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POPE FRANCIS addresses the Synod Fathers at opening of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

on October 5, as Cardinal Antonio Luis Tagle, one of the three


delegate presidents, looks on. In his address the Pope exhorted the synod participants to speak with parrhesia and to listen with humility. SALT AND LIGHT TV
Vol. 18 No. 21 October 13 - 26, 2014 Php 20.
00
Bohol, a year after
AT the first anni-
versary of the dev-
astating earthquake
which shook Cen-
tral Philippines, Bo-
holanons seem to
have overcome the
crisis and are suc-
cessfully rebuilding
their lives.
Tagbilaran Bishop
Leonardo Medro-
so, in an interview
with CBCP News,
sai d the fai thful
have high spirits,
remained optimis-
tic and learned to
muster their own
strength.
He said the tragic
series of events from
8:15 a.m. that fate-
ful Tuesday morn-
ing on Oct. 15, 2013
made locals more
resilient.
Bohol / A7
A3 C1
Ugnayan
The News Supplement of
Couples for Christ
B1
The Cross
A Supplement Publication of KCFAPI and
the Order of the Knights of Columbus
Speak with parrhesia,
listen with humility
CBCP / A6 Tagle / A7 Bangsamoro / A6
Speakers ask pope, synod to clear up
confusion on contraception
Yolanda survivors wish
more time with Pope Francis
By Roy Lagarde
PEOPLE who sur-
vived the fury of
typhoon Yolanda
in Eastern Visayas
wish they will have
more time with Pope
Francis when he vis-
its Leyte early next
year.
When reports came out
that the pope will only
spend at least six hours in
Leyte and the rest will be
in Manila, many people felt
unhappy about the small
amount of time given to
them.
The pope will be in the
Philippines on January 15
to 19. Details of his visit,
however, have not yet been
offcially revealed.
But Palo Archbishop
John Du already told me-
dia that the pope will visit
Tacloban City and the ad-
jacent town of Palo, Leyte
on Jan. 17.
Du said the pope will
also share a meal with the
poor victims of last years
calamities.
Bishop Leonardo Me-
droso of Tagbilaran also
said fve survivors of the
7.2-magnitude earthquake
in Bohol in October 2013
will be among the individu-
als who will meet and eat
with the pope in Leyte.
Fr. Edu Gariguez of the
CBCP National Secretariat
for Social Action said many
people are wishing that
pope will spend more time
with them.
Sana mapakinggan ni
pope yung kanilang mga
kahilingan, (I wish the
pope will listen to their
yearning) Gariguez said.
He said aside from Leyte,
many typhoon victims in
Samar and Palawan are also
praying that the pope will
visit them.
Sabi nga nung mga taga
Samar at Palawan gusto din
namin makita yung pope,
(The victims of Samar and
Palawan said they also
want to see the pope) he
said. Pinaparating ko lang
yung mga hinain nila.
(I just want to make their
wishes known).
Kaya nga rin ako nag-
tataka kasi ang orihinal in-
tention ng pope e pumunta
dito sa mga nasalanta. Pero
bakit isang araw lang ang
ititigil niya doon? Dapat
mas matagal. Bakit puro
Manila? (I am also won-
dering why this is so be-
cause the original intention
of the pope was to visit the
victims. But why is he there
only for a day?) he added.

Mercy and compassion
Organizers said they are
Controversy prompts Vatican
to clarify Synod midterm
VATICAN CITY, Oct 14, 2014
After a media frenzy and lively
internal debate were both raised
by the publication of the mid-
term relatio of the Synod of
Bishops, its secretariat issued a
statement clarifying its merely
provisional nature.
The General Secretariat of
the Synod reiterates that it
is a working document, which
summarizes the interventions
and debate of the frst week,
said an Oct. 14 declaration of the
Holy See press offce on behalf
of the secretariat of the Synod
of Bishops.
The statement was made in
response to reactions and discus-
sions following the publication
of the Relatio post disceptatio-
CBCP-NASSA launches
Year of the Poor, AK40
THE Catholic Bishops Confer-
ence of the Philippines (CBCP),
in coordination with its National
Secretariat for Social Action
(NASSA), launched on Monday,
Oct. 6, the Year of the Poor and
Alay Kapwa 40 (AK40) at the
St. Joseph Cathedral Diocesan
Shrine in Butuan City.
The Church is constantly
challenged to take the side of
the poor and the oppressed, par-
ticularly in the situation where
there is a continuing violation of
human rights wherein justice is
Bishops request more inclusive
Bangsamoro talks
THE Catholic hierarchy
believes the government
should strive for a more
inclusive dialogue to try to
restore peace and stability in
the troubled southern Philip-
pines, especially with regard
to the proposed Bangsamoro
Basic Law (BBL).
The Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Phil-
ippines (CBCP) said that
discussion on the said leg-
islation must be inclusive
as much as possible to
address the root causes
CBCP: Shun not in my backyard
mentality on environment
SAYING that reducing the
impacts of climate change
is everyones duty, Catholic
bishops called on the com-
munities to avoid the not
in my backyard mentality.
Unfortunately, we, Fili-
pinos, are content to say
not in my backyard! We
keep our home and sur-
roundings clean, even if it
means dumping our waste
in our neighborhood, the
Catholic Bishops Confer-
ence of the Philippines said
in a pastoral exhortation.
(See full text in page B5)
The bishops believe fght-
ing climate change remains
a huge challenge because
many communities are not
proactive about saving the
planet.
Having examined our-
selves and our relation to
the environment, we are
then obligated to ensure
that our response is not just
on the individual, but also
on the community level,
part of the statement read.
The statement, signed
by CBCP President Arch-
bishop Socrates Villegas,
stressed how important it is
Tagle shares why he is
traumatized by airports
AN emotional Filipino
churchman related his
traumatic experiences
of airports, associating
the place with Overseas
Filipino Workers (OFWs)
forced to leave their fami-
lies behind to fnd greener
pastures abroad.
Talking to Catholic
News Service (CNS) at the
Vatican on Tuesday, Oct. 7,
Manila Archbishop Lus
Antonio G. Cardinal
Tagle shared he has been
a witness to these heart-
breaking scenes.


Airport goodbyes
You know the airport
has become a traumatic
Time / A6
Synod / A7
Mohagher Iqbal (left) and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chief negotiators of the
MILF and GPH, respectively, shake hands while holding a copy of the
Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro during its formal signing
on March 28, 2014 in Malacaang. OPAPP
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, CBCP-NASSA executive secretary. FILE PHOTO
On October 8, 2013, The Holy Father called for an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2014 on topics
related to the family and evangelization. SALT AND LIGHT TV
AK / A6
A2 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Sheer barbarism against Middle
East families must end
VATICAN CITY, Oct 11, 2014
The Synod of Bishops on Friday
denounced barbaric violence
in the Middle East, saying the
Holy Familys flight to Egypt
offers a sign of hope and recon-
ciliation for all families suffering
due to armed confict.
We join with the Holy Father
Francis in emphasizing that no
one may use the name of God to
commit violence, and that to kill
in the name of God is a grave sac-
rilege, the Oct. 10 message read.
The message, addressed to all
families who suffer as a conse-
quence of the numerous conficts
the world is currently undergo-
ing, came in the context of the
Third Extraordinary General As-
sembly of the Synod of Bishops
on the Family, whose meetings
are taking place Oct. 5 to Oct. 19.
The message offered specifc
prayers for the families of Syria
and Iraq, who have been forced
to abandon everything and
flee towards a future without
any form of certainty due to
their membership in a certain
religious or ethnic community.
The synod fathers also offered
their thanks to international
organizations and communities
for their solidarity and invited
persons of good will to offer
the necessary assistance and aid
to the innocent victims of the
current barbarism.
At the same time we implore
the international community
to act to re-establish peaceful
co-existence in Iraq, in Syria,
and in all the Middle East, the
statement continued.
In addition to the families of
Syria and Iraq, the synod fathers
offered their condolences and
support to families who are torn
apart and suffering in other parts
of the world, and who suffer
persistent violence.
We wish to assure them of
our constant prayer that the Lord
may convert hearts and bring
peace and stability to those who
are now in need.
The statement concluded with
a petition to the Holy Family of
Nazareth, noting they also suf-
fered the painful road of exile to
make each family a community
of love and reconciliation a source
of hope for the whole world.
During the synod, Pope Fran-
cis called a special consistory to
address the situation of Chris-
tians in the Middle East. It will be
held at the Vatican on Oct. 20, the
day after the conclusion of the
extraordinary Synod of Bishops
on the Family. (CNA)
Syrian Christian refugees. LAURA SHEAHEN / CARITAS
Christian families in Mosul desperate, archbishop says
ERBIL, Iraq, Oct. 11, 2014The solidarity
expressed by Synod currently being held
in Rome towards Christian families in the
Middle East who are experiencing a period
of great diffculty, in particular Iraq is
a very positive signal because it is im-
portant to talk about this situation and it
gives us the strength to go forward, says
Msgr. Emil Shimoun Nona, Chaldean arch-
bishop of Mosul, in the north, the second
most important city in the country and frst
city to fall into the hands of the militia of the
Islamic State.
Yesterday, the Synod devoted special at-
tention to the Syrian and Iraqi Christians,
victims of jihadist violence and the repercus-
sions on the family, disrupted by the death
of its members [...] deprived of a future for
young people [...] and for the older people,
abandoned to themselves. For Iraqi Chris-
tians the presence of our patriarch Sako and
the other patriarchs in Rome is vital, to talk
about the situation of refugees and the
challenges that they face. Over time, warns
the prelate, the spirit and the mood of the
refugees is becoming more disheartened and
desperate, because they do not see positive
signs for a return home in the near future.
Msgr. Nona was the frst to raise the alarm
on the danger posed by the advance of the
Islamists after the conquest of Mosul, where
about 500 thousand people - Muslims and
Christians - have fed in early June to avoid
being forced to convert to extremist Islam
and where a caliphate was founded and
sharia imposed.
In these hours, the Iraqi authorities have
sounded the alarm, calling for military aid in
the western province of Anbar, which could
soon fall into the hands of the militia of
the Islamic State (IS). Jihadists are attacking
the provincial capital, Ramadi, and have
captured large portions of land. The eventual
fall of Anbar would give the IS possession of
a large area between Syria and Iraq, setting
up a direct supply line ahead of an assault
on the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, the ultimate
goal of the terrorists.
The situation of tension and danger of the
eventual fall of all Iraq into the hands of the
Islamic state, is accompanied by the increasing
diffculties faced by refugees (Christian and
non) in the north of the country, particularly
among those who have fed Mosul and the
Nineveh plain. Now people are desperate -
says Msgr. Nona - and no longer believes in a
return home, it is clear that the Islamic State is
stronger than the coalition bombs. The prel-
ate said the commitment of the Church and
ecclesiastical personalities to families who
still live in tents, in schools, in classrooms and
in the parishes. He adds that the focus is to
help them live in a more humane way, and
we are grateful for the many donations that
come from all over the world.
Were looking for houses to rent - says
the archbishop of Mosul - but it is impos-
sible to find accommodation for all, so we
are looking for other solutions. Msgr.
