec- tion against the reproductive health bill by recently launching the Living Rosary for Life and Peace. The Living Rosary was a culminating activity held for October as month of the Holy Rosary in cooperation with Family and Life Apostolate, Marian groups and other parish organizations. As a spiritual weapon against the culture of death espoused by the RH bill, the Parish BEC, with the Our Lady of Guadalupe as the advocacy patroness, had been conducting Rosary for Life in vigils, prayer meetings, and even in private devotions. The BECs have integrated the “1 Million Roses for World Peace” campaign with their “Life agenda”, calling their advocacy “Rosary for Life and Peace.” At 3 p.m., BECs from Baran-

gays and Sitios coming from all directions started praying the Joyful mysteries while trekking to the poblacion’s Kalayaan Park, the assembly point. Each mystery was accompanied with a pro-life reflection and offering of intention. Other groups at the park also prayed simultaneously the chap- let of the Divine Mercy at 3 p.m. followed by the recitation of the mysteries of Light at 3:20 p.m. also with corresponding reflec- tions and intentions. At 4 p.m., about 500 had al- ready converged at the park and began praying the Sorrowful mysteries in reparation for the sins committed against the holi- ness of life and peace. The people solemnly prayed the rosary dur- ing the half kilometer procession towards the Church. The parish youth led at front row holding up high the banner that read “ROSARY for LIFE and PEACE, Reject RH Bill” followed by Marian devotees who were


Northern Luzon youth hold ministers’ conference

DAGUPAN City— In a bid to provide a venue for renewal among youth ministers in relation to their ministry, including a closer opportunity for interaction in upholding the value of life, the Northern Luzon Regional Youth Coordinating Council held a conference for youth ministers on Nov. 3 to 5. Hosted by the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, the event’s theme was:

“Stand firm in the faith… Do all your work in love” and sub- theme: “Youth Shout: ‘I stand for life.’” Its threefold purpose was to be in solidarity with the Church in celebration of the CBCP-Year of the Youth as a region; to have a more collabora- tive youth ministry in the region; and to renew the commitment as inspired youth ministers in the ministry. (Mark Vertido)

Mindoro Catholic radio station burned down

SAN JOSE City— Some P2.8 million worth of private property went up in smoke as unknown men razed DZVT-CMN radio station to the ground at about 1 a.m. Oct. 26. Police reports said the Catholic church-owned radio station, located at Brgy. Labangan in San Jose City, Occidental Mindoro, was burned down by still unknown persons. Lito Villador, DZVT station manager sought police assistance immediately upon learning of the incident. Authorities are investigating the incident. (Melo M. Acuna)

OFWs have mixed feeling over deployment ban

ANTIPOLO City— There had been a “mixed” feeling among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as the Philippine Gov- ernment imposes a deployment ban in 41 countries that are evaluated as Republic Act 10022 “non-compliant.” Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez in Manila said in a statement, the deployment ban is quite a positive development since the government is now “getting serious” in its campaign against abuses on migrant workers. However, he said, they still doubt the government’s readiness to address the repercussions and implications of the ban. (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Eco watchdog lauds city ordinance vs. use of plastic bags

PASAY City― A pollution watchdog lauded the Pasay City government’s decision to regulate the use of plastic bags to re- duce if not eradicate plastic pollution in the city. Environmental network Eco Waste Coalition commended Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto for his initiative to rid the city of plastic pol- lution by endorsing the use of recyclable bags. All stores within the city are required to provide their customers with paper bags instead of plastic carry out bags. (CBCPNews)

Violence/ A1

be taken that [he is] for mining and against those who oppose it, Pasimio said. It is appalling, she added, that the indigenous people like Datu Gallego and those who support their struggles, are militarized and killed for defending their rights to their territories. “[While] mining companies, which pose grave threats to the environment, the livelihoods of the peoples, the integrity of the communities, and to the lives of those who defend these, are given protection by the Aquino government,” Pasimio said.

“This should not be allowed to happen. Not anymore,” she stressed. She urged for the enactment of an alternative mining bill, saying it “will seriously ad- dress the issues being raised against current mining opera- tions and the government’s min- ing policy” that favors mining corporations. “Mr. President, it’s time now to listen not to the people who funded your presidential cam- paign, but to those who actually voted for you,” Pasimio added. (CBCPNews)

RH / A1

the future?” Ban said at a press conference to mark the UN declaration that the world had reached seven billion. “We cannot burn our way to the future—at the cost of destroying our planet. And we have to empower women and young people. Around the world, they have taken to the streets demanding their rights, new opportunities and a voice in their future,” he said. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) urged governments to ensure that, in areas of the world where population is grow- ing fast, “we raise the status of women and young girls to be able to access education and make choices for themselves.” “We also owe it to the 215 million women worldwide who require family planning and are not getting it to make it avail- able,” said UNFPA executive di- rector Babatunde Osotimehin. But for the Church, the prob- lem of inequality in the country still lies in the massive problem

of graft and corruption, abuse of power and greed, and other acts of dishonesty in government. “We should take a more con- scientious look at these issues in the midst of endless reportages on cases of graft and corrup- tion, theft, unpaid taxes and the likes… Public opinion and various forums have repeat- edly referred to the reality of poverty and the poor people in denouncing those acts of dishon- esty, abuse of power and greed – personal and corporate,” said Odchimar. This should be the main focus of the Aquino administration, the CBCP head stressed, instead of minding the “dramatic allega- tions” used to drum up the issue on maternal deaths. “We remind the government that, through its agencies con- cerned, it attend sincerely to its desire to weed out the social fac- tors of evils that continue to im- poverish our poor and deprive them of the services due them,” said Odchimar. (CBCPNews)

carrying a huge Rosary replica. Images of our Lady of Gua- dalupe, the Mother of Life and patroness of the unborn, were displayed. The Cross was at the tail-end symbolizing our faith that “through Mary we are led to Christ, and Rosary leads to the Cross and the Eucharist.” Meanwhile, at 4:00 pm at the Church’s patio, the praying of

the Light and Sorrowful myster- ies intended for the elderly, sick, disable and pregnant lined up sitting to form as the crucifix of

a much bigger Living Rosary. It

was completed by the arrival of the procession which encircled the crucifix to form as beads of the giant Living Rosary for the Glorious mysteries. The BEC also issued a public statement which in part says, “Peace is at the heart of the Church’s seeking…that human- kind may increasingly become the family of God bonded in love. Yet, our modern materi-

alistic world risks in de- taching us from ethical living and transcen - dental val- ues…” “The quest for peace re- sides in the vast spiritual horizon—in the will, heart and mind of the human

person…that Jesus worked with hu - man hands, thought with human mind and loved with a human heart…” “Only Jesus can give the kind of peace the world cannot give. There can be no genuine human development and authentic peace without God in our life. Hence, we now go to the public

© Nick Esmejarda, SJBP
© Nick Esmejarda, SJBP

square as we pray for God’s mercy. We plead for Mother Mary’s powerful intercession through the Holy Rosary as we defend human Life and seek universal Peace. The event concluded with

a Eucharistic mass presided

by parish priest, Msgr. Peter Cañonero, who lauded the Living Rosary and admonished the parishioners to become de- fenders of God-given life and

witnesses to the Catholic faith

as taught by the Church. (Ding


FirerazesCatholicschool; bishopappealsfor help

BACOLOD City― A fire caused by faulty electrical wiring gut- ted a parochial school in Ba- colod diocese leaving its 430 students without classrooms. On October 27, the Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Pulupandan was razed to the ground due to electrical wirings that was traced to the house of the school’s caretaker adjacent to the school build- ing. The caretaker apparently left his electric fan unplugged when he went out of the house. The faulty wiring overheat- ed the fan which burst into flames. Although the entire building was destroyed, the computer

room was spared. Estimated loss was set at P4 million. Bacolod Bishop Vicente M. Navarra, who immediately visited the school after being notified of the fire, had issued a circular asking the public to help rebuild the school. The school is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. While the destruction might be seen as a tragedy, it can also be seen from the eyes of faith and charity—an opportunity for people of generous heart, modeled after that of Jesus who described His followers as those who suffer and those who are in need. The fire happened the night after the Diocesan Pastoral As-

sembly which ended with com-

mitment from the participants

to be generous in giving their

time, energy and temporal wealth to those in need. Fr. Tomas Rito, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes in Pulupandan, said that the nearby church and convent were spared from the fire, but almost the entire school was beyond use. Although the school is small

by population standards, it is big in service and ministering

to the needs of its students.

It teaches not only academic subjects, but also preaches the Gospel to a large segment of population who are non Catho- lics, who send their children to

study in the parochial school.

P u l u p a n d a n M a y o r

Magdaleno Peña immediately offered the town’s newly-in- augurated gym for temporary classrooms, and spaces in the nearby Pulupandan East El- ementary School. He also made available some empty offices for provisional classrooms. Fr. Rito said they will try to repair and repaint some of the steel chairs so that they can be used again, but said there will be a need for more chairs.

Fr. Hubert Javellana, direc- tor of the Pax Catholic College in La Carlota City, has offered to lend some of their chairs. (Modesto Sa-ono/Fr. Mickey Cardenas)

Church is not at war with gov’t— Bishop

SORSOGON City— “The church is not

quarrelling with the government but it’s just doing its role of reminding what is right and

is what is wrong.”

So went the homily of Bishop Arturo Bastes during the 117th foundation anni- versary of the province which focused on the role of the government and the church in guiding its people. Bastes said the government has the pri- mary role of guiding its constituents towards what is good and beneficial to them but if the government strays and its actions are no longer good for its people, the Church has the role to remind the government, like in the issues of the RH bill and mining. The bishop commended Gov. Raul Lee for his anti-RH stand which he said was an action towards the right direction saying the pro- posed bill would be harmful to the people.

Lee had earlier declared his stand against the RH bill which he described as being against his religious belief as a catholic and violative of the constitution which categorically declares the “protection of the unborn.” However, Bastes urged those who support the anti-RH campaign, being pro-life, to also support anti-mining crusade as both threaten human life. The prelate explained that the involve- ment of the church in these issues does not necessarily mean that it is against the gov- ernment but is merely performing its role as spiritual guide of the people and to remind the government that its actions are wrong. “The church must remind the government of its role to protect and uphold life and the environment,” he stressed, adding: “The gov- ernment needs to be reminded many times.”

In an interview after the mass, Bastes con- firmed that they are supporting the proposed HB 4315 or the People’s Mining Bill which was presented to the recent Ecumenical Bish- ops Forum meeting by Rep. Teddy Casino of the party-list group Bayan Muna. He said they find the bill acceptable in lieu of the existing Mining Act of 1995 which is full of loopholes thus susceptible to abuse and is cause of corruption. He also expressed strong support to the anti-mining protesters who have set up barricades at barangay Balocawe which he visited last week. The bishop told the protesters that oppos- ing something that is illegal and detrimental to human lives must be encouraged espe- cially if the government is doing nothing to stop it or even encourages its continuance. (Bobby Labalan)

May They Be One Bible Campaign Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home MTBO

May They Be One Bible Campaign

Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home

MTBO Bible Campaign helps bring rapid BEC growth

FATHER Felix Abadies, parish priest of San Andres church in Maramag, Bukidnon says that the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) in his parish has ex- panded under a new policy requiring every member to have his own Bible. Today, the parish has a total of 500 BEC cells consisting of 5-10 members each. The growth of the BECs was realized when the May They Be One (MTBO) Bibles became available in Bukidnon. An MTBO Bible costs less than the other Bibles sold in the province thereby making it affordable, accessible and beneficial to the grassroot parishioners. BEC members are asked to read the Bible using the Daily Bible Reading Guide. By their own initiative, the members meditate on the Word of God before coming to church on Sundays. This enables them to internalize the Scripture integrated in the homily dur- ing Mass. This practice has resulted in the parishioners becoming more active in the BECs. They hold Bible sharing in different homes where children are encouraged to join the meetings and participate in discussions. Today, as families continue to read and study the Bible together, they help one another financially as well. • No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign – 82 out of 86 Dio- ceses

Bibles Distributed (Jan 1, 2011 - Oct.


19, 2011): 168,473 copies

as more

Bibles Distributed by Languages

Bibles are

- Bicol (34,248 cps.) Cebuano (48,985

distrib -

cps.) English (30,895 cps.), Hiligaynon

uted and

(12,801cps.), Ilocano (8,678 cps.), Pam-

taught in

pango (2,322 cps.), Pangasinan (1,033


cps.), Samarenyo (2,524 cps.), Tagalog

parts of

(56,987 cps.)

the coun-

Parishes/Communities served in


2011: 164

• Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009-

Aug. 8, 2011): 476,221 cps

• Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2011: 300,000 cps.