Nona warns of the many risks, many chal-
lenges and difficulties experienced by the
Iraqi Christian families torn from their
land: How is it possible to stick together
- asks the prelate - and lead the everyday
life of a family home, when you are in a tent
in a public school or sharing an apartment
with other families. Problems are emerg-
ing in terms of personal relationships, in
the internal relationship of the couple and
education of children, all the problems that
accompany serious economic difficulties.
This is why priests promote activities for
children and young people, to help them
play to forget, even for a few moments, the
drama of war.
Finally, the archbishop of Mosul calls on
the Synod in Rome to pay attention to the
diffculties experienced by families, look-
ing at different situations and different
realities elaborating that is not a global
one for everyone, but respecting the way of
thinking and living of families around the
world. (AsiaNews)
Church leads ght against gay discrimination in Nigeria
VATICAN CITY, Oct 11, 2014
The Catholic Church in Nigeria
has been at the forefront in
fghting discrimination towards
persons with same-sex attrac-
tion, says Archbishop Ignatius
Kaigama of Jos, who adds that
media coverage of the Church
has been imbalanced.
In one of the strongest state-
ments made about homosexual-
ity during the frst week of the
Synod on the Family, the Ni-
gerian prelate told the press on
Oct. 8 that the Catholic Church
respects all human beings, and
we believe we are all created in
the image and likeness of God.
Archbishop Kaigama said that
the people of Africa believe mar-
riage is only between a man and
a woman, based on culture, biol-
ogy, and religious belief. How-
ever, he stressed that this does
not translate into support for the
the criminalizing of people with
different sexual orientations.
The Catholic Church is in the
forefront of defending them, he
said, and we would defend any
person with a homosexual orien-
tation who has been harassed,
who has been imprisoned, who
has been punished.
The archbishop criticized
the media for focusing on the
Churchs defense of marriage be-
tween a man and a woman, while
ignoring the Churchs advocacy
against discrimination towards
persons with same-sex attraction.
They forgot that we are seri-
ous defenders of human rights.
We have our justice and peace
department, we go to prisons, we
see people who are unjustly im-
prisoned, or denied their rights.
The media should have a bal-
anced approach, he said, in the
sense that we respect human
beings.
Even though homosexual ac-
tivity is not in conformity with
our culture and religion, the
archbishop continued, we do
not just throw away the persons.
We embrace them in love. We try
to share our point of view. We
dont punish them.
The pastoral care of persons
with same-sex attraction has
received relatively little atten-
tion thus far, although it is on
the agenda for the Synod on the
Family. At the opening session
of the Synod on Oct. 6, Cardi-
nal Peter Erdo noted a broad
consensus that people with a
homosexual orientation should
not be discriminated against.
In an Oct. 10 briefng, Holy See
Press Offce director Fr. Federico
Lombardi told the press that
participants had noted the need
for further discussion on issue of
same-sex marriage.
The diffcult and controversial
questions will come, Arch-
bishop Kaigama told the press.
By the grace of God, were go-
ing to deal with them the best
way possible for the good of
the Church and the salvation of
souls. (CNA)
PAPUA NEW GUINEA, Oct 10, 2014--
At a recent Mass, the bishops of Papua
New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
revealed a roadmap for pastoral plan-
ning to guide the transformation of their
societies.
The new evangelization is at the
core of the pastoral plan, along with
the pastoral care of the family, the
poor, the youth, street kids, as well as
the media and a wide range of social
concerns, Fr. Giorgio Licini, head of
social communications for the bish-
ops conference, told CNA.
The pastoral plans priorities are adapt-
ed to the unique challenges facing the
population of the two island nations
located in Melanesia.
In Papua New Guinea, nearly all the
population is Christian, and 27 percent is
Catholic. Yet many Christians there inte-
grate indigenous beliefs and practices into
their religious life.
Many indigenous Papua New Guin-
eans believe in sorcery, and retain such
practices as contraception, abortion, and
polygamy. In 1945, the nation gained a
saint in Blessed Peter To Rot, a catechist
who was martyred following his denun-
ciation of polygamy.
The pastoral plan is meant to underline
the importance and the role of the Gospel
in transforming Papua New Guinean
society, especially in correcting such tra-
ditional practices as polygamy.
Archbishop Michael Banach, apostolic
nuncio to Papua New Guinea and to the
Solomon Islands, at the pastoral plans
unveiling that this is the frst time that
Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands
has worked out a common pastoral plan.
(CNA)
PNG and Solomon Islands bishops reveal joint pastoral plan
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World News
Vatican Briefng
Sheer barbarism against Middle East families must end
The Synod of Bishops on Friday denounced barbaric
violence in the Middle East, saying the Holy Familys
flight to Egypt offers a sign of hope and reconciliation for
all families suffering due to armed conflict. We join with
the Holy Father Francis in emphasizing that no one may
use the name of God to commit violence, and that to kill in
the name of God is a grave sacrilege, the Oct. 10 message
read. The message, addressed to all families who suffer
as a consequence of the numerous conflicts the world is
currently undergoing, came in the context of the Third
Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
on the Family, whose meetings are taking place Oct. 5 to
Oct. 19. The message offered specific prayers for the fami-
lies of Syria and Iraq, who have been forced to abandon
everything and flee towards a future without any form of
certainty due to their membership in a certain religious
or ethnic community. (CNA)
Teen Malalas Nobel prize sparks pride in Pakistani bishop
Malala Yousafzai has received the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize
at the age of 17 making her the youngest ever recipient
of the prestigious award and prompting local Archbishop
Joseph Coutts to laud the great honor shes bestowed on
the country. The Pakistani teenager gained global attention
when she was shot in the head by Taliban activists in 2012,
at the age of 14, as a punishment for her public campaign for
the rights of girls to be educated. She received treatment for
her injuries in the United Kingdom, where she continues to
reside with her family. Yousafzai has continued to campaign
for global access to education. This award is for all those
children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard,
Yousafzai told the press on Oct. 10 following her reception
of the reward. They have the right to receive quality educa-
tion. They have the right not to suffer from child labor, not
to suffer from child traffcking. They have the right to live a
happy life. (CNA)
Pope Francis to make apostolic voyage to France in 2015
In their announcement of the Popes schedule for his visit
to the European Parliament next month, the Vatican also
revealed that he intends to return to France in 2015 for
a longer visit. In the context of the publication of the
schedule of the Pope to the European Parliament and to
the Council of Europe that will take place November 25, I
can now say now that the Holy Father intends to make an
apostolic voyage to France in the coming year 2015, Vati-
can spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. said in an Oct.
7 statement. The announcement of Pope Francis projected
visit to France marks his second international trip set for
2015, the first being a Jan. 12-19 visit to Sri Lanka and the
Philippines. (CNA)
Benedict could attend Paul VI beatification,
spokesman reveals
Retired pontiff Benedict XVI may take part to Paul VIs be-
atifcation Mass Oct. 19, revealed Father Federico Lombardi,
director of the Holy See Press Offce. Asked if the former Pope
was expected to give his personal contribution to the two-week
synod of bishops, Fr. Lombardi said during a press conference
that it is not expected that the Pope emeritus will take part
in the synod, which is so committing and long. Since his
resignation, the Pope emeritus has been living a private life
in prayer, Fr. Lombardi, adding that everybody hopes to
see him for Paul VIs beatifcation. The beatifcation Mass
will take place Oct. 19, at the end of the extraordinary synod
on the familythe synod of bishops being an institution the
late Pope wanted and promoted. (CNA)
Vatican media reform committee to make first proposals
by Easter
Having met for the frst time late September, the committee to
reform the Vaticans media and communications will continue
to formulate its proposals, being able to present them by Easter
of 2015. In an interview granted to Vatican Radio Sept. 24,
Chris Patten, who chairs the committee, emphasized that the
Churchs resources must be spent as effectively as possible
to communicate its unique message of healing, love, hope
and generosity of spirit. Pattens words thus disclose that
the committees frst goal is to rationalize the expenses of the
Vaticans media. The committee was established in July, and
met Sept. 22-24. It will again meet in November and Decem-
ber, making an in-depth analysis of the state and structure of
Vatican media. (CNA)
Cardinal Pells secretariat continues economic reform
at the Vatican
The Secretariat for the Economy is developing a fnancial
management manual which is to be the basis of budgeting and
accounting operations in 2015 for Vatican agencies. To sup-
port the new budgeting and fnancial management practices
being developed under the supervision of the Council, the
Secretariat is preparing a manual of key fnancial management
policies, read a Sept. 26 internal bulletin from the economy
secretariat. The manual will help all areas meet the Councils
requirement for compliance with inter-national standards.
The Secretariat for the Economy, as well as the Council for
the Economy, were established Feb. 24 by the motu proprio
Fidelis dispensator et prudens. (CNA)
Church suffers from bishops choosing ill-suited priests,
pope says
Many of the problems in the church today come from accepting
men who are unsuitable for the priesthood, Pope Francis told
the Congregation for Clergy. The vocations crisis and lack of
priests have meant that we bishops are tempted to take in,
without discernment, the young men who present themselves.
This is bad for the church, he told those taking part in the
congregations plenary assembly meeting at the Vatican. We
have to think of the good of the people of God, which means
taking the time to screen and study those seeking a voca-
tion, he said Oct. 3. The church does need priests and there is
a lack of vocations, he said, but the solution cannot come at
the expense of the faithful. (CNS)
Pope: People must open hearts to migrants who
face closed borders
People need to open their hearts to the many people who
are forced to migrate as they face enormous diffculties and
sometimes tragedy, Pope Francis said. I pray for closed
hearts that they may open. And everything I have available
to me, is available to you, he told a group of young Eritreans
who survived a deadly shipwreck off the coast of the Italian
island of Lampedusa. The pope met with 20 survivors and
their family members at the Vatican Oct. 1, just a few days
shy of the anniversary of the Oct. 3, 2013, disaster. More than
360 people were killed after a boat, reportedly carrying more
than 500 migrants from northern Africa, capsized and sank
near Lampedusa, Italys southernmost island. Some 155 people
survived. (CNS)
A3 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Speakers ask pope, synod to clear up
confusion on contraception
VATICAN CITY, Oct. 9, 2014A
married couple from Brazil told
Pope Francis and the Synod of
Bishops that the church should
stop giving contradictory ad-
vice on birth control and help
Catholics obey church teaching
against contraception.
On the same morning, one
of the synods leaders spoke
forcefully against a widespread
contraceptive mentality that
has led many Catholics to think
the use of artifcial birth control
is not a sin.
Arturo and Hermelinda As
Zamberline, married for 41 years
with three children, addressed
the synod during the morning
session Oct. 9. The designated
subject for the session was the
pastoral challenges concerning
an openness to life.
We must admit without fear
that many Catholic couples,
even those who seek to live
their marriage seriously, do
not feel obligated to use only
the natural methods of birth
control condoned by the church,
said the Zamberlines, leaders in
their country of an international
Catholic movement, Teams of
Our Lady. We must add that
generally they are not ques-
tioned by their confessors on
the subject.
The Zamberlines, who are
participating in the synod as
non-voting auditors, said the
rhythm of life today makes
it diffcult to fnd time to learn
natural methods of family plan-
ning, which they said have ac-
quired an unjust reputation of
being unreliable, because they
are badly explained and thus
badly practiced.
The great majority of couples
do not reject the use of contra-
ceptive methods. In general, they
do not consider them a moral
problem, the Zamberlines said.