• Total Funds Needed for Printing and

Transport of Bibles in 2011: P45M Members of the MTBO Advisory Com- mittee: Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo DD, Fr. Oscar A. Alunday, Mr. Rod G. Cornejo,

Mr. Rene E. Cristobal Sr., Dr. Philip C. Flores, Mr. Dante M. Lanorio, Fr. Antonio B. Navarrete, Fr. Art B. Orense and Mr. Albert S. Tanlimco. Praise God for using MTBO Bibles and Bible formations as catalyst in the growth of BEC’s in different parts of the country. Pray for God’s wisdom and blessing on the preparations, promotion and sponsorship of the May They Be One Fun Run to be held on January 22, 2012. Par- ticipants will run to bring more Bibles to poor families, poor individuals and com-





Bibles to poor families, poor individuals and com- P r a y that the Lord will

that the

Lord will

touch the

hearts of

OFWs to

reach out

to their


men here in the Philippines under the MTBO Bible distribution program. To learn more about how you can be part of the Campaign and make signifi- cant change, call us at PBS 526-7777, ECBA 527-9386 or visit www.bible.org.ph and www.ecba-cbcp.com. Donations can be made by making a deposit to the follow- ing bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account #393-0649-34 (BPI Sta. Mesa Branch) Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251-021376 (BPI-Tayuman Branch) Fax deposit slip to 527-9386. For credit card payments – go to PBS website (www.bible.org.ph)

San Andres Parish Priest Fr. Felix Abadies of Bukidnon holding an English MTBO Bible


The priest said that that in some cases, there are no evacu- ation centers because the IDPs stay with their friends and rela- tives.

He said donations will sent immediately to the affected ar- eas: Al Barka in Basilan; Talusan (in Olutanga), Payao and Alicia in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Reiterating his appeal, the priest said the “immediate sur- vival needs of these people are growing and all forms of as- sistance would be very much

appreciated.” Monetary donations can be deposited to BPI 2111-0001-42; Account name is Ateneo de Zam- boanga University. (CBCPNews)


A8 People, Facts & Places CBCP Monitor Vol. 15 No. 23 November 7 - 20, 2011

People, Facts & Places

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

CBCP Monitor Vol. 15 No. 23 November 7 - 20, 2011 Interfaith prayer held to mark
CBCP Monitor Vol. 15 No. 23 November 7 - 20, 2011 Interfaith prayer held to mark

Interfaith prayer held to mark 25th anniv of Assisi dialogue

CATHOLIC groups and representatives

of various faith traditions gathered for

an interfaith prayer in observance of

the 25th anniversary of the World Day

of Prayer for Peace.

Held last October 27 at Quiapo’s Plaza Miranda, the gathering was also

in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI

who called for a day of reflection and dialogue in Assisi to commemorate the first historic meeting that happened there 25 years ago. In October 1986, Pope John Paul II con-

vened the celebrated gathering of vari- ous religious leaders in Assisi for a day

of prayer and fasting. The late pope had

called for a united voice among various religions while respecting each other’s diversity and “to proclaim that peace is both necessary and attainable.” Fr. Carlos Reyes, the Executive Sec- retary of the Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue (ECID) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Phil- ippines (CBCP) called on each faith tra- dition “to walk the path of peace as pil-

grims, to reflect, pray and fast for justice

in our world, and to dialogue with one

another in an effort to discover creative ways to build mutual understanding and common aspirations for peace.” “Following the example of St. Francis, dialogue entails employing one’s whole being in this task, listening, and speaking kindly to accept the other, whoever he may be, and welcome him as he is in him- self with his convictions and actions, and calling for reciprocity,” Reyes, who led the event’s organizing committee, said. The inter-faith prayer began with the offering of a symbolic lighted lantern while representative groups prayed or chanted a prayer for peace. Groups came from indigenous Tuklas Katutubo, mainline protestants from the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), Hindu, Buddhist, Baha’i,Hare Krishna followers, Muslims and Roman Catholics. Those present in the inter-faith prayer committed themselves to work for “peace based on the teachings of their respective religions; …[defend] the basic human rights and dignity of all persons of every race, belief, culture; …declare that peace is based on justice and forgiveness; reject

that peace is based on justice and forgiveness; reject and abhor all forms of intolerance, be

and abhor all forms of intolerance, be it religious, cultural and gender related; [and] …condemn violence committed in the name of God or religion and declare that it is incompatible with the authentic spirit of religion.” The participants also offered prayer for peace in Mindanao and the victims

of armed conflict in the region. Also present during the gathering were Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim; Monsi- gnor Gabor Pinter, the Charge d’Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature; Alfonso Tagliaferri, the Charge d’affaires of the Italian Embassy; and Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio, the rector/parish

priest of Quiapo Church. Organizers of the event together with ECID were Silsilah Dialogue Movement (Manila); Focolare Movement; Peace- makers’ Circle; Religions for Peace; and the Ministry of Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Affairs of the Archdiocese of Manila. (CBCPNews)

Markings CELEBRATED. Perpetual profession of religious vows of Cleric Ian Paul Stephen Empig among the


CELEBRATED. Perpetual profession of religious vows of Cleric Ian Paul Stephen Empig among the Society of St. Paul. SSP provincial superior Fr. Jose Aripio led the thanksgiving Mass at the St. Paul Seminary Chapel, Silang, Cavite on November 6, 2011.

CELEBRATED. Perpetual profession of religious vows of Sr. Maricris Cabaries and Sr. Maria Veronique Calimlim among the Sisters of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit, November 4, 2011. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo led the thanksgiving Mass held at the Our Lady of Sor- rows Parish, Pasay City.

CELEBRATED. 25th anniversary of first profession of religious vows of Sr. Gloria Pecasion and Sr. Ma. Cristina Platero among the Sisters of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit, November 4, 2011.

CELEBRATED. 50th anniversary first profession of religious vows of Sr. Lucia Gumapo and Sr. Victoria Cabeites among the Sisters of the Oblates of the Holy Spirit, November 4, 2011.

INAUGURATED. The Good Shep- herd Sisters in the Philippines blessed and opened a garden mu- seum that honors women in their provincial compound in Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City, October 30, 2011. Named Museum Idyll, the project is the visualization of the Good Shepherd Sisters’ 100 years of presence in the Philip- pines portrayed through symbols, photographs, some artifacts and plants that are important in the history of the country. The Heritage Committee of the 2012 Centennial composed of Sr. Natividad Lucero, Sr. Marcia Mercado, Sr. Maureen Catabian and Sr. Ananita Borbon asked the collaboration of Ms. Marian Pastor-Roces, a well-known curator to depict the struggles and victories of women and the vision of St. Mary Euphrasia, of reaching out to girls and women in difficulties with the heart of a Good Shepherd. Inside the museum are several plinths that represent the various foundations of the Good Shep- herd Sisters in the country.

foundations of the Good Shep - herd Sisters in the country. DIED. Fr. Guido F. Arguelles,

DIED. Fr. Guido F. Arguelles, SJ, 81, of pneumonia, at the infirmary of the Ateneo de Manila Jesuit Residence, October 30, 2011. Fr. Arguelles entered the Society of Jesus on June 20, 1950 and was ordained priest on June 10, 1965. He gave numerous retreats in his lifetime. He was assigned as spiritual director of the Ateneo alumni, did pastoral work at the Institute of Social Order, pastoral work at the Boys’ Town in Marikina, and pastoral work at San Jose Seminary and Sacred Heart Novitiate. He also worked at Radio Veritas and the UP Chapel. For over 15 years, he was at La Ignaciana Apostolic Center and Xavier House in Manila and did a variety of socio-pastoral work to help the poor and bring greater justice to the country.

Pro-life Philippines to hold seminar on HIV/AIDS

IN a bid to deepen the people’s knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS and other con- cerns related to it, the Pro-Life Philippines Foundation is hold- ing a seminar-forum on the issue this month. The stigma that comes with being afflicted with HIV/AIDS has isolated individuals who have been affected by the dis- ease. According to Pro-Life Phil- ippines, many of those who suffer the disease, which in- clude youth, migrants and key affected populations, are being stigmatized and discriminated by society. The pro-life seminar, which is the third installment of the series for 2011, is geared for couples, guardians, teachers, catechists, Church and lay leaders, social workers, counselor/life coaches, youth groups’ advisers, and others who deal with this situ- ation. Titled “Pastoral Awareness on HIV/AIDS Seminar”, the half-day activity will have Rev. Rodolfo Dan Vicente Cancino Jr., MI, Regional Coordinator of Southeast Asia HIV and AIDS Catholic Network, as resource speaker. Aside from enhancing the awareness and insights of participants on the problem,

the seminar also aims to deepen the understanding of Catholic responses to HIV and AIDS. Organizers hope that at the end of the seminar participants will be able to: a) discuss the extent and impact of HIV/ AIDS; b) understand Philippine Republic Act 8504; c) enumerate the cultural and social factors that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS, and list possible solutions to it; d) differentiate HIV and AIDS, discuss how HIV is transmitted; and enu- merate ways by which HIV can be prevented; e) list current care and treatment for HIV/AIDS; and f) explain why Catholic response is needed to address HIV/AIDS. The forum will be held on November 19, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Bahay Ugnayan Building of the Good Shep- herd Sisters in Cubao, Quezon City. Participants are required a registration fee of P300.00, that covers snack, seminar kit, and a certificate of participation signed by the organizers. For reservations or more in- formation, please call 7337027; send a telefax at 7349425; text through mobile # 09192337783; or send email at life@prolife.org. ph. (CBCPNews)

CBCP launches ‘undasonline.com’

THE Catholic Bishops Confer- ence of the Philippines has launched an online site for homebound and overseas Fili-

pinos who cannot make it to cemeteries to visit their beloved dead. Filipinos who are away from home and physically unable to

go to church or visit their beloved

dead in cemeteries on All Saints and All Souls Day, can click the site for request of prayers and masses for the dead. The site www.undasonline. com also offers some catechesis on the significance and liturgical meaning of the celebration of All Souls Day or what Filipinos call “undas.” CBCP Media Director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio said that Catho- lics are “encouraged to visit the


tombs of their loved ones or also visit oratories, chapels and churches where they can pray for their dead.” Fulfilling the religious duty of visiting and praying for the dead has an indulgence attached to it,

he said. “They will gain plenary in- dulgences by visiting a church or oratory and praying the “our Father” and the “Creed”, going to confession and offer a prayer for the intention of the Holy

Father,” he explained. A plenary indulgence, ac- cording to Canon Law, is the remission of sins of a person whose offenses have already been forgiven. But to gain the plenary indulgence one must fulfill certain requirements, including going to confession and praying for the intention of the pope. Filipinos away from home who wish that prayers and Masses be offered for their dead can send the list of names of their beloved dead online by logging at www. undasonline. com Prayers and masses for the dead were offered at the chapel of the CBCP headquarters in Intramuros from November 1 to 8. (CBCPNews)

Manila archdiocese, JesCom to hold concert for Pinoy youth

THE Archdiocese of Manila’s Commission on Youth and Campus Ministry office together with the Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) are organizing a Christmas concert for the Filipino youth in celebration of the CBCP Year of the Youth. “The Year of the Youth is the Catholic Church’s way of showing its undying love for and hope in the Filipino youth,” explained Fr. Nono Alfono, SJ, Director of JesCom. “This concert will help inspire and uplift their spirits,” he added. Themed “KABATAAN: Handog sa Simbahan at Bayan,” the concert will showcase the Filipino youth’s God-given talents in various fields

of music, sports, politics and philan-


The youth concert comes at the heels

of the World Youth Day Madrid to Ma-

nila overnight vigil which was held at the Ateneo grounds last August 20-21. The vigil was attended by more than

12 thousand youth from across the country. By focusing on the youth, the Catho- lic Church aims to increase aware- ness of their plight and promote the youth’s active role in the church and society. Among those who will perform onstage are the Ateneo Chamber Singers, Claret Hataw, Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir, Kilyawan Boys Choir, Las Pinas Boys Choir and the University of the East Chorale. Other young celebrities and inspi- rational speakers will also grace the event. The Christmas concert will be held on December 10, from 7-10 p.m. at the Smart- Araneta Coliseum in Cubao. It will be aired on Studio 23 a week later. For more information on how to get tickets or donate, please contact Jesuit Com- munications at 426-5971 or email jcf@admu. edu.ph. (CBCPNews)

at 426-5971 or email jcf@admu. edu.ph . (CBCPNews) Retreat for diocesan priests to focus on liturgical

Retreat for diocesan priests to focus on liturgical fidelity


RETREAT for diocesan

retreat of their diocese or sim-

Law Society of the Philip-

Organized by Theological

priests that focuses on fidelity

ply would like to do a personal

pines. He is also the Associ-

Centrum, the activities for each


sacred liturgy will be held

retreat this year.

ate Editor of the Philippine

day include the celebration of


the Makiling Conference

The retreat will start at 11

Canonical Forum and writes

the Holy Eucharist, guided

Center in Calamba, Laguna this coming November 21-24. Themed “Fidelity to the

a.m. on the first day and end at 9 a.m. on the last day. Preacher will be Fr. Jaime

a regular column in the CBCP Monitor. Achacoso combines his

meditations, and workshops on practical topics. For additional information

Liturgy, Fidelity to the Faith”, the four-day retreat is offered

B. Achacoso, J.C.D., execu- tive secretary of the Episcopal

teaching and writing activi- ties with pastoral work with

and reservations, the priests can call telephone (02) 635-6113


diocesan priests who might

Commission on Canon Law

professionals and students in

or fax (02) 634-8590. (Fr. Mickey

not have been able to attend the

and Secretary of the Canon

Metro Manila.


Peace’ exhibit encourages Pinoy youth to be advocates

A PEACE exhibit that recounts the life-

changing experiences of 31 high school

students who participated in a peace camp is currently on tour across the country aim- ing to promote peace and encourage Filipino youth to become peace advocates. Launched by Communication Founda- tion for Asia (CFA), the traveling peace ex- hibit, dubbed “Peacebook” features a video documentary bearing the same title and the artworks of young students who participated

in a peace camp. The peace exhibit is a showcase of the experiences of Christian and Muslim high school students who took part in 2010 peace camp organized by CFA. Already third of a series that CFA began

in 2006, the 2010 peace camp has gathered 31

high school students from Ramon Avanceña

High School, Nazarene High School, and

Notre Dame RVM-College of Cotabato to share on how they can contribute in the promotion of peace in spite of cultural dif- ferences. Transformed by their camp experience, the young peace advocates captured the event on paper through etchings, journal entries and photographs, which is now part of the traveling peace exhibit. Fr. Carlos Reyes, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Inter- religious Dialogue commended the peace camp project, stressing “that communication, mutual respect and values, and forgiveness are the three basic foundations to bring about peace.” The exhibit was first unveiled to the public on September 16, attended by teachers and camp participants from Ramon Avanceña High School and Nazarene High School

together with representatives from Focolare, Peacemakers’ Circle, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue and the Young Moro Professionals Network. CFA president Fr. Filoteo Pelingon re- minded young participants of the true mean- ing of peace, saying that it is “not simply the absence of conflicts but the meeting of minds, and that accepting the presence of diversity builds friendship.” He thanked the guests for their continuous support of CFA’s endeavors and acknowl- edged everyone who contributed in the successful completion of the project. The peace exhibit was also shown to more than 100 school administrators and teach- ers during the convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in Davao City last September 22. (CBCPNews)


CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

CBCP Monitor Vol. 15 No. 23 November 7 - 20, 2011 Pastoral Concerns B1

Pastoral Concerns

15 No. 23 November 7 - 20, 2011 Pastoral Concerns B1 (The following is Pope Benedict
15 No. 23 November 7 - 20, 2011 Pastoral Concerns B1 (The following is Pope Benedict

(The following is Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter “Porta Fidei” dated Oct. 11, 2011 and released by the Vatican on Oct. 17, 2011; here the Holy Father announces a Year of Faith that will commence Oct. 11, 2012 and conclude Nov. 24, 2013).

Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio data”

Porta Fidei

of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI for the Indiction of the Year of Faith

1. The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is

always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace.

To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism (cf. Rom 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory (cf. Jn 17:22). To profess faith in the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is to believe in one God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8): the Father, who in the fullness of time sent his Son for our salvation; Jesus Christ, who in the mystery of his death and resurrection redeemed the world; the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church across the centuries as we await the Lord’s glorious return.

2. Ever since the start of my ministry

as Successor of Peter, I have spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ. During the homily at the Mass marking the inauguration of my pontificate I said:

“The Church as a whole and all her Pastors, like Christ, must set out to lead people out of the desert, towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God, towards the One who gives us life, and life in abundance.”[1] It often happens that Christians are more concerned for the social, cultural and political consequences of their commitment, continuing to think of the faith as a self-evident presupposition for life in society. In reality, not only can this presupposition no longer be taken for granted, but it is often openly denied.[2] Whereas in the past it was possible to recognize a unitary cultural matrix, broadly accepted in its appeal to the content of the faith and the values inspired by it, today this no longer seems

to be the case in large swathes of society, because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people.

3. We cannot accept that salt should

become tasteless or the light be kept hidden (cf. Mt 5:13-16). The people of today can still experience the need to go to the well, like the Samaritan woman, in order to hear Jesus, who invites us to believe in him and to draw upon the source of living water welling up within him (cf. Jn 4:14). We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciples (cf. Jn 6:51). Indeed, the teaching of Jesus still resounds in our day with the same power: “Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life” (Jn 6:27). The question posed by his listeners is the same that we ask today: “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (Jn 6:28). We know Jesus’ reply: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he

has sent” (Jn 6:29). Belief in Jesus Christ, then, is the way to arrive definitively at salvation.

4. In the light of all this, I have decided

to announce a Year of Faith. It will begin on 11. October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and it will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November 2013. The starting date of 11 October 2012 also marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a text promulgated by my Predecessor, Blessed John Paul II,[3] with a view to illustrating for all the faithful the power and beauty of the faith. This document, an authentic fruit of the Second Vatican Council, was requested by the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 1985 as an instrument at the service of catechesis[4] and it was produced in collaboration with all the bishops of the Catholic Church. Moreover, the theme of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that I have convoked for October 2012 is “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”. This will be a good opportunity to usher the whole Church into a time of particular reflection and rediscovery of the faith. It is not the first time that the Church has been called to celebrate a Year of Faith. My venerable Predecessor the Servant of God Paul VI announced one in 1967, to commemorate the

of God Paul VI announced one in 1967, to commemorate the martyrdom of Saints Peter and

martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul on the 19th centenary of their supreme act of witness. He thought of it as a solemn moment for the whole Church to make “an authentic and sincere profession of the same faith”; moreover, he wanted this to be confirmed in a way that was “individual and collective, free and conscious, inward and outward, humble and frank”.[5] He thought that in this way the whole Church could reappropriate “exact knowledge of the faith, so as to reinvigorate it, purify it, confirm it, and confess it”.[6] The great upheavals of that year made even more

evident the need for a celebration of this kind. It concluded with the Credo of the People of God,[7] intended to show how much the essential content that for centuries has formed the heritage of all believers needs to be confirmed, understood and explored ever anew, so as to bear consistent witness in historical circumstances very different from those of the past. 5. In some respects, my venerable predecessor saw this Year as a “consequence and a necessity of the postconciliar period”,[8] fully conscious of the grave difficulties of the time, especially with regard to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation. It seemed to me that timing the launch of the Year of Faith to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council

Fathers, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, “have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church’s

I feel more than ever in


duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in

the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning.”[9] I would also like to emphasize strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter: “if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church.”[10] 6. The renewal of the Church is also achieved through the witness offered by the lives of believers: by their very existence in the world, Christians are called to radiate the word of truth that the Lord Jesus has left us. The Council itself, in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, said this: While “Christ, ‘holy, innocent and undefiled’ (Heb 7:26) knew nothing of sin (cf. 2 Cor 5:21), but came only to expiate the sins

of the people (cf. Heb2:17)

the Church

clasping sinners to its bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal. The Church, ‘like a stranger in a foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God’, announcing the cross and death of the Lord until he comes (cf. 1 Cor 11:26). But by the power of the risen Lord it is given strength to overcome, in patience and in love, its sorrow and its difficulties, both those that are from within and those that are from without, so that it may reveal in the world, faithfully, although with shadows, the mystery of its Lord until, in the end, it shall be manifested in full


TheYearofFaith,fromthisperspective, is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world. In the mystery of his death and resurrection, God has revealed in its fullness the Love that saves and calls us to conversion of life

through the forgiveness of sins (cf. Acts

5:31). For Saint Paul, this Love ushers us

into a new life: “We were buried

him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). Through faith, this new life shapes the whole of human existence according to the radical new reality of the resurrection.


To the extent that he freely cooperates, man’s thoughts and affections, mentality and conduct are slowly purified and transformed, on a journey that is never completely finished in this life. “Faith


a new criterion of understanding and

his word and become his disciples. Believers, so Saint Augustine tells us, “strengthen themselves by believing”. [12] The saintly Bishop of Hippo had good reason to express himself in this way. As we know, his life was a continual search for the beauty of the faith until such time as his heart would find rest in God.[13] His extensive writings, in which he explains the importance of believing and the truth of the faith, continue even now to form a heritage of incomparable riches, and they still help many people in search of God to find the right path towards the “door of faith”. Only through believing, then, does faith grow and become stronger; there is no other possibility for possessing certitude with regard to one’s life apart from self-abandonment, in a continuous crescendo, into the hands of a love that seems to grow constantly because it has its origin in God. 8. On this happy occasion, I wish to invite my brother bishops from all over the world to join the Successor

of Peter, during this time of spiritual grace that the Lord offers us, in recalling the precious gift of faith. We want to celebrate this Year in a worthy and fruitful manner. Reflection on the faith will have to be intensified, so as to help all believers in Christ to acquire a more conscious and vigorous adherence to the Gospel, especially at a time of profound change such as humanity is currently experiencing. We will have the opportunity to profess our faith in the Risen Lord in our cathedrals and in the churches of the whole world; in our homes and among our families, so that everyone may feel a strong need to know better and to transmit to future generations the faith of all times. Religious communities as well as parish communities, and all ecclesial bodies old and new, are to find a way, during this Year, to make a public profession of the Credo.

9. We want this Year to arouse in

every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope. It will also be a good opportunity to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist, which is “the summit towards which the activity of the Church is directed; and also the source from which all its power flows.”[14] At the same time, we make it our prayer that believers’ witness of life may grow in credibility. To rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed,[15] and to reflect on the act of faith, is a task that every believer must make his own, especially in the course of this Year. Not without reason, Christians in the early centuries were required to learn the creed from memory. It served them as a daily prayer not to forget the commitment they had undertaken in baptism. With words rich in meaning, Saint Augustine speaks of this in a homily on the redditio symboli, the handing over of the creed: “the symbol of the holy mystery that you have all received together and that today you have recited one by one, are the words on which the faith of Mother Church is firmly built above the stable foundation

that is Christ the Lord. You have received

action that changes the whole of man’s


and recited it, but in your minds and

life (cf. Rom 12:2; Col 3:9-10; Eph 4:20- 29; 2 Cor 5:17).

hearts you must keep it ever present, you must repeat it in your beds, recall

7. “Caritas Christi urget nos” (2 Cor


in the public squares and not forget

5:14): it is the love of Christ that fills


mandate that is ever new. Today too,


during meals: even when your body

our hearts and impels us to evangelize. Today as in the past, he sends us through

is asleep, you must watch over it with your hearts.”[16]

the highways of the world to proclaim



At this point I would like to sketch

his Gospel to all the peoples of the earth


path intended to help us understand

(cf. Mt 28:19). Through his love, Jesus Christ attracts to himself the people of every generation: in every age he convokes the Church, entrusting her with the proclamation of the Gospel by

more profoundly not only the content of the faith, but also the act by which we choose to entrust ourselves fully to God, in complete freedom. In fact, there exists a profound unity between the act by which we believe and the content to

Porta Fidei / B2

there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith. In rediscovering his love day

which we give our assent. Saint Paul helps us to enter into this reality when he writes: “Man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved” (Rom 10:10).

by day, the missionary commitment of believers attains force and vigour that can never fade away. Faith grows when it

The heart indicates that the first act by which one comes to faith is God’s gift and the action of grace which acts and


lived as an experience of love received

transforms the person deep within.

and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. It makes us fruitful, because it expands our hearts in hope and enables us to bear life-giving witness: indeed, it opens the hearts and minds of those who listen to respond to the Lord’s invitation to adhere to

The example of Lydia is particularly eloquent in this regard. Saint Luke recounts that, while he was at Philippi, Paul went on the Sabbath to proclaim the Gospel to some women; among them was Lydia and “the Lord opened



CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

The sacraments of Christian initiation

The Juridic Dimension of the Sacrament of Baptism (Part I)

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

“THE sacrament of Christian initiation— Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist—lay the foundations of every Christian life. The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development and nourishment of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity” (CCC, n.1212). With this issue of CBCP Monitor, we shall begin a series on the juridic dimension of the Sacraments, beginning with the so-called sacraments of Christian initiation.