The Brazilian couple con-
cluded with an appeal to the
pope and the synod to help
Catholics understand and obey
Humanae Vitae, the 1968
encyclical by Pope Paul VI that
affrmed church teaching against
contraception.
If couples, as well as clergy,
could at least fnd illumination
and support, that would already
be a great encouragement! Of-
ten, contradictory advice only
aggravates their confusion. We
ask, may the magisterium hasten
to give priests and faithful the
major lines of a pastoral teaching
program to help people adopt
and observe the principles laid
out in Humanae Vitae, the
Zamberlines said.
In remarks introducing the
couple to the assembly, Cardinal
Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, one
of three synod presidents ap-
pointed by the pope, said Catho-
lic couples often do not believe
that the use of contraceptive
methods is a sin and therefore
they tend not to speak of them
in confession and so they receive
Communion untroubled.
It is necessary to encour-
age a mentality of openness to
life to thwart the contraceptive
mentality and the spread of an
individualist anthropological
model that in certain countries
has led to a strong demographic
drop whose social and human
consequences are not suffciently
considered today, the cardinal
said. (Francis X. Rocca/CNS)
Synod fathers ask: Does the church
need to watch its language?
VATICAN CITY, Oct. 10, 2014In of-
fcial reports of the closed-door talks at
the Synod of Bishops on the family, an
emerging theme has been the call for a
new kind of language more appropriate
for pastoral care today.
Language appeared many, many
times, Basilian Father Thomas Rosica,
the briefer for English-speaking journal-
ists, told reporters Oct.7, the assemblys
second working day. Theres a great
desire that our language has to change
in order to meet the very complex situ-
ations the church faces.
One bishop, whom Father Rosica did
not name in accordance with synod
rules, reportedly told fellow partici-
pants that language such as living in
sin, intrinsically disordered or con-
traceptive mentality are not necessarily
words that invite people to draw closer
to Christ and the church. (Intrinsi-
cally disordered is a term used by the
Catechism of the Catholic Church to
describe homosexual acts.)
Speaking to the synod Oct. 7, Arch-
bishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin
spoke of the need for new language
with which to communicate with mar-
ried couples.
To many, the language of the church
appears to be a disincarnated language
of telling people what to do, a one-way
dialogue, the archbishop said, accord-
ing to excerpts of his remarks published
by the Irish bishops conference. The
lived experience and struggle of spouses
can help fnd more effective ways of
expression of the fundamental elements
of church teaching.
Following the same session, Cardinal
Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban, South
Africa, told Catholic News Service that
language is something weve over-
looked for a good while; weve used
language that is out of touch with the
way people speak today.
In the past, it was suffcient to say
to people, You are going to hell if you
continue this way of life. Hell was a
reality and it was something they knew
and they understood it. But if you talk
about hell today, people dont know
what you are talking about, Cardinal
Napier said. So I think the emphasis
is shifting (toward), how can you be
in a loving relationship with Jesus, and
through Jesus with your brother and
sister in the church, if you are living
in this condition which separates and
alienates you from Jesus?
German Cardinal Walter Kasper,
whose controversial proposal to make it
easier for divorced and civilly remarried
Catholics to receive Communion has
been a major topic of discussion at the
synod, told CNS Oct. 1 that a traditional
description of such couples as practicing
perpetual adultery is not acceptable
in a pastoral context.
If you tell people who live in this
way and they do it in a responsible way,
tell them that adultery, permanent adul-
tery, I think they would feel insulted
and offended. We must be very careful
also in our language, Cardinal Kasper
said in English. Permanent adultery?
It seems to me too strong.
Couples living together outside
of marriage, using contraception or
resorting to in vitro fertilizationall
activities prohibited by Catholic moral
teachingdeserve more respect and
a more nuanced evaluation than the
language of certain church documents
appears to prescribe. The mechanisms
of accusation and exclusion they have
the potential to activate can only block
the way to evangelization, Bishop
Bonny wrote.
The synod heard an example of newer
language Oct. 6, when two non-voting
auditors told Pope Francis and the rest
of the assembly that Catholic parishes
should welcome same-sex couples.
In their remarks, Ron and Mavis Pi-
rola used the word gay, rather than
homosexual person, which has been
the preferred term in offcial Vatican
discourse. The Pirolas may have taken
their cue from the pope, who famously
used the word gay during an infight
news conference in July 2013.
The Pirolas also said much of the
churchs teaching is expressed in lan-
guage that seems to be from another
planet and not terribly relevant to our
own experiences.
Not all synod fathers have the same
idea of what language the church
should adopt or discard.
Later that day, Cardinal Vingt-Trois
told CNS that, although the church must
fnd modes of expression and modes
of communication that will allow it to
announce the good news so that it may
be heard, changing pastoral language
does not mean changing the language
in which theologians formulate church
teaching.
When a physician makes a diagno-
sis, he uses terms to designate precisely
the disease in question, but these terms,
if he tells them to the patient, he will not
understand them. Therefore, he must
explain the diagnosis with words that
are not technical words. In theology, it
is the same thing, Cardinal Vingt-Trois
said. (Francis X. Rocca/CNS)
PH couple shares abortion story
with Pope, bishops at Synod
VATICAN City, Oct. 10,
2014A Filipino couple who
had once been faced with
the possibility of aborting
their own child, shared with
the Holy Father and the
worlds prelates gathered at
the Synod on the Family the
decision they made the day
they said no to abortion.
Healthy baby girl
On my fourth pregnan-
cy, I was diagnosed with
gestational diabetes and
preeclampsia. We were told
that my life would be at risk
if I continued the pregnancy
and my child had a high
probability of being born
abnormal, shared Cynthia
Campos, a mission volun-
teer of Couples for Christ
(CFC), who was with her
husband George, CFC ex-
ecutive director, and Manila
Archbishop Lus Antonio G.
Cardinal Tagle representing
the Philippines at Synod 14
on Oct. 8.
We were advi sed t o
choose between terminating
the pregnancy and taking the
risk. It was truly a test of faith
and surrender. We decided to
have the baby and to abide
by the will of God, she said.
By Gods grace, we both
survived and my daughter
Christen is now very healthy
and full of life, Campos
added.
Married in 1987, hus-
band-and-wife George and
Cynthia Campos have been
blessed with four children.
As CFC members, they
commit themselves to liv-
ing as Families in the Holy
Spirit Renewing the Face of
the Earth and to a mission
of Building the Church of
We need more, younger
catechists bishop
JARO, Iloilo, Oct. 7, 2014 A new gen-
eration of younger catechists is needed,
says a bishop during the launching of
the National Catechetical Month with
the theme Ikay kag Ako: LAIKO; Ikaw,
Kita, KATEKISTA! in the Archdiocese
of Jaro on Oct. 6.
We need more catechi sts. We
need more and younger catechists!
Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagda-
meo said both seriously and jok-
i ngl y duri ng the 8: 30 a. m. Hol y
Mass at the National Shrine of Our
Lady of Candles (Jaro Metropolitan
Cathedral).
He encouraged the faithful to invest
in training young people, who, he said,
will serve the Church as dedicated cat-
echists for many years.
In the homily, Lagdameo also told the
faithful that, while everyone is called to
be a saint, to be a catechist entails a spe-
cial grace. He explained that it is a grace
not only to announce the Word of God
but one that directly identifes a person
with the Word.
This is why, he said, recalling a teach-
ing of Pope Paul VI in his exhortation on
Evangelization, the catechist will only
be effective if he is not only a teacher
but, above all, a witness.
Lagdameo went on to remind his lis-
teners of the importance of prayer in the
life of a catechist. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)
The Archdiocese of Jaro launched the National Catechetical Month with the theme Ikay kag Ako: LAIKO;
Ikaw, Kita, KATEKISTA! on Oct. 6, 2014. SHEILA BANDERADO
the Home and of the Poor.
But the Camposes story
is not as simple as it seems.
Serving as a family
Cynthia would have been
a nun but was told by a priest
she was consulting that a
cloistered life was not for her.
I applied to be a nun
with the Rosas Hermanas
(Sister Servants of the Holy
Spirit), a contemplative con-
gregation. I was accepted.
However, I was asked to un-
dergo a one-on-one directed
retreat with a priest. At the
end of the retreat the priest
said, You are not meant for
the religious life. God will
give you a husband who
will help you rear the chil-
dren who will serve Him
in the future. Your work is
outside.
George, a former altar
server at the convent his
future wife was applying to,
had an enviable position in
a company he dedicated 25
years of his life tountil God
called him.
At age 46, I opted to re-
sign. I told the owner that I
have spent the frst half of the
prime of my life serving this
company and now I want to
spend the 2nd half serving
the Lord, he said.
Cynthia, at 47, quit her job
also, so that the two could
serve together as a couple.
We have grown deeper
in faith and love for the
Lord through our teaching
f ormat i ons and weekl y
household prayer meet-
ings with other couples.
Thi s bl essed encount er
with Jesus led us to be-
come fulltime missionary
di sci pl es. Our chi l dren
are following suit. They
have joined the CFC Family
Ministries beginning with
Kids, Youth and Singles
for Christ. We have been
i n mi ssi ons together i n
Vi et nam, Thai l and and
Australia, George added.
In 1998, Cynthia was diag-
nosed with breast cancer, and
was told by her doctor she
had only three to six months
left to live.
Instead of letting the ill-
ness take over their lives,
the Campos couple and
children stood fast in their
service, knowing they are
supported by the prayers of
their family and their CFC
community.
Cynt hi a shared, My
prayer was Lord, with just
a flick of your finger you
could change my illness.
You just have to will it. God
heard our prayers, for now
I am standing before you
cured with a simple medical
intervention and a dose of
antibiotics, she said. (Ray-
mond A. Sebastin)
A teen hero and her story
PARAAQUE City, Oct. 8, 2014Girl.
Teenager. Heroshe is all these rolled
into one.
Barely ffteen, Rodelyn Molina had al-
ready done what most grownups wont
even dare doing, even if they could put
her life at risk to save someone else.
Its not in spite of, but because of her
scars that so fttingly sums up the es-
sence of this years Childrens Month,
an event celebrated at the National
Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help
and the rest of the country each October.
Risked her life
Speaking before a shrine full of Ba-
claran devotees on Sunday, Oct. 5a
feat heroic in itselfMolina proved to
the world there is more to todays kids
than gadgets and games.
In December 2011, Molina, who was
then 11 years old, risked her life to
save a three-year-old child trapped in
an area which caught fre following a
plane crash.
Unconscious and burnt beyond rec-
ognition, the two were rushed to the
hospital, where the younger one died
soon after from serious injuries.
Learning of the girls fate later, Molina
could only be happy for the toddler,
knowing in her heart the child was
already in a place far better than the
one she had left behind.
She now enjoys the Lords com-
pany, she said in her speech.
Scars of bravery
Her selfess bravery notwithstanding,
the now disfgured Molina often fnds
herself putting up with the cruel taunts
of small-minded people unaware of
what she has been through.
Molina says she couldnt care less,
certain it is not for nothing she has
earned her scars.
Lesser mortals would have been
ashamed of theirs, consigning themselves
to seclusion, but not Molina, who seems
to wear them as athletes do their medals,
yet with all the innocence of youth.
Shed rather mind her studies which
she was forced to quit during her re-
covery.