1. Nature and Sacramental Structure of Baptism “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word” (CCC, n.1213).

a. The Sacramental Sign Like all sacraments of the New Law, Baptism is a sacramentum—i.e., a visible sign through which is expressed and is effected an invisible reality: the res sacramenti. Without going into what is properly sacramental theology, c.849 outlines the elements of the sacramental sign of Baptism, which is washing with true water together with the required form of words. What interests us is the canonical regulation of this sign. 1) The remote matter: For validity, true water (c.849). Without falling into casuistry, this has always been understood to mean what can be perceived by the senses and ordinarily considered as water, and not another liquid. Thus, even if—chemically—dirty river water may have more impurities than—for example—an infusion of tea leaves, the former is considered

water (albeit dirty) and constitutes valid remote matter for

baptism, while the latter isnot considered

as water (it is tea) and is thus an invalid matter for baptism. For licitude, outside

a case of necessity, the water to be used in the conferral of baptism should be

blessed in accord with the prescriptions of the liturgical books


2) The proximate matter: For validity, the visible sign is washing (ablution), which historically had been done by immersion, by pouring (infusion), or by sprinkling (aspersion). The very name of the sacrament comes from the Greek baptizein— “to submerge” or “to introduce into

w a t e r ” — w h i c h symbolizes the act of burying the person

to be baptized in the

death of Christ, from which he emerges with Christ’s Resurrection (cf. CCC,


For licitude, Baptism is to be conferred either by immersion or by pouring, the prescriptions of the conference of bishops

being observed (c.854). Thus, the clear will

of the universal legislator is to let particular

law determine the specific way that is most

adequate to the circumstances and usage of each region. 3) The form: For validity, the verbal form is what is prescribed in the liturgical books, the essential elements of which are the words pronounced by the minister during the ablution, with the intention of baptizing, and which should

express: the minister (active subject), the person to be baptized (passive subject), the action of baptizing, the unity of the divine nature and the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. In the Latin Rite, the formula is:

I baptize you in the name of the Father, and

of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

For licitude, Baptism should be administered in accord with the order


prescribed in the approved liturgical books, except for the case of urgent necessity when only what is required for the validity of the sacrament must be observed (c.850). The old classification into private and solemn Baptism has been suppressed, since no liturgical act is private, regardless of the external solemnities involved. It is noteworthy that, in contrast to civil law, the name of the person does not have much juridic significance. Nevertheless, the CIC establishes that parents, godparents and parish priests are to see that a name foreign to a Christian mentality is not given (c.855).

b. The res sacramenti The theologico-canonical effects of Baptism, the reality caused by the sacramental sign, are summarized in c.849 as follows:

1) Liberation from sin: Men and women are freed from their sins. By Baptism, all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin personal sins (CCC,


2) Divine filiation: The faithful are reborn as childen of God. Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte “a new creature,”

an adopted son of God, who has become

a “partaker of divine nature” (CCC,


3) Baptismal character: The faithful are configured to Christ by an indelible character, since in this sacred rite, one’s association with the death and resurrection of Christ is represented and carried out (LG, n.7). Thus, Baptism makes the neophyte a member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit (CCC, n.1265). By Baptism he shares in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission; Baptism gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers (CCC, n.1268). On the other hand, by virtue of the baptismal character, the faithful is destined for the worship in Christian religion (LG,


4) Incorporation to the Church: By Baptism one is incorporated into the Church of Christ and is constituted a

person in it with duties and rights which are proper to Christians, in keeping with their condition, to the extent that they are in ecclesiastical communion and unless

a legitimately issued sanction stand in

the way (c.96). For this reason, Baptism is not only the first among the sacraments, but the door for all the rest. Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn (CCC, n.1271).

2. The Juridic Relevance of Baptism The juridic dimension of Baptism stems from two principles, which can be gleaned from the Instruction on the Baptism of Children, issued by the SCDF in 1980, as follows. 1

Baptism is necessary for salvation. It

is both a sign and an instrument of the

love of God. It is a gift. 2º Baptism incorporates the human person to the Church. Measures must be established to guarantee his posterior

Initiation / B3

Porta Fidei / B1

her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul” (Acts 16:14). There is an important meaning contained within this expression. Saint Luke teaches that knowing the content to be believed is not sufficient unless the heart, the authentic sacred space within the person, is opened by grace that allows the eyes to see below the surface and to understand that what has been proclaimed is the word of God. Confessing with the lips indicates in turn that faith implies public testimony and commitment. A Christian may never think of belief as a private act. Faith is choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with him. This “standing with him” points towards an understanding of the reasons for believing. Faith, precisely because it is a free act, also demands social responsibility for what one believes. The Church on the day of Pentecost demonstrates with utter clarity this public dimension of believing and proclaiming one’s faith fearlessly to every person. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit that makes us fit for mission and strengthens our witness, making it frank and courageous. Profession of faith is an act both personal and communitarian. It is the Church that is the primary subject of faith. In the faith of the Christian community, each individual receives baptism, an effective sign of entry into the people of believers in order to obtainsalvation.Aswereadinthe Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“‘I believe’ is the faith of the Church professed personally by each believer, principally during baptism. ‘We believe’ is the faith of the Church confessed by the bishops assembled in council or more generally by the liturgical assembly of believers. ‘I believe’ is also the Church, our mother, responding to God by faith as she teaches us to say both ‘I believe’ and ‘we believe’.”[17] Evidently, knowledge of the content of faith is essential for giving one’s own assent, that is to say for adhering fully with intellect and will to what the Church proposes. Knowledge

of faith opens a door into the fullness of the saving mystery revealed by God. The giving of assent implies that, when we believe, we freely accept the whole mystery of faith, because the guarantor of its truth is God who reveals himself and allows us to know his mystery of love.


On the other hand, we must not forget that in our cultural context, very many people, while not claiming to have the gift of faith, are nevertheless sincerely searching for the ultimate meaning and definitive truth of their lives and of the

world. This search is an authentic “preamble” to the faith, because

it guides people onto the path

that leads to the mystery of God. Human reason, in fact, bears

within itself a demand for “what

is perennially valid and lasting”.

[19] This demand constitutes a permanent summons, indelibly written into the human heart, to set out to find the One whom we would not be seeking had he not already set out to meet us.[20] To this encounter, faith invites us and it opens us in fullness. 11. In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council. In the Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum, signed, not by accident, on the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Blessed John Paul II wrote:

“this catechism will make a very important contribution to that work of renewing the whole life


I declare it to be

a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and

a sure norm for teaching the


It is in this sense that that the Year of Faith will have to see a concerted effort to rediscover and study the fundamental content of the faith that receives its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here, in fact, we see the wealth of teaching

the Church

that the Church has received, safeguarded and proposed in her two thousand years of history. From Sacred Scripture to the Fathers of the Church, from theological masters to the saints across the centuries, the Catechism provides a permanent record of the many ways in which the Church has meditated on the faith and made progress in doctrine so as to offer certitude to believers in their lives of faith. In its very structure, the Catechism of the Catholic Church follows the development of the faith right up to the great themes of daily life. On page after page, we find that what is presented here is no theory,

but an encounter with a Person who lives within the Church. The profession of faith is followed by an account of sacramental life, in

which Christ is present, operative and continues to build his Church. Without the liturgy and the sacraments, the profession of faith would lack efficacy, because it would lack the grace which supports Christian witness. By the same criterion, the teaching of the Catechism on the moral life acquires its full meaning if placed in relationship with faith, liturgy and prayer. 12. In this Year, then, the Catechism of the Catholic Church will serve as a tool providing real support for the faith, especially for those concerned with the formation of Christians, so crucial in our cultural context. To this end, I have invited the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by agreement with the competent Dicasteries of the Holy See, to draw up a Note, providing the Church and individual believers with

some guidelines on how to live this Year of Faith in the most effective and appropriate ways,

at the service of belief and evangelization. To a greater extent than in the past, faith is now being subjected to a series of questions arising from a changed mentality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discoveries. Nevertheless, the Church has never been afraid of

demonstrating that there cannot be any conflict between faith and genuine science, because both, albeit via different routes, tend towards the truth.[22] 13. One thing that will be of decisive importance in this Year is retracing the history of our faith, marked as it is by the unfathomable mystery of the interweaving of holiness and sin. While the former highlights the great contribution that men and women have made to the growth and development of the community through the

witness of their lives, the latter must provoke in each person

a sincere and continuing work

of conversion in order to experience the mercy of the Father which is held out to everyone. During this time we will need to keep our gaze fixed upon Jesus

Christ, the “pioneer and perfecter

of our faith” (Heb 12:2): in him, all

the anguish and all the longing of thehumanheartfindsfulfillment. The joy of love, the answer to the drama of suffering and pain, the power of forgiveness in the face of an offence received and the victory of life over the emptiness

of death: all this finds fulfilment

in the mystery of his Incarnation,

in his becoming man, in his sharing our human weakness so as to transform it by the power of his resurrection. In him who died and rose again for our salvation, the examples of faith that have marked these two thousand years of our salvation history are brought into the fullness of light. By faith, Mary accepted the Angel’s word and believed the message that she was to become the Mother of God in the obedience of her devotion (cf. Lk 1:38). Visiting Elizabeth, she raised her hymn of praise to the Most High for the marvels he worked in those who trust him (cf. Lk 1:46-55). With joy and trepidation she gave birth to her only son, keeping her virginity intact (cf. Lk 2:6-7). Trusting in Joseph, her husband, she took Jesus to Egypt to save him from Herod’s persecution (cf. Mt 2:13-15). With the same faith, she followed the Lord in

his preaching and remained with him all the way to Golgotha (cf. Jn 19:25-27). By faith, Mary tasted the fruits of Jesus’ resurrection, and treasuring every memory in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19, 51), she passed them on to the Twelve assembled with her in the Upper Room to receive the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14; 2:1-4). By faith, the Apostles left everything to follow their Master (cf. Mk 10:28). They believed the words with which he proclaimed the Kingdom of God present and fulfilled in his person (cf. Lk 11:20). They lived in communion of life with Jesus who instructed

them with his teaching, leaving them a new rule of life, by which they would be recognized as his disciples after his death (cf. Jn 13:34-35). By faith, they went out to the whole world, following the command to bring the Gospel to all creation (cf. Mk 16:15) and they

fearlessly proclaimed to all the joy of the resurrection, of which they were faithful witnesses. By faith, the disciples formed the first community, gathered around the teaching of the Apostles, in prayer, in celebration of the Eucharist, holding their possessions in common so as to

meet the needs of the brethren (cf. Acts2:42-47). By faith, the martyrs gave their lives, bearing witness to the truth oftheGospelthathadtransformed them and made them capable of attaining to the greatest gift of love: the forgiveness of their persecutors. By faith, men and women have consecrated their lives to Christ, leaving all things behind so as to live obedience, poverty and chastity with Gospel simplicity, concrete signs of waiting for the Lord who comes without delay. By faith, countless Christians have promoted action for justice so as to put into practice the word of the Lord, who came to proclaim deliverance from oppression and a year of favour for all (cf. Lk 4:18-19). By faith, across the centuries, men and women of all ages, whose names are written in the Book of Life (cf. Rev 7:9, 13:8), have confessed the beauty of following the Lord Jesus

wherever they were called to bear witness to the fact that they were Christian: in the family, in the workplace, in public life, in the exercise of the charisms and ministries to which they were called. By faith, we too live: by the living recognition of the Lord Jesus, present in our lives and in our history. 14. The Year of Faith will also be a good opportunity to intensify the witness of charity. As Saint Paul reminds us: “So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13). With even stronger words – which have always placed Christians under obligation – Saint James said: “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled’, without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith” (Jas 2:14-18). Faith without charity bears no fruit, while charity without faith would be a sentiment constantly at the mercy of doubt. Faith and charity each require the other, in such a way that each allows the other to set out along its respective path. Indeed, many Christians dedicate their lives with love to those who are lonely, marginalized or excluded, as to those who are the first with a claim on our attention and the most important for us to support, because it is in them that the reflection of Christ’s own face is seen. Through faith, we can recognize the face of the risen Lord in those who ask for our love. “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). These words are a warning that must not be forgotten and a perennial invitation to return the love by which he takes care of us. It is faith

Porta Fidei / B7

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

Year of the Youth


5,000 youth joining NYD this November

ALMOST 5,000 youth delegates across the country are expected to join the National Youth Day 2011, one of the highlights of this year’s celebration of the CBCP Year of the Youth. To be hosted by the Federation of National Youth Organization, the NYD will be a gathering of youth from various ecclesiastical regions of the country and different organizations and movements under FNYO. The big event will take place in Metro Manila from November 14-19. NYD organizers said seven Festival Sites have been designated within Metro Manila, one of which is Claret School of Quezon City in Diliman which is under the Diocese of Cubao. According to the website of Cubao’s Ministry for Youth Affairs (mycubao. org), 11 parishes have been selected to host the NYD delegates. The 11 parishes are Our Lady of Pentecost Parish in Loyola Heights; Sta. Maria dela Strada Parish in Katipunan; Parish of Our Lord Divine of Mercy in Sikatuna; Holy Family parish in Kamias; St. Joseph Shrine in Aurora Blvd.; Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Diliman; Holy Cross Parish in Krus na Ligas; Our lady of Hope Parish in Brgy. Pag-asa; Transfiguration of Our Lord Parish in 18th Ave.; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Broadway; and Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish in Lantana, Cubao. The youth delegates are coming from the Archdioceses of Caceres, Jaro, Ozamiz, and Manila, Dioceses of La Union, Tarlac, Daet, Dumaguete, Tandag, San Carlos, San Pablo, Baguio and Dipolog, Prelature of Infanta, and youth organizations from Youth for Mary and Christ in Marikina, Canossian Youth Movement, Chiro Youth Movement, Salesian Youth Movement—FMA, Salesian Youth Movement—SDB, Tarcisian Adorers, Christian Life Community and NYD Volunteers from FNYO. The NYD2011 Secretariat held a briefingforParishHousingCoordinators last October 27 at the Obispado in Cubao diocese, the website further revealed. It also added that there will be an orientation for foster families slated on Nov. 5 by the NYD2011 Festival Site Coordinator, Mr. PJ Blando at the Claret School in Diliman. Organizers said further information on the event will be relayed this week. (Jandel Posion)

Photo courtesy of CBCP-ECY
Photo courtesy of CBCP-ECY

Participants in the last National Youth Day held in Davao City in November 2006 present a dance number during the Youth Jam, which was the closing program of the event.

Filipinos told to change old school parenting

PARENTS should reconsider letting their children join and participate in adult discussions to encourage them at an early age to be more concerned to his environment and not apathetic to issues in the family and the society. Fr. Conegundo Garganta, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the Filipino’s old school parenting style of shunning children out of adult discussion is to blame for the youth’s apathy to the people and events around them. Garganta said today’s youth, being reared in an environment that does not care what he thinks and feels, have learned to create a world of their own, aloof and apathetic to what’s happening

around them. He added that the stereotyped mindset of Filipino parents that children are not meant to butt in adult discussions and doing so would mean disrespect to the elderly is not helping the youth in making strong social and political convictions. “There is a clear downside in this kind of parenting. While we want the younger members of the family to be respectful and obedient, we are unfortunately taking away from them the opportunity to express themselves with clear logic, reasoning,convictionandassertiveness,” he said. The ECY executive secretary added that children must be trained to be listeners and speakers at a young age at home, and parents should be the firsts to encourage them.

“Participating in adult discussions is an opportunity for parents to teach their children the proper ways to listen and to converse their thoughts. It should not mean disrespect all the time,” he added. Inthecaseofsensitivediscussionswhere children’spresenceshouldnotbetolerated, Garganta advised parents to explain well why such topics are not suited for their children to hear or learn about. Otherwise, Garganta said parents should value the thoughts of their children since it will eventually be the pulse of the youth, who compose the majority of the Philippines’ population and the significant shakers and movers of society—only if they are socially aware of their power and influence. (YouthPinoy)

Young people must live their faith, says bishop

ECHOING the words of Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Filomeno Bactol of Naval, Biliran told representatives of Regional Youth Coordinating Council that more than just learning the Catholic doctrines, the youth must live their faith. Bactol told youth representatives of the Central and Eastern Visayas Regional Youth Coordinating Council (CEV-RYCC) that during the bishops’ ad limina visit to Rome last February, the Holy Father urged them to tell young people that it is not enough to memorize the doctrines, but “what is important is know and practice them.” “You know brothers and sisters, meetings like this are reminding us about what young people in the Catholic Church must do. And the Holy Father said they are our representatives or our evangelizers to the world,” he added. “The Holy Father wanted you young people to be aware of your role in these coming years because we are preparing the Church for a new evangelization,” Bactol further said. The bishop was also happy and thankful that youth representatives of archdioceses and dioceses under CEVR visited the small diocese of Naval. The regional youth coordinating council meeting was held in the diocese of Naval last Oct. 28-30. (Jandel Posion)

in the diocese of Naval last Oct. 28-30. (Jandel Posion) event,” Amante said. Unlike in the

event,” Amante said. Unlike in the first run, the guest sharers for the 2nd love rocks forum came from the region. There were three categories of panelists, consisted of a married couple who were active in the youth ministry during their days, a single lady and young professionals who are in their two-year relationship. Members of the panel were Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Borrinaga

who are married for 23 years and were active in the youth ministry during their younger days; Juve Neduelan and Elizabeth Ybanez who are young professionals and in a relationship; Vina Jayubo, a lady who had no boyfriend since birth and Marner Samson, who is still single. There were three segments, the‘kiligmoments’,‘heartbroken moments’, and ‘the original love story’, where these three

coincided with a real love story that is shared by two individuals but also offered to God. Sharinginsmallgroupswasdone after each segment. Participants said their commitment after the last segment emphasizing that love can wait and an individual must be serious when it comes to the issue of love. Fr. Marvyn Maceda, the vicar- general of the diocese said the mass. (Jandel Posion)

2nd Love Rocks! Forum held in Naval

Paloyouthcommission spearheads tree-planting activity

THE Commission on Youth of Palo archdiocese spearheaded a tree-planting activity in celebration of the CBCP-Year of the Youth. Archdiocesan youth director Fr. Manuel Baybay Jr. said the youth commission wants its young people to be conscious of the beauty of God’s creation and become aware of their responsibility to care and preserve the environment for the future generations. Baybay estimated that some 500 young people from 70 parishes in the archdiocese participated in the activity. The Youth Commission planted around 1,000 seedlings the whole day of Oct. 29 at three planting sites in Tacloban City:

Baspera in Apitong, Nula-Tula and San Jose. Dubbed as “TREEP TAYO”, the activity has three main objectives: (1) to show care for the environment; (2) to joyfully start the communal journey towards the 10thArchdiocesan Summer Youth Camp on April 17-21; (3) and to encourage all young people to discover Jesus in their youthful pilgrimage. All arch/dioceses in the country have been given a tree planting orientation based on the module in view of the activity. Baybayaddedthatthemodulefortreeplantingwasexplained in the morning of Oct. 29 at Liceo del Verbo Divino before proceeding to the planting sites at 3 p.m. Aside from TREEP TAYO activity of the archdiocese, the Central and Eastern Visayas region also had an event on the same date. (Jandel Posion)

AFTER the first successful run of the Youth Forum in Malolos City, the second run that took place in Naval, Biliran last Oct. 29 ended with a blast. The youth forum, dubbed by the region as a ‘regional youth forum-Love Rocks!’ was held at Naval Gymnasium and attended by 951 participants. Participants were composed of young people from 12 parishes and three youth organizations from Naval diocese and from the regional youth coordinating council of the Archdioceses of Cebu and Palo and the Dioceses of Catarman, Calbayog, Borongan, Maasin, Dumaguete, Tagbilaran and Talibon. Fr. Cornelio Amante Jr., regional youth director of the Central and Eastern Visayas regionwelcomedtheparticipants and guests. “In behalf of the region, of the host diocese and the diocesan clergy of Naval, we are happy that you responded to our invitation to gather here as part of our solidarity in celebrating one of the highlights of the CBCP Year of the Youth, which is Love Rocks! forum. We are happy that you are here [to join] us for this wonderful

Initiation / B2

development in it.

a.JuridicConsequencesoftheNecessity of Baptism for Salvation Thetheologicaldoctrineofthenecessity of baptism for salvation—in fact or at

Parents are obliged to see to it that infants are baptized within the first weeks after birth; as soon as possible after the birth or even before it, parents are to go to the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be properly prepared

(cc.850; 853; 857; 860; 862; 865, §2; 867,

truths of faith, the person has in any way manifested an intention of receiving Baptism and promises to observe the commandments of the Christian religion (c.865, §2).

fair chance for growth and development. These guarantees operate on the adults who will play a part in the child’s growth and development—i.e., his parents, godparents or whoever takes their place.

least in intention—expressed in c.849,

for it (c.867, §1).

b. Juridic Dimension of the

Baptism [is] the gate to the sacraments, by


The parents of an infant who is to

is the basis not only of the fundamental

3) The disciplinary exceptions in

Incorporation to the Church

be baptized and likewise those who are to

right of all men to its reception, but also the canonical foundation of many aspects of its regulation. Noteworthy are the following:

case of urgency or danger of death:

§2). So taxative is this principle that it capacitates and legitimates any person

The capital canon of Title I: Baptism— like all the other opening canons of the titles corresponding to the other sacraments in the Code—immediately

undertake the office of godparent are to be properly instructed in the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations which are attached to it (c.851, §2).


The general disposition for the

with the right intention to confer baptism


Infant of Catholic parents: An infant

declares the juridic situation effected by


For the licit baptism of an infant it is

baptism of adults: Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is

in case of necessity (c.861, §2).


necessary that the parents or at least one of them or the person who lawfully takes their

able to be baptized (c.864). Can.865, §1 specifies the minimum requirements

in danger of death is to be baptized without any delay (c.867, §2).

which men and women … are reborn as children of God [and] are incorporated in

place, gives consent (c.868, §1, 1º) and there be a founded hope that the infant will be

that adults:


Infant even of non-Catholic parents:

the Church (c.849). The incorporation

brought up in the Catholic religion; if such


have manifested the will to receive

The infant of Catholic parents, in fact

to the Church—understood as People

a hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is


of non-Catholic parents also, who is

of God juridically constituted—that

to be put off (2º).


be sufficiently instructed in the truths

in danger of death is licitly baptized

is carried out by Baptism has serious

2) By Baptism, a person is constituted

of faith and in Christian obligations;

c) be tested in the Christian life by means

even against the will of the parents (c.868, §2).

juridic consequences. Among these we can point out the following:

as a Christian faithful, a subject in the ecclesial juridic order, who participates

of the catechumenate;


Live fetuses: If aborted fetuses are

1) Canonical guarantees for its licit

in the priestly, prophetic and royal


be exhorted to have sorrow for personal

alive, they are to be baptized if this is

administration to infants. Since an

function of Christ (cf. cc.96 & 204).


possible (c.871).

infant is incorporated to the Church

This brings about the subject’s ecclesial


Adult in danger of death: An adult

without his conscious consent, there

personality—i.e., the members of the


The general dispositions for the

in danger of death may be baptized if,

must be sufficient guarantees that the

People of God are not just individuals

baptism of infants of Catholic parents:

having some knowledge of the principal

gift he receives in Baptism will have a

comprising a people, but rather persons:

personae in Ecclesia Christi. This in turn has several consequences:

a) Baptism is the origin and basis of the

fundamental rights and duties of the faithful. On it is founded the radical equality of the faithful, their common dignity,

their common call to holiness and their co-responsibility for the building up of the Body of Christ in accord with each one’s own condition and functions (cf.


b) Baptism determines the passive subjects

of merely ecclesiastical laws, which bind those baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it and who enjoy the

sufficient use of reason and, unless the law expressly provides otherwise, have completed seven years of age (c.11).

c) Baptism capacitates a person for the

other sacraments, and thus for Christian worship. Conversely, one who has not received Baptism cannot be validly admitted to the other sacraments (c.842,

§1). (To be continued)


1 Cf. SCDF, Instruction Pastoralis actio (20.X.1980), in AAS, 72 (1980), 1137-1156.



CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

Homily of Most Rev. Romulo de la Cruz, DD,

Bishop of Kidapawan, at the funeral of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME, at Our Lady of Mediatrix of All Grace Cathedral; October 25, 2011

www.arkibongbayan.org/Karlos Manlupig
www.arkibongbayan.org/Karlos Manlupig

FATHER “POPS,” Father Fausto disliked ceremonies; especially ceremonies that drew attention to himself. If he were alive, he would not have been comfortable in a liturgy as well attended as this one, where he is the center of attention. He was quite content to labor in relative obscurity as a priest for thirty years, first in Columbio, and then in Arakan. But the attention Father “POPS” managed to escape from in life, he must now endure in death. Consider this: His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, who had no idea Fr. Fausto existed, now knows he’s dead, and writes to us a moving message. Our own President, P-NOY, for who Arakan could just as well be another town in Afghanistan, has vowed to exact payment from those responsible for Fr. Fausto’s death. The Italian ambassador, His Excellency Luca Fornari, has twice violated his own travel advisory not to visit Mindanao by returning to attend this funeral mass, after visiting a week ago to see for himself what happened to Father Fausto. In death, Fr. POPS has made it to the front pages of at least five national newspapers, the six-o’clock TV and radio news, and