Unfortunately, the girl who, years
before politicians would fght to have a
photo-op with, is practically a nobody
today, with little prospects in life.
She needs our help.
Those interested to extend assis-
tance to her may contact 09077233421.
(Raymond A. Sebastin)
Rodelyn Molina, who risked her life to save a three-year-old from a burning structure in 2011, shares her
story during the launch of Childrens Month at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help on Oct.
5, 2014. BACLARAN MULTI-MEDIA MINISTRY
George and Cynthia Campos, shown here at a recent Couples for Christ event, shared their life story at the ongoing Synod
on the Family in Rome, Italy. MARIA AURORA JAPITANA
News Features
A4 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
EDITORIAL
Opinion
Pedro C. Quitorio
Editor-in-Chief
Nirvaana E. Delacruz
Associate Editor
Roy Q. Lagarde
News Editor
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Features Editor

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THE need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed,
not only for the pragmatic reason of its urgency for the good order of
society, but because society needs to be cured of a sickness which is
weakening and frustrating it, and which can only lead to new crises.
Welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered
merely temporary responses. As long as the problems of the poor are
not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets
and fnancial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of
inequality, no solution will be found for the worlds problems or, for
that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.
The dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good
are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies. At times,
however, they seem to be a mere addendum imported from without in
order to fll out a political discourse lacking in perspectives or plans
for true and integral development. How many words prove irksome
to this system! It is irksome when the question of ethics is raised,
when global solidarity is invoked, when the distribution of goods is
mentioned, when reference in made to protecting labor and defending
the dignity of the powerless, when allusion is made to a God who
demands a commitment to justice.
We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of
the market. Growth in justice requires more than economic growth,
while presupposing such growth: it requires decisions, programmes,
mechanisms and processes specifcally geared to a better distribution
of income, the creation of sources of employment and an integral
promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.
I am far from proposing an irresponsible populism, but the economy
can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting
to increase profts by reducing the work force and thereby adding to
the ranks of the excluded.
I ask God to give us more politicians capable of sincere and effective
dialogue aimed at healing the deepest rootsand not simply the
appearancesof the evils in our world! Politics, though often
denigrated, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms
of charity, inasmuch as it seeks the common good. We need to be
convinced that charity is the principle not only of micro-relationships
(with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also
of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). I beg
the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by
the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor! It is vital that
government leaders and fnancial leaders take heed and broaden their
horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignifed work,
education and healthcare.
Economy, as the very word indicates, should be the art of achieving
a ftting management of our common home, which is the world as a
whole. Each meaningful economic decision made in one part of the
world has repercussions everywhere else; consequently, no government
can act without regard for shared responsibility.
--Evangelii Gaudium, #202-206, 2013
THIS was how Pope Francis exhorted the participants of the Third
Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops during the
opening session on October 5. He said: A basic general condition
is this: to speak clearly It is necessary to say everything that is felt
with parrhesia. After the last Consistory (February 2014) in which
there was talk of the family, a Cardinal wrote to me saying: too
bad that some Cardinals didnt have the courage to say some things
out of respect for the Pope, thinking perhaps, that the Pope thought
something different. This is not good; this is not synodality because
it is necessary to say everything that in the Lord one feels should be
said, with human respect, without fear Therefore, I ask you, please,
for these attitudes of brothers in the Lord: to speak with parrhesia and
to listen with humility.
After the frst half of the Synod, the Relator, Cardinal Peter Erdo,
presented the Relatio Post Disceptationem, a midterm report that
outlined the main questions highlighted at the general congregations
from October 6 to 10. According to Vatican reports, the hour-long
presentation of the Relator has caused 41 out of 184 synod fathers to
take the foor and comment on the presentation. Some commented
that the midterm report used strikingly conciliatory language toward
divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and same-sex
unions which did not refect the general views of the participants.
The prefect of the Vaticans Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature
told the Catholic World Report that the midterm report advances
position which many synod fathers do not accept and, I would say, as
faithful shepherds of the fock cannot accept. Clearly, the response
to the document in the discussion which immediately followed its
presentation manifested that a great number of synod fathers fount it
objectionable.
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa, when told about
media reports that the synod midterm report has stirred a new overture
among divorced Catholics and homosexuals, said: Thats one of the
reasons why theres been such an upset among synod fathers, because
were now working from a position thats virtually irredeemable. The
message has gone out, this is what the synod is saying, this is what the
Catholic Church is saying, and thats not what we are saying at all.
Presumably, the synod fathers heeded the exhortation of the Holy Father
to speak with parrhesiaand liberally at that within the confnes of
the synod walls. But when they did, it reportedly stirred controversy,
because, aside from the fact that some contents of relatio synodi
(synods report) were highly contentious (e.g. the report of the Holy
See press offce that some synod fathers complained that the word sin
is almost not present in the relatio.), its handling by the media made
it appear that the relatio was fnal, when in fact it is only a working
document, and, therefore, provisional.
Cardinal Napier is concerned: My worry is that the message has gone
outand its not a true messagethat this synod has taken up these
positions, and whatever we say hereafter is going to be as if were
doing some damage control, which is certainly not what is in my mind.
Fr. Roy Cimagala
Candidly Speaking
The economy and
the distribution of income
Speak with parrhesia
Ominous cry for renewal
Rosary most
relevant today
And Thats The Truth / A7
Same-sex synod what?
Teresa R. Tunay, OCDS
and thats the truth
Oscar. V. Cruz, DD
Views and Points
SUCH is the nature of the THE LIPA
DECLARATION: AN URGENT CALL FOR
NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION 27 AU-
GUST A.D. 2014/2 DHU AL QADA A.H.
1435made by individuals from different
professions and occupations, from differ-
ent Churches in the Philippines, from the
Muslim community, from active and retired
government offcials. It is ominous because
there are more and more people who are dis-
mayed, if not, in fact, disgusted by the pres-
ent government. No. They are not pessimists
in spirit but simply realists in perceptions.
It is also ominous because it echoes the
exasperation and downright anger of more
and more groups of people. It is ominous too,
whereas, it is well in accord with lesser and
lesser approval ratings of the national leader-
ship. That is why although the Declaration
was made and proclaimed in Lipa, it is slowly
but surely making the rounds all over the
country and thus making more people know
it and thus also become more hopeful.
The truth is that while composed and
made in Lipa just recently, the sentiments
it proclaims and the options it affrms have
already existed -- for some time now as
aroused in a special way by the dirty and
sticky Pork Barrel revelationwith special
mention of DAP, of which the august and
illustrious creator does not even know the
meaning of savings! To this date however,
only non-Party mates of Malacaang are suf-
fering the consequencesconsidering that
those affliated with the latter are all saints.
Three signal questions come to mind:
What is Transformation? It does not sim-
ply mean a change but a real changeover, a
transmutation, a transfguration where what
is existing, usual and customary is renewed,
re-made, reformed.
When will Transformation start? It can
only start when precisely the one who is the
over-all cause of the national malady and
deterioration, is out of the way, divested of
power and set aside.
Who leads the Transformation? It is not
simply one or two individuals
no matter how competent or able they
arebut a group of such qualifed and trust-
worthy people acting as a temporary Council
until the said Transformation is done.
Renewal is mandatory for what is odious
and deleterious!
WE have just celebrated the liturgical memo-
rial of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7).
Its this celebration that has made the whole
month of October the month of the rosary.
Lets hope that we appreciate the true value
of this prayer.
I still remember my childhood days in the
province when we were forced or at least
pressured to say the rosary with Lola and
Mama and other siblings who were caught
at the time of this prayer. We did it kneeling
down. Of course, I didnt quite like it, but
neither did I feel mistreated. Filial obedience
played a big role in this.
Since I could not escape, I just played
along, but wondered why this prayer was so
important it had to be that way. In a sense,
I was both there and not there, my mind
alternating between praying and getting
distracted. Pretension reigned often.
It was only late in my youth, while I was
already separated from the family to study in
Manila, and therefore quite independent but
aware I had to fend for myself, that I realized
how important this prayer was. For a start, it
gave me a tremendous calming effect.
To a person who was extremely excitable
and sensitive as I wasthough I would also
know how to cover these traitsthe rosary
was most welcome. It gave me time and
space to breathe and consider things more
calmly.
But I soon discovered other more impor-
tant aspects of this Marian prayer. I realized
the value of vocal prayers. What I tended to
take for granted actually contained precious
ideas. I somehow discerned a certain beauty
in them, far removed from merely physical
beauty and transitory worldly pleasures.
And so to prevent me from falling into mere
mechanical praying, I would focus on some
phrases of the prayers, one at a time, and try
to understand and fathom their meaning and
fgure out how they can affect my life.
Thats when I relished the reality of God
being a father to me, of what my attitude
should be toward Him, what I can expect
from Him, what I ought to ask from Him, etc.
Also, that Mary is such a wonderful mother
who is a most worthy model to follow, the
most competent teacher with respect to the
virtues I ought to develop.
More importantly, the rosary would start
to give me a global picture of the redemptive
life of Christ which I used to take for granted.
Even a cursory meditation of the mysteries
of the rosary would elicit all kinds of insights
and considerations that I felt were very use-
ful to me. I could use the youth-speak of
cool to describe them.
With the rosary, I get the sensation that I
am seeing the different parts of the life Christ
through the eyes of Mary, the one who un-
derstood perfectly the life of Christ and con-
formed herself to it is the most intimate way.
In other words, the rosary helped me to be
a practical contemplative right in the middle
of the world, teaching me how to see things
through the eyes of faith and devotion. It
inculcated in me a living piety that knows
how to be lived right in the midst of the
secular world.
This, to me, is the greatest effect of the ro-
sary. It is indeed an effective means to instill
a supernatural outlook in us, a handy tool to
ask for special favors through our Mothers
intercession, a good way to spend time and
know more about Christ and about her.
If there are pressures to bear, problems to
solve, challenges to face, and even special
intentions to pray for, the rosary is a good
companion. Even when we get visited by
insomnia, the rosary helps us go to sleep.
Especially these days when we are buf-
feted with all kinds of tension-causing
predicaments, the rosary is a good antidote.
It puts our mind and heart in their proper
place, frmly rooted on Christ and oriented
toward Him. It makes us conscious of our
human and Christian duties.
The rosary can be done anytime, any-
where. It need not be fnished in one sitting.
And with the new technologies which enable
us to follow it while listening to its record-
ing, it can be done quite easily, even while
we are driving.
Its good to spread this devotion as widely
as possible, frst in the family, then in the
neighborhood, in schools, parishes, offces,
etc. We can also organize pilgrimages to
shrines of our Lady. All these can only have
good effects on us all.
THEY are at it againthose
who have an axe to grind against
the Catholic Church are fnding
media morsels to feast upon at
the ongoing Synod of Bishops in
the Vatican. Further exploiting
Pope Francis most misconstrued
quote Who am I to judge?,
these people with special in-
terests label what is actually a
synod on the family as same-
sex synod, a novelty, an oc-
casion for hundreds of celibate
men to display once more their
obsession with sex colliding
head on with their puritanical
idealism. It is high season for
optimistic militant LGBT enti-
ties to repackage and resell their
pet theories while judging the
bishops and the Church as being
outdated and woefully out of
touch with reality.
I follow with mixed amuse-
ment and compassion the ways
anti-Church advocatesclaim-
ing human rightsmanipu-
late mainstream and social media
to advance their agenda. They
start with looking oppressedas
though gays were the most tyr-
annized people on planet Earth.
But are they, seriously? At least
in the Philippines, they are far
from oppressedthey are not
only accepted, they are loved,
adored, and some are even en-
vied for their wealth and popu-
larity. And their gifts and talents
are not just acknowledged by the
Church but are welcomed and
utilized in its ministry. I have
heard of gay boys being rejected
by their fathers, but only in the
movies. All the gay persons I
know have no problem with
acceptance.
The earliest memories I have
of gays are those about the two
men in charge of our towns
Flores de Mayo. Dalawang
bakla lang ang gumagawa ng
lahat diyan, my mother would
admiringly inform us, referring
to the two middle-aged unmar-
ried menwith soft wrists and
hard core devotion to the Virgin
Marywho would virtually
bloom whenever Santacruzan
time came around. They recruit-
ed sagalas, assigned Reinas their
consortes, supervised the make-
up, the fower arrangements, the
carroza decorationeverything!
It never occurred to me that they
were differentmaybe I was
too nave to notice, just as I was
too innocent to appreciate the
biggest role in the Santacruzan
given to meAng Babaeng
Samaritana.
No, I think the LGBT champi-
ons want more than mere accep-
tancethey want gay rights to
be recognized as human rights.
They want marriage (just like
the straights), they want their
own family of adopted kids,
and in the process they try to
revolutionize Church teaching
in the name of human rights.
Whats sad is they dont seem
to understand that by fghting
for gay rights they are seeking
affrmation based on mere sexu-
ality. In a sense they are actually
asking people to measure their
worth by the yardstick of sexual
preference, thereby wasting their
own potential as human beings.
Claiming that the only natural
A5 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Opinion
A Christ-centered Papal Visit
per pavore, por favor, please!
Tacloban:
One Year Later
A Teacup without Tea
We are saying poverty
is not about money
Rev. Eutiquio Euly B. Belizar, Jr., SThD
By the Roadside
Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum
Fr. Francis Ongkingco
Whatever
MY sympathies lie with those
who have taken the initiative in
trying to shore up enthusiasm
for the long-announced-and-
much-anticipated coming of
Pope Francis to the Philippines.
They understand the power of
images. The media hype over
the life-size cardboard replicas of
the Holy Father and such other
paraphernalia says a lot about
the excitement that has already
been stirred up at least among
Catholics and admirers of Pope
Francis. Everything looks neat.
Except for one thing.
And this one thing is too crucial
to ignore: Are these efforts not
missing the real and essential sig-
nifcance of the Holy Fathers visit,
which is to proclaim Jesus Christ
and not himself, in our midst and
wherever he goes? Would Pope
Francis be happy with a huge
personality cult around him in the
Philippines instead of the contin-
ued growth of faith in Jesus Christ,
unwavering hope and both being
expressed by love that does justice
and compassion among Filipi-
nos? If the Holy Father himself
is centered on Jesus the Master,
shouldnt we?
I know I need not belabor this
point.
Being a super typhoon Yolan-
da survivor myself, I share in the
joy of her victims in both Samar
and Leyte as well as in other
Central and Western Visayas
provinces, who are anticipating
a holy persons visit. But it is a
joy that comes from Him whose
presence the Holy Father brings
and proclaims. The thought of
that presence of Him who caused
the infant John the Baptist to
leap for joy (Lk 1:44) some-
how has inspired me to make an
unsolicited suggestion to those
who are distributing the Holy
Fathers cardboard replicas.
I am not in the habit of making
direct suggestions. But this time
I am taking exception to that.
Please allow me to do it indirectly.
Just days after Yolanda I wit-
nessed unforgettable traces of an
incredibly horrifc devastation in
Brgy Carmen, Hernani, Eastern
Samar. The residents huts and
their barangay chapel were either
blown away or torn down into
skeletal remains by mammoth
waves and killer winds. All that
was left of the chapel were parts
of its walls and a roofess ceil-
ing framework. The altar was
nowhere in sight. But in its place
the residents gathered images of
the Sto. Nio, Mama Mary and
the saints on top of a long table or
the remnants of their altar niche.
Then out of the blue our group
saw a figure of a young man
slowly walking his way to the
altar. He had the huge crucifx of
the chapel and he was carrying it
on his shoulder the way Jesus is
usually portrayed when he car-
ries his cross. He wanted to put
it where it belongs: at the center
of the bare chapel altar. How,
neither my companions nor I
could tell. One of us, though, was
a professional photographer, and
he captured the scene in one
gripping moment.
That young mans figure re-
minds me of the Holy Father,
Pope Francis, and what he has
been doing for the Church and for
the world. He has been busy pro-
claiming to us the Crucifed Jesus
and bearing Him on his shoulder
so as to restore Him at the center of
our hearts and the heart of every
human being by his humility and
compassion, the humility of Jesus
Christ who emptied himself and
took the form of a slave (Phil
2:7), the compassion of Jesus who
dined with sinners and outcasts
(Mt 9:10-11).
Why not a replica that truly
captures who the Holy Father
is and what his ministry really
means?
ALMOST one year has passed after typhoon
Yolanda, with international name Hiayan,
devastated Tacloban and the rest of Central
Visayas and part of Southern Luzon. How
are the affected families doing?
Fr. Rex Ramirez, Vicar General of the Arch-
diocese of Palo, has confrmed earlier reports
of the local government plan to relocate
Yolanda survivors. The 250 affected families
living in the Government Center compound
in Candahug where they currently stay, will
be transferred to the 300 permanent houses
being constructed for them. The deadline for
the relocation is November. Should the per-
manent houses not be fnished as scheduled,
the local government will have to move the
residents to the temporary shelters in other
parts of Palo.
It is disheartening to learn about the
plight of these Yolanda-affected families.
A group of concerned citizens appealed to
the Church to do something about it. It was
reported that local politicians want to gloss
over their ineffciency and incompetence in
the rehabilitation work in their area almost
a year after the tragedy by removing the
survivors bunkhouses along the road which
the Pope is expected to take during his visit
to the town. These families are likely to face
yet another displacement in the alleged
whitewash campaign being planned by
local government offcials in a bid to rid
their town of eyesores ahead of the visit of
Pope Francis, who will be in the Philippines
from January 15 to 19, 2015. Ironically, the
Pontiffs apostolic visit is precisely because
of the Yolanda survivors whom he wants to
visit and comfort.
According to the National Disaster
Risk Reduction and Management Council
(DRRMC), as many as 3.4 million individu-
als have been affected by the super typhoon.
Pope Francis is the third pope to visit the
Philippines; the frst two Popes were soon to
be beatifed Pope Paul VI and St. John Paul II.
***
In the opening of the Synod of Bishops,
Pope Francis stated that We are all sinners
and can also be tempted to take over the
vineyard, because of that greed which is
always present in us human beings. Gods
dream always clashes with the hypocrisy of
some of his servants. We can thwart Gods
dream if we fail to let ourselves be guided
by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us that
wisdom which surpasses knowledge, and
enables us to work generously with authentic
freedom and humble creativity.
The Philippines was at center-stage dur-
ing the Synod on the Family when President
Delegate Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the
Archbishop of Manila, presided the event.
The delegates also heard the witnessing
of a Filipino couple, Mr. and Mrs. George
Campos. The third General Congregation
was entitled: The Gospel of the Family and
Natural Law and Family and Vocation of the
person in Christ.
Mr. and Mrs. Campos are from the Arch-
diocese of Manila. George Campos is a full-
time pastoral worker, while his wife Cynthia
is a mission volunteer in the same pastoral
program of Couples for Christ.
The couples shared that they have grown
deeper in faith and love for the Lord through
the teaching formations and weekly house-
hold prayer meetings with other couples.
This blessed encounter with Jesus led them
to become fulltime missionary disciples.
Their children are following suit. They have
joined the CFC Family Ministries beginning
with Kids, Youth and Singles for Christ. They
have been in missions together in Vietnam,
Thailand and Australia.
During Cynthias dangerous pregnancy,
they were told that her life would be at risk
if she continued her pregnancy and the child
had a high probability of being born abnor-
mal. They were advised to choose between
terminating the pregnancy or taking the risk.
It was truly a test of faith and surrender. They
decided to have the baby and to abide by the
will of God. By Gods grace, both mother
and child survived and the daughter is very
healthy and full of life.
Cynthia was also diagnosed with breast
cancer, with 3 to 6 months to live. Instead
of letting go of their service, they continued,
supported by the prayers of their family and
CFC community. Their prayer was Lord with
just a fick of your fnger you could change my
illness. You just have to will it. God heard their
prayers and she is cured with a simple medical
intervention and a dose of antibiotics.
***
The clergy of the Diocese of Kalookan
will hold the LaYKo si Pads Concert on
November 14, 2014, Friday, 7:00pm at PICC
Plenary Hall, CCP Complex, Roxas Boule-
vard, Pasay City. The laity should support
this concert since the proceeds will fnance
the health care of the clergy of the Diocese.
Tickets are available in all parishes in the
Diocese, or you may contact the Curia offce
at telephone number 288-9035.
***
Happy 36th Fiesta to the parishioners
and devotees of Nuestra Senora dela Paz
y Buen Viaje, the patroness of the chapel in
Cadorniga Street, Barangay Navotas West,
Navotas City and within the jurisdiction
of the Parish of San Ildefonso de Navotas.
Known as Birhen Bilanggo, the Blessed Vir-
gin has been proven to making miracles and
all prayer-petitions are granted.
***
I wish my nephews Patrick Robby Santia-
go and Michael Gerald Rosales a very Happy
Birthday. Michael and Robby are the young-
est sons of Ate Violeta Santiago-Rosales and
Bobby and Baby Santiago, respectively. Same
birthday greetings go to Fr. Gau Sustento.
Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to Fr. Octavio
Bartiana and Fr. Martin Guarin, all from the
Diocese of Kalookan.
AS we watched the moving
beatifcation ceremony raising
Bishop lvaro as one of the
newest blessed of the Catholic
Church, the student beside me
whispered,
Father, did you ever meet
Blessed lvaro in person?
I nodded a firm and proud
affrmative.
What was he like?
Humanly and spiritually
attractiveFatherly, I whis-
pered back.
Did he say anything unfor-
gettable to you?
Yup,
What?
That is was an empty tea-
cup, I was amused to see the
boys bewildered reaction.
***
Do you speak Chinese?
Bishop lvaro asked after he
heard my very Chinese family
name.
Unfortunately, no, Father,
I replied quite worried that my
answer would perhaps disap-
point him. But I was surprised
that Bishop lvaro returned this
with a very paternal smile.
You are, as we say in Spain,
like a teacup without tea! he
jokingly remarked. The other
people with us started to laugh
and I no longer felt very insecure
for not knowing how to speak
Chinese.
Back then in 1992, this sound-
ed like a mere passing comment
by Bishop lvaro, or the Father,
as we familiarly and fondly call
the one who received the sweet
burden of becoming the head of
the Prelature of Opus Dei who
was lightening up the conversa-
tion for his Filipino son who had
just arrived in Spain and was
obviously and nervously wres-
tling with Spanish vocabulary
and grammar.