statementsanddeclarationspublishedinjustafewdays—allabout Fr. Fausto and what he purportedly stood for. He is now called “an environmentalist-priest,” “a human rights defender,” “the anti-mining activist,” “the protector of cultural minorities.” We are certainly grateful to all those who have sent messages offering condolences and mourning his death. We are grateful for all the expressions of sympathy and solidarity with our loss. They have all been a source of comfort and hope. But there is a tendency, even by well-meaning souls, to enlarge the life of one who has met a high-profile death. We do not have to boost to mythical proportions Fr. Fausto’s life in order to make sense of his tragic death. He should be remembered simply as a good and faithful priest, who loved his people, and sought to serve them as best as he could, even in the face of danger to his own life. How did Fr. Fausto want to be remembered? In his last will and testament, Fr. POPS wrote: “I wish my tombstone to contain the following: You were told, O man, what is good and what God requires of you: to do justice, to live mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”—a quotation from the prophet Micah.” That is what Fr. Fausto did. He showed mercy, especially to the least of God’s children among his parishioners, the lumad. He sought justice for them, when they were dispossessed of their land, when they were harassed by men with arms, when their own government seemed to abandon them. But doing that—even in a quiet and humble manner (because Fr. POPS was no firebrand)—can earn you enemies, enemies that go after even the kindest of men, like Jesus of Nazareth, whom Fr. POPS followed all the way to Arakan. And Fr. Fausto knew that. Twenty-six years ago he saw what happened to Fr. Tulio Favali, PIME, who was gunned down by paramilitary assassins. He could have changed course then, packed up his bag, and head for a safer and kinder place on the missionary map. But he did not. He had fallen in love with his people. In his last will and testament, he wrote this, in Bisayan, to his people: “Ang Imong pangandoy, akong pangandoy; ang Imong pakigbisog, akong pakigbisog; Busa Ikaw ug ako usa ra; Kauban sa pagpanday sa ginharian sa Dios.” [Translated: Your dream is My dream, Your struggle is my struggle. Therefore, You and I are one; companions in constructing the Kingdom of God.] When his assailants felled him with bullets, Fr. Fausto was exactly where he chose to be—with his people. When he met death, Fr. Fausto was doing exactly what he had been praying for strength to continue doing: ministering to the people he now called his own. He would not have it any other way. So it can be plainly said without a doubt, that Fr. Fausto’s death is nothing less than a fulfillment of what St. John says in the gospel: “Greater love than this no man has than he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).” Stripped of all editorializing, social commentary, and propaganda literature, Fr. Fausto’s death is simply an emulation, a following and imitation of Jesus’ own death on the cross. Andwegatherhereinthisliturgybecausewedonotwanttolose the essential meaning of Fr. Fausto’s death. More accurately, we are here to be caught up and enlivened by his death, now united with, and suffused by, the saving power of Jesus’ own crucifixion and death. And because Fr. Fausto faithfully began the pattern of the paschal mystery, some form of the resurrection for us will not be far behind. What will it be? We do not know. But this we know. After Fr. Favali was killed 26 years ago, something like a resurrection followed and is now reflected in the number of priests of the Diocese. Fully one half of their number comes from the Tulunan-Mlang area where Fr. Favali met his martyrdom. So even as we shed tears today for the loss of a well-loved priest in Fr. Fausto, we are not without hope for the kind of resurrection heaven has in store to surprise us. Today,aswebringFr.Faustotohisfinalrestingplace,weshould say “thank you,” first to his family for allowing him to come and stay with us, for giving him to us. His brother and his sister-in-law and nephews are here with us, all the way from Italy. Second, we should thank the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions and all Fr. Fausto’s confreres. Their General Superior from Rome, the Very Reverend Father Gian Battista Zanchi, PIME and the local superior, Reverend Father Gianni Re, PIME, are here with us. It is said that the Coliseum of Rome, though outside the Vatican, still belongs to the Catholic Church for the earth on which it stands has been soaked by the blood of countless Christian martyrs who died there in the olden days. In a similar fashion, the local church of the Diocese of Kidapawan is like that. Long after the Institute shall have deemed the Diocese no longer a mission area for its members to be sent to, we shall forever remain yours, for we are marked by the blood of Favali and Fausto, two of the finest missionaries any Institute has ever produced. Our last work of thanks goes to Fr. Fausto who, though he lies there in silence, must be fidgeting in spirit, unable to wait for all this to end. So, I shall be brief. “Fr. Fausto, rest in peace. Your labors have ended. With your prayers, we will take up and continue your work. Molte, molte grazie; finche ci incontriamo di nuovo in cielo!

‘WeMayDistinguish Two Types of the New Forms of Violence’

(Address given by Pope Benedict XVI in Assisi at the Day of Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World; on October 27, 2011.)

DEAR Brothers and Sisters, Distinguished Heads and Representatives of Churches, Ecclesial Communities and World Religions,

Dear Friends, Twenty-five years have passed since Blessed Pope John Paul II first invited representatives of the world’s religions to Assisi to pray for peace. What has happened in the meantime? What is the state of play with regard to peace today? At that time the great threat to world peace came from the division of the earth into two mutually opposed blocs. A conspicuous symbol of this division was the Berlin Wall which traced the border between two worlds right through the heart of the city. In 1989, three years after Assisi, the wall came down, without bloodshed. Suddenly the vast arsenals that

stood behind the wall were no longer significant. They had lost their terror. The peoples’ will to freedom was stronger than the arsenals of violence. The question as to the causes of this dramatic change is complex and cannot be answered with simple formulae. But in addition to economic and political factors, the deepest reason for the event

is a spiritual one: behind material

might there were no longer any spiritual convictions. The will to freedom was ultimately stronger

very antithesis of each other in terms of their motivation and

manifest a number of differences in detail. Firstly there is terrorism, for which in place of a great war there are targeted attacks intended to strike the opponent destructively at key points, with no regard for the lives of innocent human beings, who are cruelly killed or wounded in the process. In the eyes of the perpetrators, the overriding goal of damage to the enemy justifies any form of cruelty. Everything that had been commonly recognized and sanctioned in international law as the limit of violence is overruled. We know that terrorism is often religiouslymotivatedandthatthe specifically religious character of the attacks is proposed as

a justification for the reckless

cruelty that considers itself entitled to discard the rules of morality for the sake of the intended “good”. In this case, religion does not serve peace, but is used as justification for violence. The post-Enlightenment critique of religion has repeatedly maintained that religion is a cause of violence and in this way it has fuelled hostility towards religions. The fact that, in the case we are considering here, religion

really does motivate violence should be profoundly disturbing to us as religious persons. In a way that is more subtle but no

nature. The God in whom we Christians believe is the Creator

and Father of all, and from him all people are brothers and sisters and form one single family. For us the Cross of Christ is the sign of the God who put “suffering- with” (compassion) and “loving- with” in place of force. His name

is “God of love and peace” (2

Cor 13:11). It is the task of all who bear responsibility for the Christian faith to purify the religion of Christians again and again from its very heart, so that

it truly serves as an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans. If one basic type of violence today is religiously motivated and thus confronts religions with the question as to their true nature

and obliges all of us to undergo purification, a second complex type of violence is motivated in precisely the opposite way:

as a result of God’s absence, his denial and the loss of humanity which goes hand in hand with it. The enemies of religion—as we said earlier—see in religion one of the principal sources of violence in the history of humanity and thus they demand that it disappear. But the denial of God has led to much cruelty and to a degree of violence that knows no bounds, which only becomes possible when man no longer recognizes any criterion

or any judge above himself, now

summarize our considerations thus far. I said that there is a way of understanding and using religion so that it becomes a source of violence, while the rightly lived relationship of man to God is a force for peace. In this context I referred to the need for dialogue and I spoke of the

constant need for purification of lived religion. On the other hand I said that the denial of God corrupts man, robs him of his criteria and leads him to violence. In addition to the two phenomena of religion and anti-religion, a further basic orientation is found in the growing world of agnosticism:

people to whom the gift of faith has not been given, but who are nevertheless on the lookout for truth, searching for God. Such people do not simply assert:

“There is no God”. They suffer from his absence and yet are inwardly making their way towards him, inasmuch as they seek truth and goodness. They are “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”. They ask questions of both sides. They take away from militant atheists the false certainty by which these claim to know that there is no God and they invite them to leave polemics aside and to become seekers who do not give up hope in the existence of truth and in the

possibility and necessity of living


than the fear of violence, which

now lacked any spiritual veneer. For this victory of freedom, which was also, above all, a victory of peace, we give thanks. What is more, this was not merely, nor even primarily, about the freedom to believe, although it did include this. To that extent we may in some way link all this to our prayer for peace. But what happened next? Unfortunately, we cannot say that freedom and peace have characterized the situation ever since. Even if there is no threat of a great war hanging over us at present, nevertheless the world is unfortunately full of discord. It is not only that sporadic wars are continually being fought—violence as such

is potentially ever present and it

is a characteristic feature of our world. Freedom is a great good.

But the world of freedom has proved to be largely directionless, andnotafewhavemisinterpreted freedom as somehow including freedom for violence. Discord has taken on new and frightening guises, and the struggle for freedom must engage us all in

a new way. Let us try to identify the new faces of violence and discord more closely. It seems to me that, in broad strokes, we may distinguish two types of the new forms of violence, which are the

less cruel, we also see religion as the cause of violence when force is used by the defenders of one religion against others. The religious delegates who

were assembled in Assisi in 1986 wantedtosay,andwenowrepeat

it emphatically and firmly: this is

not the true nature of religion. It is the antithesis of religion and contributes to its destruction. In response, an objection is raised:

how do you know what the true nature of religion is? Does your assertion not derive from the fact that your religion has become a spent force? Others in their turn will object: is there such a thing as a common nature of religion that finds expression in all religions and is therefore applicable to them

all? We must ask ourselves these questions, if we wish to argue realistically and credibly against religiously motivated violence. Herein lies a fundamental task for interreligious dialogue—an exercise which is to receive renewed emphasis through this meeting. As a Christian I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the

course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame. But it is utterly clear that this was an abuse of the Christian faith, one that evidently contradicts its true

having only himself to take as

a criterion. The horrors of the

concentration camps reveal with utter clarity the consequences of God’s absence. Yet I do not intend to speak further here about state-imposed

atheism, but rather about the decline of man, which is accompanied by a change in the spiritual climate that occurs imperceptibly and hence is all the more dangerous. The worship of mammon, possessions and power is proving to be a counter-religion, in which it is no longer man who counts but only personal advantage. The desire for happiness degenerates, for example, into an unbridled, inhuman craving, such as appears in the different forms of drug dependency. There are the powerful who trade in drugs and then the many who are seduced and destroyed by them,

physically and spiritually. Force comes to be taken for granted and in parts of the world it threatens to destroy our young people. Because force is taken for granted, peace is destroyed and man destroys himself in this peace vacuum. The absence of God leads to the decline of man and of humanity. But where is God? Do we know him, and can we show him anew to humanity, in order to build true peace? Let us first briefly

by it. But they also challenge

the followers of religions not to consider God as their own property, as if he belonged to them, in such a way that they feel vindicated in using force against others. These people are seeking the truth, they are seeking the true God, whose image is frequently concealed in the religions because of the ways in which they are often practiced. Their inability to find God is partly the responsibility of believers with a limited or even falsified image of God. So all their struggling and questioning is in part an appeal to believers to purify their faith, so that God, the true God, becomes accessible. Therefore I have consciously invited delegates of this third group to our meeting in Assisi, which does not simply bring together representatives of religious institutions. Rather it is a case of being together on a journey towards truth, a case of taking a decisive stand for human dignity and a case of common engagement for peace against every form of destructive force. Finally I would like to assure you that the Catholic Church will not let up in her fight against violence, in her commitment for peace in the world. We are animated by the common desire to be “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace”.

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011




SANGGUNIANG LAIKO NG PILIPINAS 17th Biennial National Convention, Pope Pius XII Catholic Center, U.N. Manila, October 23, 2011

Photo courtesy of LAIKO
Photo courtesy of LAIKO

THE delegates to the 17th Biennial National Convention of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (“LAIKO”), composed of the


DiocesanCouncilsoftheLaityand fifty (50) affiliated associations, organizations and communities, resolve as it is hereby resolved that:

A. The Sangguniang Laiko and its Board of Trustees will:


Paper to both houses of Congress,


SB 2378 (former Reproductive Health Bills, now renamed as Responsible Parenthood Bills) and other DEATH bills;

2. Assist Diocese/Archdiocese

to form and organise, where there are none, Diocesan/ Archdiocesan Council of the Laity where Transparochial lay organizations are included, one of the tasks of which will be

to ensure that parish pastoral councils are in turn organized, composed of parish-based lay organizations, among others; and

3. Accredit a National Core of

Formators to train the leaders and

members of lay organizations, nationwide, on an ongoing basis.

B. The Sangguniang Laiko recommends to the Archdioceses and Dioceses that:

1. All parishes within their respective Arch/diocese shall seriously pursue organizing of basic ecclesial communities as channels for the New Evangelization. 2. Through the Parish Pastoral Councils and Archdiocesan/ Diocesan Councils of the Laity, a Pastoral Plan for the involvement of the laity shall be formulated through a consultative and

participatory process, where lay programs and activities are aligned with the vision, mission and thrusts of their respectiveparishesanddioceses/ archdioceses; and further ensuring that there are clear channels of communication from the BEC, the parish, vicariate district, and archdiocese/ diocese. 3. More lay leaders and

individualsshallbeencouragedto activelyinvolveinArchdiocesan/

Diocesan Councils of the Laity and Parish Pastoral Councils;

however, at the parish level, the maximumnumberorganizations one can join should be limited to two (2).

4. The archdiocese/diocese

through their parishes shall sustain initiatives for the continuing and advanced formation of the laity which will equip them to be more effective in their leadership roles.

C . T h e S a n g g u n i a n g Laiko makes these general recommendations:

1. All concerned ministries

shall intensify value formation among the youth by integrating youth evangelization programs with family evangelization.

2. Parish Pastoral Councils

shall coordinate with Youth Ministries within the Church and secular youth organizations the involvement of the youth in building up the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) where the youth will find meaningful expression of their identity and contribute to the animation of the BECs.

3. All the laity shall strengthen through education and communication their capabilities to mobilize material and human resources among their ranks in order to sustain programs for

various lay ministries. 4. Parish Pastoral Councils shall coordinate with sectoral ministries and programs, local politicians, business enterprises, government and media institutions to maximize their contributions to the efforts of the New Evangelization, and to take advantage of these collaborations to reach communities and sectors

with special needs.


address not only the moral and spiritual formation of the laity, but also creatively implement

programs that will help uplift their economic and social conditions such as opportunities for income generation, increased access to social services and social participation.

Done this 23rd day of October, 2011 at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center, U.N. Avenue, Paco, Manila.

Statement of Solidarity

WE, the 238 delegates from the 21 different local churches in Mindanao, of the 3rd Mindanao Region Catechists’ Convention, being held in Budgetel, Cagayan de Oro City, on October 24-27, 2011, express our deepest sympathies and join our prayers with the Faithful of the Diocese of Kidapawan, the PIME Missionaries, the relatives, and particularly the good people of Arakan, North Cotabato. With the gruesome murder of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME, you have lost a good shepherd of the flock, a friend, a loved one, and a prophetic witness to Peace, Justice, Unity and love among all peoples specially the indigenous peoples. We join all our peace loving brethren who

denounce and lament this gruesome act of violence on an innocent and defenceless Minister of the Good News of life and love. But, while doing so, we become even more resolve, as Catechists in Mindanao, to proclaim and walk in the way of peace, as Fr. Fausto Tentorio lived and died for. We also join countless voices among many churches and communities around the nation in demanding for swift resolution of this crime and for the perpetrators to face the bar of justice, lest this case become again, another statistics to the culture of impunity prevailing in our land. We call on all Mindanaowons to renounce the culture of violence and death and instead

embrace the culture of LIFE AND LOVE, TOWARDS A JUST AND LASTING PEACE IN MINDANAO and the entire nation. On this day of Fr. Tentorio’s funeral, we commend his soul to the loving embrace of the Father of Mercies, through Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

For the Convention Delegates,

+GUILLERMO AFABLE, D.D. Bishop of Digos Convenor, 3rd Mindanao Region Catechists Convention October 25, 2011

AMRSP Statement on the Killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio

Pity “

us, Yahweh, take pity on us, we have had more than our

share of scorn, more than our share of jeers, from the complacent of scorn from the proud…” (Psalm 123)

WE, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines join the Philippine Church, and the tri-people of Mindanao in condemning the treacherous killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME. This act is a manifestation of heartlessness and ruthlessness on the part of the perpetrators and criminals. With this heinous crime, we are sad to note the persistence of the climate of impunity even under the new administration The AMRSP remembers Fr. Fausto a member of the Rural Missionaries, as a person who selflessly gave up his life by immersing himself in the lives and struggles of the people, especially the marginalized tribal Filipinos in Arakan, Cotabato. He was the voice of the people in their struggle against mining and the destruction of ancestral lands. He relentlessly took up the defense of the poor and the oppressed against every form of social injustice. AMRSP denounces any form of repression especially through extrajudicial killings. Life is a gift from God and no one has the right to deprive anyone of it unjustly and with impunity. We demand justice for Fr. Fausto Tentorio! We call on the present government to order an immediate and thorough investigation to ensure that justice be served. We enjoin the people to be vigilant for

www.arkibongbayan.org/Karlos Manlupig
www.arkibongbayan.org/Karlos Manlupig

the perpetrators who are still at large and may claim other victims. This is also a wakeup call for all religious to be cautious but never to be cowed by this brutality. Instead, it calls for our commitmenttocontinuethecause for which Fr. Fausto has given up his life: namely the cause of the poor especially the indigenous people and the protection of the environment. May this occasion urge the government to seriously

take action on behalf of the indigenous people and to put an end to activities such as mining and logging that are wantonly destroying our environment. Then Fr. Fausto will not have died in vain. AMRSP extends its sympathy to the PIME and to the family of Fr. Fausto and we assure them that his life will forever be remembered by all who work for justice and peace and the

protection of mother earth! May God hear the cries of all victims of violence and may they obtain justice! Justice for Fr. Fausto! Justice to all victims of extra-judicial killings!

Sr. Mary John R. Mananzan, OSB Fr. Quirico T. Pedregosa, OP AMRSP Co-Chairpersons October 18, 2011

Let PEACE and JUSTICE Prevail

(PMPI Statement on the current hostilities in ZAMBASULTA Region and other parts of Mindanao)

THE Philippine-Misereor Partnership extends deep condolences to the bereaved families, friends and communities who lost fathers, sons, brothers, kin, comrades and neighbors in the spate of armed offensives in Zamboanga Sibugay, Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga City following the clash between government troops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Al Barka, Basilan last October 18, 2011. The clashes had already claimed 37 dead, 44 wounded soldiers, 6 dead from the MILF and unknown number of them wounded. We are also jolted and shaken to see acts of violence targeting even civilians — the ambush of a truckload of innocent and defenceless civilian rubber plantation workers from the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Incorporated Development Cooperative (TARBIDC) in Barangay Kandiis, Sumisip, Basilan last October 23, 2011 who were on their way to work at 5:30 am in the morning when the incident happened which left six (6) of the workers dead and twelve (12) critically wounded. Further sowing fear and inflicting harm on the civilian populace, a bombing incident killed one person and wounded a number of others last October 26 in Barangay Sangali, Zamboanga City. These string of violent and bloody incidents and displacements of peoples since the Al Barka incident, has threatenedtheon-goingpeaceprocessbetweenthegovernment and the MILF. Fuelled by rage and angry reactions, some sectors including media personalities, a number of prominent politicians and even social networking members mounted calls for the PNoy administration to drop the peace talks, employ militaristic solution and wage an all-out war. Indeed, the challenge and always the hardest to do is to appeal for calm and sobriety, especially amid an emotionally charged and tumultuous situation being reported in media, especially to those who are directly affected and vulnerable and prey to such violence. A call, for swift justice through an all-out war can be passionately misconceived as the easiest remedy to resolve conflict while pursuing the peace dialogue as a weak and cowardice response. However we believe that harmony and genuine peace can’t be achieved by spawning more violence and in the same light by just relegating justice issues as secondary import. Surely, without justice, the fire of discontent will just re-ignite, as time and again learned and re-learned from the history of Mindanao. Let us call for sobriety and abhor grandstanding on the issue and allow the agreed upon mechanism in the peace process to try and resolve the issues at hand. “Our desire is for everyone, in their own capacities, small and big, is to wage a concerted and collective resolve and response for a Peace that is enduring by offering compassion and kindness for all parties involved, patiently introspecting what it means to dialogue and sustain peace and to relentlessly pursue reducing inequalitiesandperceivedinjustices.”—Fr.EduGariguez,PMPI Co-Convenor and Executive Secretary, CBCP-NASSA. Let us call for all faith groups to provide the safe spaces where people can converse and dialogue to resolve conflicts. “We laud and support the unflinching resolve and declaration of PNoy to uphold the importance of pursuing the peace talks more than ever, the assurance from the military’s top brass that they support and are behind the same priority and the MILF leadership’s keeping on the reigns to prevent further escalating the armed conflict.” — Mayette Paragas, Chairperson of PMPI Let us call for the immediate resumption of the formal talks between the GPH and MILF and resolve contentious issues in the ceasefire agreement that can lead to future clashes. “As the conflict is reported unabatedly in media and discussed extensively in social network sites, we call on the concerned people, members of the tri-media and members of social networks to render unbiased and objective reports, opinions and views and not to fan and appeal to angry emotions. There can be no winners in a war between our peoples. ” — Yolly R. Esguerra , National Coordinator of the PMPI Secretariat. Let us call for conflict sensitive and responsible journalism in the midst of heightened emotions brought about by the recent killings. Meanwhile, the number of internal refugees fleeing their homes and scampering for safety in the areas of confrontation is increasing by the day. The total number of families displaced have reached 1,586 families in Basilan and 2,417 families Zamboanga Sibugay (DSWD, October 27, 2011). Letuscallongovernmenttoimmediatelyandcomprehensively attend to the needs of the internally displaced people. “The LGUs should seriously accelerate efforts for socio economic reform in their units. Sustaining a ceasefire is necessary in ushering and fast tracking such reforms and initiatives for peace and development to succeed,” echoed Paul Paraguya, Co-Convenor from Mindanao. Addressing the members of the network, Cesar Villanueva, Co-convenor from the Visayas said, “Let us call on our development constituencies in the Philippine Misereor Partnership to bring the peace process to their communities and articulate their own solutions to local unpeace.” In closing may we be reminded of these words:

He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4, English Standard Version, 2001) Indeed the swords and weapons of war and destruction must be stilled for justice and peace to flourish. We call on all peoples of faith and goodwill to continue to nourish the seeds of peace. Only in peace can we fully savor the richness and depth of our common humanity.

For the Philippine-Misereor Partnership

Ms. Yolanda R. Esguerra National Coordinator

Ms. Marietta Paragas Chairperson

Ms. Beth Yang TWG on Peace and Human Rights Chairperson


Ref lections

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

Will God judge us on the basis of our attitude to Christ’s representatives?

34th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A (Matt 25:31-46) (Solemnity of Christ the King) November 20, 2011

By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD

A DECADE or so ago, Vice-

President Teofisto Guingona was

in Monterrey, Mexico where he

delivered a speech on poverty at

the United Nations International

Conference on Financing for Development. Hours later, Guingona, who represented President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo, was in a luncheon tendered by the governor of the state of Nuevo Leon for 150 heads of state, to which he had

been invited. While seated at table no. 5 of the dining hall of the Centro de Arte de Monterey,

he was told that there had been

a mistake, and his name was not

on the guest list, despite the fact

that upon arrival at the hall, he presented his formal invitation.

He left in a huff, and ordered the

Department of Foreign Affairs to file a protest. Said Guingona: “I called our department for them to inform the Mexican government

that the slur approximating insult, for whatever reason, was

in effect directed not only at me, but mainly to our government,

to our nation, our people for

whom I stood. Reason and justice therefore demands that an


the Mexican government herself,

asking indulgence for the breach from our government.” Some countries virtually condemned the Mexican insult. The Thai and Brunei delegations did not attend the State Dinner in protest of the terrible discourtesy. If Mexico was condemned

for her treatment of the representative of the Philippine government, so at the end of time, people will be condemned

on the basis of their treatment of Jesus’ representatives. This is the

main point that the parable of the sheep and the goats or of the last judgment in today’s Gospel is trying to convey. But before developing this theme, let us first examine the parable. Doubtless, this goes back to Jesus himself, and in its original setting, the story is about the Kingdom of God, more specifically, about the act of separation in the end-time, much like the parable of the wheat and tares (Matt 13:24-30) and the good and the bad fish (Matt 13:47-50). When it was used in the early Church, the parable became an allegory of the last judgment, as the shepherd came to be identified with the king (v 40). Matthew is probably responsible for the addition of apocalyptic features to the parable, as when he speaks of the coming in glory of the Son of Man who is identified with the king. But as it stands in Matthew, how is one to understand it? Many exegetes

think that the parable has two fundamental questions that influence one’s interpretation:

who are the nations being judged, and who are “the least of the brothers”. According to one interpretation, it is really about judgment of Christians on the basis of their attitude toward the needy members of the Christian community. But in recent years, Liberation

Attitude / B7

Our creative response to God’s gift of salvation

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A (Matt 25:16-30) November 13, 2011

By Msgr. Lope C. Robre- dillo, SThD

“PARISIAN Life” is now a 120- year-old painting of Juan Luna’s, depicting a woman in a café, on the right side of which are Juan Luna himself, Jose Rizal and Ariston Bautista Lin in a huddle.

A few years ago, it was auctioned

off by Christie’s auction house in

Hong Kong where the painting was the second top selling lot, and Winston Garcia, who was then GSIS president and general

manager, won the bid at P46 million, but the GSIS would have to pay a premium of 10% of the final bid price. When GSIS won the bid, Garcia was quoted to have said that we were buying not a masterpiece but a piece of Philippine history. But he got a lot of flak. Sen. Manuel Villar said that while Garcia’s objective may have been noble, the welfare of the GSIS members should have been his primary consideration. According to Sen. Teresa Aquino-Oreta, the GSIS should have funneled a hefty part of the money to the members in the form of more benefits, if indeed it was awash in money. Complained Bayan Muna Rep. Crispin Beltran:

“For years, members have been demanding better services and increased package of benefits from the GSIS. But what they give us are questionable investments, behest loans and ‘barya-baryang’ yearly dividends which are not even commensurate to the amounts we have contributed.” For many, the people’s money in the GSIS was not invested in

a right place. Which reminds us

of the third servant in today’s parable of the silver pieces: he placed his master’s money in the wrong place. But that is going ahead of the story’s point. To begin with, the parable, like last Sunday’s, is clearly allegorical,


although as Jesus himself told it, it probably had a different point. Most likely, it was intended for the Jewish religious authorities, such as the scribes and the Pharisees, who like the third servant, were so much concerned with the preservation of the religious tradition they had been entrusted with that they refused to hear the new message that Jesus brought. But this main point has given way

to allegorization. As it stands in

Matthew, the master’s invitation “Come, share your master’s joy” (Matt 25:21b) obviously refers to the messianic banquet

in the Kingdom of God. The servants (v 14b et passim) stand for Christians who, through baptism, accept Christ as their master. The silver pieces (v 15) represent the faith that God gives them through baptism. And the “going away” and the

long absence of the master (v 15b, 19a) refer to the journey of Christ to heaven and his physical absence from the world. His coming home (V 19) is the parousia, the second coming of the Lord. The early Church moralized the parable with the addition of the saying, “Those who have will get more until they grow rich, while those who have not will lose even the little they have” (v 29). Concerned

with the coming eschatological event, it is now a parable of judgment. While it is true that in this allegorization the story revolves around the three servants to whom the master disbursed his silver pieces, it gives far greater attention on the third servant. In the dialogue between the master and this servant, the former sharply rebuked the latter for his failure to do something with the

silver pieces entrusted to him. This unproductive servant is held up as a bad example of one who, having been entrusted with capital, was more concerned about himself and thus about keeping the money intact—an attitude which, in Matthew’s redaction, shows his lazy and sterile life. Because his desire was security, however false, he was unable to obey the master in a very creative way, unlike the two other servants who made capital gains. If Matthew dwells at length on this lazy and unproductive servant, it is because the parable is meant to teach us that the gift of faith given to us at Baptism must grow while we await Jesus’ second coming so that, upon his return, we can give a good account on what we have done to the faith we received. This growth of faith is our creative response to the offer God has given us, while living in the period between now and Christ’s arrival at the end of time. What does this mean? Like the first servants who, having received five thousand silver pieces, went to invest it and made another five, so we must be believers whose faith grows and bears fruit. Or, if we look at the parable as an allegory on the membership of the Kingdom at the end-time, we are supposed to work out our salvation in the same way that the first two servants invested the master’s money. Of course, salvation is God’s grace (Titus 3:5), but our part is to make a creative and proper response to it. In the second reading (1Thess 5:16), Paul expresses this in terms of being “awake and sober” (v 6)—“We who live by day must be alert, putting on faith and love as breastplate” (v 7). A productive faith is one that bears fruit in love. Thus Paul: “Your love must be sincere. Detest