It would only be years later,
after reading a more recent and
detailed biography of Blessed
lvaro, that I would realize how
intensely he had set his heart and
mind on the expansion of Opus
Dei in Asia. Knowledge of either
Mandarin or Cantonese was in-
dispensable to begin and incorpo-
rate oneself in that vast continent
thirsty for God. Thus, his passing
commentary was something both
serious and urgent.
It wasnt actually my frst time
to meet Father lvaro. I was
fortunate enough to greet him
personally when he visited the
Philippines in 1988. I had just
joined Opus Dei then. Listening
to him opened many horizons,
especially the mission that we,
his children in the Philippines,
had in the whole of Asia.
He also reminded us about our
role in the Church: as vital sup-
ports for the Pope, the bishops
and our other faithful. He shared
his personal encounters with John
Paul II to help us pray more and ac-
company closely the Holy Father.
One striking anecdote was
how he observed the Pope ar-
riving very tired and dragging
his feet. Bishop lvaro said
with flial concern, Holy Father,
you are very tired. John Paul
II promptly replied, If Im not
tired at this hour of the day, then
Im not doing my job.
This and many other stories
from Bishop lvaro filled us
with a richer outlook in our faith
and a greater optimism to carry
out our apostolic mission.
I now return to my story about
the empty teacup. Not only be-
cause that was perhaps my last
encounter with Bishop lvaro,
but because it now affords me
with a new lesson.
Indeed, it would have been
wonderful if my teacup had
some tea but learning Manda-
rin and going to China may not
be one of the chapters written
for my life. I realized, however,
whether one knows Chinese
or not, we all have as Bishop
lvaro had taught and lived all
his life the serious obligation
to fll ourselves to the brim. This
is realized by carrying out the
simplest duties at hand where
God expects us to serve him with
our constant love and sacrifce.
***
Mons. lvaro del Portillo was
born in a Christian family in
Madrid on 11th March 1914, the
third of eight brothers and sis-
ters. He held doctorates in Civil
Engineering, in Philosophy and
in Canon Law.
In 1935, he joined Opus Dei,
which had been founded by St.
Josemara Escriv de Balaguer
on 2nd October 1928. He lived
out with complete fdelity his
vocation in Opus Dei through
the sanctifcation of his profes-
sional work and the fulfllment
of his ordinary duties, and car-
ried out a profound apostolate
with his fellow students and his
professional colleagues.
He soon became the closest aide
of St. Josemara, remaining at his
side for almost forty years. At St.
Josemaras death on 26th June
1975, lvaro del Portillo succeeded
him as the head of Opus Dei until
his death on 23rd March 1994.
After his death, thousands
of people have sent written
testimonies of their memories
of his person: his kindness, the
warmth of his smile, his humil-
ity, his supernatural audacity, the
interior peace which his words
gave to them.
On 28th June 2012, Benedict
XVI authorized the Congrega-
tion for the Causes of Saints to
promulgate the decree on the
heroic virtues of Bishop lvaro.
On 5th July 2013, Pope Francis
signed the decree recognizing
the miracle attributed to the in-
tercession of lvaro del Portillo.
Bishop lvaro was beatifed
in Madrid, on 27th of September
2014.
Commentary
Sheila Liaugminas
ONE can be poor in spirituality, poor in ideas, poor in educa-
tion, and in many other ways.
Gems of wisdom.
Who is speaking with such bold clarity, and to whom? Nige-
rian Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, to a Vatican press briefng
during a break in the Extraordinary Synod on the Family.
What he said is compelling.
We are confronted with some issues, and sometimes [they are]
quite perplexing. We recently had a big conference on pro-life issues,
and in that conference, we came out very clearly to ascertain the fact
that life is sacred, marriage is scared, and the family has dignity.
We get international organizations, countries, and groups which
like to entice us to deviate from our cultural practices, traditions,
and even our religious beliefs. And this is because of their belief that
their views should be our views. Their opinions and their concept
of life should be ours.
We say, No we have come of age. Most countries in Africa are
independent for 50, 60, 100 years. We should be allowed to think
for ourselves. We should be able to defne: What is marriage? What
makes the family? When does life begin? We should have answers
to those [questions].
We are wooed by economic things. We are told, If you limit
your population, were going to give you so much. And we
tell them, Who tells you that our population is overgrown?
In the first place, children dieinfant mortalitywe die in
inter-tribal wars, and diseases of all kinds. And yet, you come
with money to say, Decrease your population; we will give
you economic help.
Now you come to tell us about reproductive rights, and you give
us condoms and artifcial contraceptives. Those are not the things
we want. We want food, we want education, we want good roads,
regular light, and so on. Good health care.
We have been offered the wrong things, and we are expected to
accept simply because they think we are poor. And we are saying
poverty is not about money. One can be poor in spirituality, poor
in ideas, poor in education, and in many other ways.
So we are not poor in that sense. We may be poor materially but
we are not poor in every sense. So we say no to what we think is
wrong. And time has gone when we would just follow without ques-
tion. Now, we question. We evaluate. We decide. We ask questions.
This is what we do in Africa now.
Reading that, I wanted to stand up and cheer. Where are we
hearing such strong voices of clarity and conviction these days?
This is an important voice and message, and we need to
pay it respectful attention. Note what Vatican analyst George
Weigel said in this piece ahead of the Synod.
The collapse of marriage culture throughout the world
is indisputable. More and more marriages end in divorce,
even as increasing numbers of couples simply ignore
marriage, cohabit, and procreate. The effort to redefine
marriage as what we know it isnt, and to enforce that
redefinition by coercive state power, is well-advanced in
the West. The contraceptive mentality has seriously dam-
aged the marriage culture, as have well-intentioned but
ultimately flawed efforts to make divorce easier. The sexual
free-fire zone of the West is a place where young people
find it very hard to commit to a lifelong relationship that
inevitably involves sacrificing ones autonomy. And just
as the Christian understanding of marriage is beginning
to gain traction in Africa, where it is experienced as a
liberating dimension of the Gospel, European theologians
from dying local churches are trying to empty marriage
of its covenantal character, reducing it to another form of
contract.
The Christian understanding of marriage, which is the
understanding of a sacramental covenant between man and
woman is beginning to gain traction in Africa, where it it
experienced aswhat?liberating. Imagine that.
Its time the West becomes aware of and comes to terms
with what wethrough any number of proxieshave been
exporting to Africa and other developing countries.
This Washington Post interview with Bill Gates is revealing.
Ezra Klein: Your letter talks a lot about the myth that aid
will just lead to new problems through overpopulation. I was
a bit surprised to read you focusing on it. Are fears around
overpopulation an impediment in your day-to-day work?
Bill Gates: Its a huge impediment in convincing rich-
world donors that they should feel good about these
health improvements. Our foundation focused in the
1990s on reproductive health. We werent nearly as big
then. But we wanted to make contraception available
because we thought population growth would make
everything so difficult, whether its the environment or
feeding kids or stability. It was only when we found out
about this phenomenal connection between improved
health and reduced population growth that we felt:
Great, lets just make the foundation as big as possible to
go after these health problems. Because before then the
commonsense thing was more kids would make these
problems less tractable.
I dont think people like to say out loud that we want to
let these kids die because there are too many of them. But by
choosing not to get into health in our early days I was a victim
of the myth around overpopulation.
And here we are today:
An African archbishop attending the worldwide meeting of
Catholic bishops frankly criticized Western attitudes toward
his continent Wednesday, lambasting imposition of foreign
cultures on African people.
Africans have come of age, said Nigerian Archbishop
Ignatius Kaigama. We should be allowed to think for our-
selves.
We are wooed by economic things, said Kaigama, who
heads Nigerias Jos archdiocese. We are told if you limit
your population, were going to give you so much. And we
tell them, Who tells you that our population is overgrown?
Good question.
Te Christian understanding
of marriage, which is the
understanding of a sacramental
covenant between man and
woman is beginning to gain
traction in Africa, where it
it experienced aswhat?
liberating. Imagine that.
A6 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Local News
Old pics show Mayon church not
buried, says historian
MOST Filipinos had been
taught it was buried in lahar
following Mayons 1814 erup-
tion, leaving only the belfry, but
a few vintage photographs of the
Cagsawa Church gives clues that
may prove otherwise.
While the building is obvi-
ously in ruins now, a concerned
Bicolano bent on setting histori-
cal records straight pointed out
that its destruction was gradual,
and not so much as caused by the
volcano itself as by the peoples
reluctance to save it.
Proof in pictures
The faade and some of the
walls fell on the ground over time
because the area was abandoned
for over 120 years. Today the walls
continue to crumble gradually.
Why? Because of our inaction,
Abdon M. Balde, Jr. who posted
these pictures on social media site
Facebook on Sunday, Oct. 11, and
have since created a stir.
There was no signifcant fow
of lava or lahar. The churchs
combustible materials were
burned. The bell tower stood
because it has a massive base
and no combustible materials.
The rubbles of the fallen faade
is right there beside the bell
tower. Nothing to excavate but
the church floor, explained
Balde, a consultant of the Albay
provincial government.
Despite strong documentary
evidence, not everyone was
convinced.
Jose Briones commented,
As a tourism offcer and now
retired, I never disputed this
historical fact as it was written
that it was buried in 1814. Who
is more correct, the historians of
today or the historians of yester-
years? How can this historical
fact be disproven? This to me
is what happened: that Cagsawa
was buried in 1814. And no one
can change this, not by anyone
Interfaith group condemns Pikit
church bombing
A LARGE alliance of Christian churches
on Friday condemned the grenade
attack on a Protestant church in South-
ern Philippines that killed at least two
people and hurt three others.
The National Council of Churches
in the Philippines said it mourns with
the United Church of Christ in the
Philippines (UCCP) at the suffering
inficted by the attack on its church in
Pikit, North Cotabato.
Reports said that two motorcycle rid-
ing men fred a M203 grenade into the
UCCP church while the congregation
was gathered in prayer.
While motives behind this attack are
still unclear, it is yet another suffering
inficted on the UCCP which has al-
ready experienced extrajudicial killing,
disappearance and illegal detention of
many of its members and pastors over
the recent years, said NCCP General
Secretary Fr. Rex Reyes.
Our prayers at this time are with those
who are grieving the loss of loved ones,
we are praying for those who have been
injured, for the congregation at Pikit, and
the leadership of the UCCP, he said.
The NCCP criticized those behind
the heinous attack against its mem-
ber church which is known for its
strong campaign against human rights
abuses.
He said the country had enough of the
culture of impunity where the innocent
suffer and the guilty go free.
We call on the responsible authori-
ties to conduct a proper and thorough
investigation of this atrocity so that
those behind it will be brought before
the courts and made to give account for
this brutal crime, he said. (CBCPNews)
Ecumenical group formed
RECOGNIZING shared avenues
for collaboration and dialogue,
some 150 religious leaders from the
major world faiths and members of
civil society formed the Council of
Religious Leaders on Saturday, Oct.
11 at the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay
Temple in Pasay City.
Calling it the way forward,
Episcopal Commission on Inter-
religious Dialogue (ECID) executive
secretary Fr. Carlos Reyes said the
Council of Religious Leaders, which
gathers representatives from the
Catholic Church, Islam, Buddhists,
the Hindus, among others, will be a
council of various religious denomi-
nations that will not just spearhead
projects and initiatives based on
common values, but will form col-
lective statements on socio-political
issues like ecology and good gov-
ernance on an institutional level.
Representatives from the different
religious denominations participat-
ed at the inter-faith forum on Oct. 11,
2014 at the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay
Temple on Roxas Boulevard, Pasay
City. (Photo: Masol Santiago)
As religionists, we have a spiritual
duty to counter the hijacking of reli-
gionReligion fosters peace, unity,
justice and harmony. As religionists,
we have a spiritual duty to contribute
positively to culture and society, not
only what we can do unilaterally but
also what we can do united, Reyes
said in his opening message.
The proposed structure of the said
council will have various commit-
tees for good governance, ecology,
justice and peace, disaster relief,
and confict resolution. It will have
a secretariat, which temporarily
fnds an offce in the Asian Confer-
ence of Religions for Peace Philip-
pines (ACRP) under the leadership
of Dean Lilian Sison, its secretary
general.
Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippines (CBCP) secretary
general Fr. Marvin Mejia, who was
present at the event, praised the
move as a step towards the pastoral
recommendations of Vatican II on
ecumenism, which he lamented
have largely remained just paper,
for the Church in the Philippines.
[The experience of inter-religious
dialogue] has to go down1965 was
Vatican II.. Fifty years after, its still a
paper in the sense that communities
are not experiencing this dialogue,
this sense of harmony, Meijia said,
expressing the hope that people of
different faiths can come together
even at the grassroots level.
The formation of the Council was
preceded by an inter-faith forum
which focused on The Positive
Role of Religion on Culture and
Society. Dr. Michael Lao of Bud-
dhas Light International Associa-
tion gave a short presentation on
Buddhism; Dean Julkipli Wadi of
the UP Institute of Islamic Studies
talked about Islam; and University
of Sto. Tomas assistant professor Val
Brillo presented the Catholic faith.
Invited to the event as guests
were representatives from the apol-
ogist group Catholic Faith Defend-
ers Manila, Robertson Poblete,
Masol Santiago, Mary Hao, Eric
Bernardino and Danilo Lampano.
(Nirvaana Ella Delacruz)
The Cagsawa Church near Mayon volcano shown in an old photo. NATIONAL ARCHIVES
who wants to disclaim and push
a controversy around it.
Balde answered,The first
workable camera was invented
in 1816. The frst patented cam-
era was by Wolcott in 1840.
Eastman patented his camera
in 1879which means these
photographs of the ruins were all
taken after the 1814 destruction
of Cagsawa.
He stressed, This is a picture
of the church in 1928 before
it was cleaned in 1936. The
church was still standing. The
caption says the church was
buried, but the picture shows
the faade still standing beside
the bell tower. Also seen on the
left are the faades of the Casa
Real.
He added, These pictures will
not tell lies. What better proofs
do we need? The evidences
are there for us to see and to
measure.
Wrong information
Others lament local tour
guides, as well as the govern-
ment marker displayed in the
area peddle the wrong informa-
tion, and school children learn
this in school.
This is what local guides in
Cagsawa would tell their guests.
I suggest they should be correct-
ed at once because theyre the
frontliners, said Dayrit Jelica.
When I was there, the tour
guide said the church was buried
right there. Maybe we should
give them a lecture or work-
shop to correct the stories being
spread out to the tourists, Myl-
ene Narciso Urriza added.
Tessa Espinas blames the error
on Filipinos fascination with
romance, often at the expense
of historical truth.
She said, We all want the
more romantic version. Theres
still much more than meets the
eye, especially if we take time to
remove our rose-colored glasses.
Bernard Supetran believes lin-
guistic blunder was more likely.
I think whoever said that the
Cagsawa Church was buried
by lava had no intention to
romanticize or exaggerate the
incident. Maybe, in search of a
more appropriate word, buried
was used in the narration, she
said.
According to architect Rey-
naldo O. Nacional, because of
ignorance about the value of
old structures, Filipinos had
already lost so much of the built
heritagechurches, municipios,
plazasand they are bound to
lose more if they do not rethink
their development policies.
Marne Kilates shared, In
short, what happened, it seems,
was that Cagsawa was never
buried but simply abandoned
after the devastating Mayon
eruption of 1814 Thats where
the historical rectifcation should
start or come in. (Raymond A.
Sebastin)
preparing the faithful to
embrace the idea of mercy
and compassion which is
the theme of the papal visit.
Yung message na mas
higit na ang layunin ni pope
na makita yung mahihirap
na nasalanta pero wala na-
man sila sa Manila kundi
nasa Leyte and Samar, (The
message says that the pri-
mary intention of the pope
is to see the poor victims, but
they are not in Manilathey
are in Leyte and Samar.) Ga-
riguez said.
Di ko sinasabi na huwag
na pumunta sa Manila. Ang
sinasabi ko lang ang kahilin-
gan ng mga nasalanta na mas
matagal na makapiling si
pope. (I am not saying that
he should not go to Manila.
All I am saying is that the
longing of the survivors is
that they should have more
time with the pope.)
If there are concerns about
popes accommodation in
typhoon-ravaged areas, the
priest believes that is not a
major problem.
Titira yun kahit saan.
Handa si pope na tumigil at
makipamuhay sa mahihirap.
Di naman kailangan sa fve
star hotel, (He can stay
wherever. The pope is ready
to stay and live with the poor.
He does not require a fve
star hotel.) said Gariguez.

Survivors transfer
A Catholic prelate sees
no reason why Palo offcials
should remove Yolanda sur-
vivors from their present
location in view of the papal
visit if it will only mean
glossing over their ineffi-
ciency in the rehabilitation
effort, and keeping Pope
Francis from seeing the real
situation there.
While Manila Auxillary
Bishop Broderick Pabillo
clarifed he is not against any
move that will give survivors
permanent shelters and the
means of earning their living,
he is uncompromising in his
opposition to a whitewash
campaign to be initiated al-
legedly by the Palo LGU that
will make the post-Yolanda
condition in the area look
better than what it really is.
Of course, Yolanda sur-
vivors are not supposed to
live in bunkhouses forever.
They must have something
they can permanently call
their own. If their leaders
motive in resettling them
somewhere else is to give
them all these things, so
much the better. But if it is
to their own self-interest, it
will be wrong for politicians
to hide survivors just so the
Pope cant see them still
making do with bunkhouses
a year after Yolanda, the
prelate said.
Pabillo, who also chairs
the CBCP Committee on
Public Affairs, stresses the
Holy Fathers upcoming visit
is mainly about inspiring
the people affected by the
super typhoon, raising their
morale, strengthening their
faith, and not adding to their
misery.
Its disappointing there
are people who can even
think of exploiting Pope
Francis for their own beneft.
The Holy Father is coming
here to help the poor, not
to make them poorer, he
added.
The prelate reiterated that
the Catholic Church, as the
Church of the Poor, has
always stood up and fought
for the rights of the under-
privileged.
Meanwhile, Pabillo has
called on the Archdiocese of
Palo to look into this mat-
ter further, and to dialogue
with Palo leaders on behalf
of Yolanda survivors. (With
reports from Raymond Se-
bastian)
Time / A1
ofconfict in Mindanao.
The bishops particularly insist on
the participation in the exchange and
debates on the law of the indigenous
communities.
It would violate the tenets of social
justice to ignore them under the pretext
of going by the desires of the majority,
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP
president, said in a statement.
Citing lessons from the Middle East,
he said the law will only succeed if its
discussion will be inclusive, and called
on all sectors to be allowed to take part
in the process.
Let those who have reservations to
the proposal, or even those who oppose
it, speak their minds freely, coherently
and without reserve, and let those who
advocate it argue as strenuously in its
defense, for only in the context of intel-
ligent but charitable discourse can
we hope for a reasonable outcome and
resolution, Villegas said.
The bishops also pledged support
for all initiatives and efforts to achieve
lasting peace in Mindanao, saying that
peace in the region has been a com-
mon national aspiration for a very long
time now.
Villegas also said that the emergence
of Bangsamoro should not mean the
exclusion of any Filipino from any part
of the country by reason of religious
belief, ethnicity or language.
Our Muslim brothers and sisters
have found their way through vari-
ous parts of the archipelago, settling
in many provinces heretofore almost
exclusively peopled by Christians,
he said.
He added: As far as we know, they
have been welcomed, received and
respected. It is our hope that Chris-
tians too may receive hospitality in
those parts of the one Republic that,
by legislation, may be marked out as
Bangsamoro.
The House Representatives recently
started committee hearings on the
proposed BBL, as a series of public
hearings are also set in different parts
of Mindanao on the BBL that once ap-
proved, will create a Bangsamoro core
territory that will replace the Autono-
mous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
(CBCPNews)
Bangsamoro / A1
being denied for sectors like
farmers, indigenous people,
fsherfolks, labor and even
the victims of calamities. So
with this celebration we are
called to renew this commit-
ment, Fr. Edwin Gariguez,
CBCP-NASSA executive
secretary, said in a statement.
Year of the Poor
Backed by its sister commis-
sions, as well as the countrys
85 dioceses, NASSA, CBCPs
development arm, has been
tasked to spearhead the one-
year celebration of the Year of
the Poor, which will offcially
open on Nov. 23, 2014, ending
the Year of the Laity.
Inspired by Luke 22:61,
which reads Look at Jesus
And the Lord turned and
looked at Peter, this upcom-
ing Year of the Poor is the
third of the nine-year era of
New Evangelization set to
prepare the Filipino faith-
ful for the ffth centenary of
Christianity in the Philip-
pines in 2021.
According to Gariguez,
it seeks to respond to the
challenge posed by the Sec-
ond Plenary Council of the
Philippines (PCP II) for the
Church in the country to be a
Church of the Poor, which
CBCP noted, has become
even more valid as before.
The event also paid tribute
to 40 years of Alay Kapwa,
the Lenten evangelization
program for the poor started
in 1974, fosters love for ones
neighbors and Gods creation
through evangelization and
resource mobilization of the
local church while supporting
NASSAs disaster emergency
and advocacies toward social
transformation and resiliency.
Microfnance
Forty years as a signifcant
number in Bible is a com-
mitment to share love and
justice and to help the poor
and the needy. Some of the
activities of the program is the
Friend Raising for the Poor.
This project intends to raise
P4 million in forty weeks to
support the Self Help Group
(SHEG) microfnance project
to empower poor communi-
ties, Gariguez shared.
Themed Social Action
Network: Fulflling its mis-
sion of becoming Church
of the Poor, the launch
coincided with the National
Social Action General As-
sembly (NASAGA) hosted
by the Diocese of Butuan,
and which gathered together
all Diocesan Social Action
Centers (DSAC) to discuss
every two years the various
social issues confronted by
their respective dioceses.
Besides NASAGAs over
200 participants, Cceres
Archbishop Rolando Tria
Tirona, who chairs CBCPs
Episcopal Commission on
Social Action, Justice and
Peace (ECSA-JP); Butuan
Bishop Juan de Dios M.
Pueblos; and the local clergy
also graced the occasion.
(Raymond A. Sebastin)
AK / A1
place for me. Not because of my travels
and the dangers, but to see and hear,
especially mothers talking to their
children at the airport, bidding them
goodbye. And you could see how their
hearts are broken, he said.
Tagle, who is one of the three
Delegate Presidents of the ongo-
ing Third Extraordinary General
Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on
the Family, was at a loss to describe
the plight of these Filipino migrant
workers and their families, express-
ing hope that these realities could be
brought to the attention of his fellow
Synod Fathers.