Salvation / B7


Accountability for God’s gifts

Reflections on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A); November 13, 2011

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

ALL of God’s gifts are beautiful and precious. They are so many, far beyond our counting, for God is always immensely generous in lavishing His blessings upon us. For our part, our first duty is to become aware of them. Denying God’s gifts or hiding them is not humility, but a very impoverishing form of moral blindness. On the other hand, once we become

aware of the gifts we have received from the Lord, we should not boast about them, as if they were our doing, nor should we take them for granted as something that God “owed us.” The proper attitude toward the favors of the Lord is that of Mary, as we see it splendidly expressed in the opening of her Magnificat: it is honest and grateful appreciation of these gifts as signs of God’s love for us. (See Lk


But, in addition to acknowledging them as coming from the Lord, we have

also to utilize these gifts according to His will, i.e., with wisdom and creativity. God—who is ever so generous and trusting—will ask us to account for the way in which we have used His gifts. What we shall have to account for is not any big sum of money entrusted to our enterprise. It is not only and simply the way we used our physical, intellectual, aesthetic, spiritual faculties, and the numberless opportunities to do good to others offered us by the Lord. The most important item of our accountability will be our very “self,”

God’s basic and most precious gift to us. This means that, in addition to having to account for what we did to others, we shall be especially accountable for what we did with ourselves. God has implanted in each of us the potentiality to become a saint, to be a living example and an instrument of His saving and sanctifying love. The decisive question will always be, “Did


Only a positive answer will entitle us to

we do our best to become one?

hear the invitation, “Come, share your Master’s joy!” (Mt 25:21)

“Come, share your Master’s joy!” (Mt 25:21) Fr. Francis Ongkingco WHATEVER On giving care THE sick

Fr. Francis Ongkingco


On giving care

THE sick person isn’t the only one who needs to adjust to the “uncomfortable lifestyle” of his or her illness. The ones who will care for the patient will also need to make their own

adjustments (i.e. time, schedule, resources, etc.) Very often, even for those who have care-giving

as a profession, this task is very

demanding and requires a lot of personal sacrifice. From the onset of someone’s

illness, the caregiver must clearly understand that the sick person possesses special conditions. They may be depressed by their physical incapacity to carry out what they are accustomed to doing by themselves. Moreover, their frail condition also affects their psychological and emotional composure. Thus, we must understand that they tend

to be very sensitive, irritable,

exaggerated, complaining and even unreasonable in some of their personal needs. Lawrence G. Lovasik says:

“Remember that visiting and tending the sick is a work of mercy by which you relieve the

sufferer from some small portion

of his misery by sharing it with

him. When the sick person,

rendered irritable by suffering and robbed by it of his self- control, wishes to speak out, listen to him, if by so doing you can ease his mind.” “Even if the sick person is inconsiderate, demanding now this, and now that, render him these services if they comfort

him. When you enter a sickroom, diffuse as much cheerfulness, calm, and patience as you can. Remember that even a drink of water given to the sick is given to Him who on the Cross cried out, I thirst.” (Jn 19:28) “Christ Himself, the model of those who visit and care for the sick, did not readily forgo actual contact with the sick. Thus He touched a diseased eye, a diseased ear and tongue, and laid His hand upon lepers. (Mt 9:29; Mk 7:33; Mt 6:3) Jesus knew well

what a comfort it is to the sick not to be overlooked.” (The Hidden Power of Kindness, A Practical Handbook for Souls Who Dare to Transform the World, One Deed at a Time, Sophia Institute Press Manchester, New Hampshire) Here are some suggestions:

Have a Healthy End always

in Mind. To foresee to the patient’s material needs in view

of facilitating these to the best extent possible for his speedy recovery or at least to alleviate his condition Schedule First Things First. A concrete daily schedule for the person we care includes medical and other material needs; but we must also schedule their rest and avoid that they simply do a routine of “nothings”. This scheduling of their rest or recreation would include listening to music, watching –though not too much– T.V. or cable, taking the calls for them, running errands, getting in touch with friends and relatives via the Internet, etc. A schedule of activities is not meant to simply make the sick person “forget” his illness, since we are very much part of their lifestyle and it is only natural that we help them live it in the most elegant and dignified way. Be Creative in Affective Details. Laughter is said to be one of life’s bestandcheapestmedicines.This only goes to show that we cannot limit our care to their material needs. We can go an extra mile or two by uplifting their mood and the ambience of the room or place they’re confined in. This will go a

long way to help them recover or at least be temporarily relieved of their physical ailments. For example, we can surprise the person with his or her favorite meal (of course, following the prescribed diet), adding floral decorations and posting get-well cards on the wall, etc. A Sole Concern for the Soul. Over and above these material considerations, we cannot neglect the person’s spiritual needs. Very often, attending to this need already uplifts the

person’sconditiontremendously. Moreover, this is one of the best ways to help the sick person see and embrace this “new lifestyle of sickness”. This even can become

a point of conversion for many

who may have for the longest time neglected the practice of their religious beliefs. In such vulnerable physical conditions the spiritual element becomes easier to appreciate and live. Some ways to foster this could be: seeking the help of a spiritual guide or master (e.g. a

priest or pastor), who can give the necessary spiritual help and advice (i.e. the Sacrament of Penance, viaticum and anointing of the sick, etc.)

What will matter most on judgment day

Reflections on Christ the King The Last Sunday of the Liturgical Year November 20, 2011

By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB

A PERSONAL judgment at the end of life and a universal

judgment at the end of time come as no surprise. Man was created free but also “accountable.” Everyone will have to account to the Eternal Judge for the way he/she has used His gifts and opportunities. However, what comes as a surprise in the dramatized

account of the Last Judgment presented by Jesus, is the “limited scope” of accountability. Though granting that the instances mentioned by the Judge are not exhaustive, the

fact remains that they are all and only about our attitudes/ actions toward people. Not a single question about our attitude toward God. This is surprising indeed for—after all—wasn’t Jesus himself who taught his disciples to pray, who wanted them to pray always (see Lk 18:1). He himself spent hours

in prayer. (See Mt 6:9 and Lk 6:12.) And was he not the

one who stated that the greatest commandment is to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind? (See Mt 22:37- 38.) And yet, today, we seem to learn from him that what will matter in the end will be only the way we treat our neighbor, especially the needy! Only the second group of commandments seems to hold

Judgment / B7

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 15 No. 23

November 7 - 20, 2011

Social Concerns


Seeds of hope

By Denis Murphy

SHAKESPEARE’S Othello compared himself to “the base Indian who threw away a pearl / Richer than all his tribe”. He referred to his beloved young

bride, Desdemona. Othello killed her in a fit of jealous rage, and then killed himself when he found she was innocent. In some ways it is possible to compare Philippine society to Othello, and the urban poor to Desdemona, the pearl. Not in every way to be sure—there is little bewitching about the poor—but there are comparisons possible in terms of lives wasted and opportunities lost to build cities of justice and prosperity. In the last two weeks I was fortunate enough to see examples of the poor people’s depth and strength of character and their crucial value as actors in their own development. Such people are the seeds of hope for the future of our cities. Without them there is little hope of escaping our present sad condition. There are also no doubt seeds of hope among the wealthier sectors of the population, but that is another discernment. We need both sets of actors working together. The first of the seeds of hope is a group of urban poor people from Navotas who celebrated on June 27 the first anniversary of their arrival in a Montalban relocation center. They set an altar in the middle of a road that led 300-400 meters in a straight unbroken line toward dark blue mountains. A little distance from the altar two puppies played with their mother. A little further on young girls jumped rope with the grace of ballerinas. The air was fresh. Now and then came the smell of grilled meat. Gone were the Navotas traffic fumes, noise, foul smells and congestion.

I had met the same people

the year before in Navotas when they were resisting illegal eviction from the city. They were


beaten by the police and water cannoned. Young policemen in their 20’s beat women in their 50’s. The women were knocked down by the force of the water, but got up and resumed their barricade. They didn’t fight back

with stones or sticks in what was

a powerful demonstration of

Christian non-violent resistance. In the end they won relocation and now they celebrated their victory and their arrival in Montalban. During the mass they talked of their experience in Navotas, but there was no gloating, bragging

or bad mouthing of Navotas officials or policemen. They spoke much more of gratitude for the nice place they now had for

themselves and their children. I watched mothers stare at their babies, then clutch them in “gigil” joy. I was reminded, as I listened to them of the words, “Walk humbly before the Lord”. (Micah 6:8). They laughed at Fr. Robert’s

jokes. A choir sang. They had placed around the altar 20 or more statues of Jesus and Mary, just as in the barrios back home from where they came years before. They were, I understood, free people, free now from bosses of any sort. Thesecondgroupofurbanpoor are the people of Baseco, their organization Kabalikat and the local barangay. They have tried for ten years to develop Baseco

which was proclaimed for them in 2002 by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. They have done their best, as has the local government, but the mechanism the national government has set up to direct the improvement of proclaimed land hasn’t done its part. The people want a change in this mechanism. In their efforts the people and barangayhavebeenhelpedbythe Mapua Institute of Technology School of Architecture, by a German architect loaned to them by the German Government’s SES program and by individuals, suchas,TeodoroKatigbakformer head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).

Presidents have proclaimed land for the urban poor at least as far back as President Ramon Magsaysay. President GMA proclaimed land for almost 200,000 families in the years 2001-2005. Presidents assign the HUDCC to manage the development of the lands proclaimed, HUDCC in turn creates a Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC) for each of the areas proclaimed. The LIAC is supposed to plan how the land will be divided, what type of housing will be put up, at what costs, etc. This mechanism doesn’t work. Only one or two of the lands proclaimed by President GMA, for example, have been upgraded or divided

into individual lots. An efficiency expert would say the wrong people are commissionedtodotheplanning, and the process should be turned upside down. Let the people and barangay do the detailed planning, since they have the time, the desire and are close to the problems. Let them, however, work under general guidelines supplied by HUDCC and the LIAC. HUDCC can approve the work as it progresses and when it is finished. Such a bottom up planning role for the people should be extended to all the areas of activity in which the poor are involved with the state. The local government under Mayor Alfredo Lim has done its share by providing schools, hospital, roads, and a first- class playground. The people and barangay have planned water systems, roads and a neighborhood subdivision arrangement. They have made structural maps, censused the families, tagged houses and built 200 homes for fire victims. ThepeopleareaskingPresident Aquino to make their plan the official government plan and to turn the LIAC mechanism for developing proclaimed land upside down and involve the poor in all planning that affects their lives. The people of Navotas, now living in Montalban, show us the moral character and determination of the poor. The people of Baseco show us their ability to work for development. The poor are the pearl. If society works with them with respect and a spirit of collegiality, we will have just and prosperous cities. If we don’t and ignore the poor, we will continue as we are now, but most likely in a downward spiral. The two groups of poor people are our seeds of hope. Let’s not repeat Othello’s mistake.

(Denis Murphy works with the Urban Poor Associates. His email address is upa@pldtdsl.net.)

Porta Fidei / B2

that enables us to recognize Christ and

is his love that impels us to assist him

whenever he becomes our neighbour along the journey of life. Supported by faith, let us look with hope at our commitment in the world, as we await “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet 3:13; cf. Rev 21:1). 15. Having reached the end of his life, Saint Paul asks his disciple Timothy to “aim at faith” (2 Tim 2:22) with the same constancy as when he was a boy (cf. 2 Tim 3:15). We hear this invitation directed to each of us, that none of us grow lazy in the faith. It is the lifelong companion that makes it possible to perceive, ever anew, the marvels that God works for us. Intent on gathering the signs of the times in the present of history, faith commits every one of us to become a living sign of the presence of the Risen Lord in the world. What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many