[Then] you wonder what type of
strength they need. Then you pray
Lord, give them strength, he said.
Tagle counts povertyextreme pov-
ertyamong the many challenges to
families in the Philippines.
The prelate stressed, In one of our
meetings at the Council of the Synod of
Bishops, I sort of reminded them that
poverty is not just an external context
for many of us in the Philippines. It
goes right at the heart of the family. It
affects the relationship of the members
of the immediate family, and even the
future.
Poverty, migration
According to him, one dramatic
effect of poverty is migration, which
causes a temporary, but often prolonged
separation in the Filipino family due to
economic constraints.
De facto there is a separation of cou-
ples, of parents from their children. But
not because they couldnt stand each
other. Not because theres a breakdown
in communication. Not because of con-
ficts. They get separated because they
love each other. And the best way for
some of them to show concern, and love,
and support is to leave, he explained.
To leave the family and fnd employ-
ment elsewhere. Its a separation that
defnitely creates a wound and leaves
a wound, especially on the children. I
asked, for example, countries that receive
Filipino migrants what pastoral program
do we have for these individuals so
that they could remain faithful to their
spouses and remain faithful to their
families back home, the cardinal added.
Holding back his tears, Tagle asked,
What type of emotional frst aidif
you want to put it that waywould
we offer to incoming migrants, most of
them confused, lost, lonely? (Raymond
A. Sebastin)
Taglet / A1
for the public to see what climate change
means and why there is a need to start
making changes.
According to him, economic powers
are not solely responsible for this but
everyone is called to care for the earth,
especially in this time of grave danger
for her and for all of us.
In parishes, he said that church-based
groups and civic organizations are
called to explore ways to protect the
environment as well as to propagate
this environmental awareness.
When necessary, he said Filipinos
should lobby for legislation and advo-
cate causes that will curb environmental
degradation caused by the excesses of
industry.
Even as we do our best as in-
dividuals and communities to curb
climate change, we must realize it is
already upon us, said Villegas, adding
that the task of addressing the problem
is an urgent one.
Integral to this would be knowing
the hazards that we face, knowing our
environment, knowing our community,
and working with our government and
civil society organizations to prepare for
the future, he said. (CBCPNews)
CBCP / A1
A7 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Diocesan News
Church wont change
anti-nuke plant stand
BALANGA, BataanDismissing
lobbying from business groups, a
Catholic bishop stresses his diocese
will not change its stance against the
revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power
Plant (BNPP).
Amid a looming energy crisis,
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said
the diocese will counter plans to use
nuclear power to generate electricity
in the country.
In a recent pastoral letter, he said
the Churchs position on the issue
was researched and discussed before
a decision was taken.
The Diocese of Balangas has de-
cided. And the Diocese of Balanga
makes a stand yet again, Santos said
in the vernacular. The Diocese of
Balangan is against this [move]. And
this stand will not change.
The BNPP damages life, liveli-
hood and nature. The BNPP is not
the answer to the present needs of the
people. No one is safe from the Bataan
Nuclear Power Plant, he added.
The bishop maintains that the
mothballed nuclear power plant
would endanger the lives of the Fili-
pino people.
Instead of reviving it, the diocese
urged the government to focus on
other alternatives for power genera-
tion that are safe and sustainable.
Because life is so much more valu-
able to us than proft or money to be
gained from cheap electricity or for the
selfsh needs of the bodyWe believe
that energy can be generated from
wind or from water (hydro) or from
the sun (solar) that can be studied,
tested or harnessed. (CBCP News)
Basilan bishop: governance is
Bangsamoros problem
ISABELA, BasilanDespite
the official backing of the
national government, the
Prelature of Isabela de Basi-
lan is convinced the real
problem with the proposed
Bangsamoro Entity is not the
funding, but the people who
will be chosen to govern it.
Governance is the main
issue with Bangsamoro,
Basilan Bishop Martin Ju-
moad noted in an interview
over Church-run Radyo Veri-
tas on October 9.
Transparency
While he is not against
Malacaang rolling out P35-
billion to Bangsamoro as ini-
tial fund, the prelate pushes
for the accountability of its
leaders and transparency in
fscal matters, citing the al-
leged history of graft and cor-
ruption in the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao
(ARMM) as reason why this
should be the case.
The national government
is very supportive of the
Bangsamoro as it has been
of ARMM. Unfortunately, the
people running ARMM have
a history of too much graft
and corruption which make
Christians apprehensive of
becoming part of it, he said.
For Malaybalay Bishop Jos
Cabantan, all transactions in-
volving the multibillion-peso
fund must be made public so
that Filipinos, particularly
those in Mindanao, will know
whether their money is being
spent properly.
The prelate added that a
massive consultation should
be conducted, especially
among Mindanaos various
Lumad tribes before approv-
ing Bangsamoro.
Cabantan hopes the Aqui-
no administration is not just
using the Bangsamoro issue
to win popular support in
the region. (Raymond A.
Sebastian)
Hundreds of supporters, including womens groups, converge at the Pikit
Municipal Plaza in Cotabato in March 2014 to show their support for the CAB
signing in Malacaang. OPAPP
PH families to benet
from Synodbishop
S O R S O G O N
CityA Catholic
bishop believes
the ongoing Third
Ext r aor di nar y
General Assem-
bly of the Synod
of Bi shops on
the Family is a
big step towards
shedding light on
various issues af-
fecting the lives of
todays Catholic
families like mar-
riage, contracep-
tion, poverty, and
others, especially in the Philippines.
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes agreed
with Manila Archbishop Lus Antonio
G. Cardinal Tagle, one of the Synods
three Delegate Presidents that poor
Filipino families will benefit greatly
from this meeting.
Like Tagle, the prelate, who chairs
the Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP)s Episcopal Com-
mission on Mission (ECM), pointed
to forced separation due to economic
constraints as a leading cause of broken
homes in the country.
Bastes lamented that children of
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are
more likely to engage in premarital sex,
and teenage pregnancies are more com-
mon among daughters of OFW parents.
While the Church is doing everything
she can to help, the bishop stressed all
the more must the government find
ways to improve the lot of economically
disadvantaged Filipinos by ensuring
them of jobs available at home, eliminat-
ing the need to fnd work abroad.
According to the Philippine Statistics
Authority, the number of registered
OFWs in 2013 is estimated at 2.2 million.
Themed The pastoral challenges
of the family in the context of evan-
gelization, the Synod which opened
on Oct. 5 at the Vatican, will end on
Oct.19 .
Its Preparatory Document mentions
that the Synod aims to defne the status
quaestionis (current situation) and to col-
lect the bishops experiences and propos-
als in proclaiming and living the Gospel of
the Family in a credible manner.
The docuent Instrumentum Laboris
adds the it will thoroughly examine
and analyze the information, testimo-
nies and recommendations received
from the particular Churches in order
to respond to the new challenges of the
family. (Raymond A. Sebastin)
nem, and the fact that often a value has
been attributed to the document that
does not correspond to its nature.
The relatios publication was hailed in
the secular media with such headlines
as Synod signals Catholic shift on
gays and Vaticans New Views On
Gays, Divorced.
The Holy See press offce also noted
that the relatio is now being offered
for discussion by the members of the
Synod gathered in the Small Groups,
in accordance with the Regulations of
the Synod.\
Among the synod fathers who re-
ceived the relatio less than warmly
was Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, O.F.M.,
of Durban, South Africas largest port
on the Indian Ocean.
Cardinal Napier, a moderator of one
of the small circles at the synod, openly
dismissed the relatio during an Oct.
14 briefing with journalists, saying,
thats Cardinal Erdos text, not the
synod text.
The cardinal questioned whether
some expectations of the synod are
unrealistic, and underscored that the
synod is not called to discuss contra-
ception, abortion, same-sex marriages.
It was convoked to speak about the
family.
How it is written, the relatio conveys
that there is an agreement on issues, on
which there is not in fact an agreement
the Archbishop of Durban underscored.
And he concluded: I hope the line
of the synod, not that of some group,
prevails.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of
the Congregation for the Evangelization
of Peoples and moderator of an Italian
small group, recounted to journalists
that synod fathers were surprised
by the frst reactions published in the
media, as if the Pope has declared, as if
the synod has decided it is not true!
The relatio is a working document, and
every group will relate its points of view
and proposals, which will be voted on
by the synod fathers.
Notwithstanding the Holy See press
offces statement, the discussions in
small circles has been called lively by
many of the participants.
The press office also released an
unoffcial summary of the discussion
that followed the issuance of the relatio.
According to this summary, the synod
fathers raised many points of concern.
The synod fathers stressed that the
relatio should have spoken more widely
of families faithful to the Gospel, in or-
der to encourage their testimony; they
also asked that the synod shed light
with clarity on the beautiful and merci-
ful indissolubility of marriagewhich
is often lived out and is indeed possible
in our societyrather than focusing on
failed family situations.
Other synod fathers desired to stress
more the importance of women in
transmitting life and faith; suggested
to at least mention the importance of
grandparents; asked for a more spe-
cifc mention to the family as domestic
Church, to the parish as family of
families, and to the Holy Family.
The Holy See press office also re-
ported that synod fathers asked that the
issue of graduality be clarifed, since it
can lead to some confusion.
For instance, regarding admission
to the sacraments for the divorced and
remarried, it was said that it is diffcult
to welcome exceptions without excep-
tions becoming a common rule, the
Holy See press offce recounted.
For what concern homosexuals,
synod fathers have highlighted that
welcoming them is needed, but this
must be done prudently, in order not to
give the impression that the Church is
positively evaluating homosexual acts.
Part of this discussion was also re-
vealed during the Oct. 13 press confer-
ence. Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-
Budapest and general rapporteur of
the synod, said the relatio may not be
completely attributed to him.
When asked about legislation re-
garding homosexual couples, Cardinal
Erdo did not respond and instead gave
the foor to Archbishop Bruno Forte of
Chieti-Vasto, saying who has written
the paragraph must respond.
However, after Archbishop Fortes re-
sponse, Cardinal Erdo wanted to point
out that the relatio lacks a mention of
the disorder of some behavior, even
though synod fathers had stressed it.
Likewise, some synod fathersthe
Holy See press offce saidcomplained
that the word sin is almost not present
in the relatio, and reminded that Christ
asked that his followers not conform
to the mentality of the contemporary
world.
In an Oct. 13 interview, Cardinal Ray-
mond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic
Signatura, told CNA the relatio is sim-
ply riven with very serious diffculties,
and Im deeply, deeply concerned and
Im not alone.
And Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki
of Poznan, on behalf of the Polish bish-
ops conference, told Vatican Radio that
we also need to present the truth, ac-
cording to a translation by Rorate Caeli.
It is general opinion that the relatio
post disceptationem may be overturned
in the final document, the relatio
synodi (synods report).
The latter will be a comprehensive
document which will contain all the in-
puts of the two-week synod of bishops.
It will be the first time the synod
issues a fnal report. Usually, synods
made a list of proposals and sugges-
tions coming from the discussions of
the small groups, and the Pope himself
was entrusted with summarizing all
the concerns and suggestions in a post-
synodal apostolic exhortation.
According to the new methodology
of the synod, the proposals will be sum-
marized by the General Secretary of the
Synod, the General Rapporteur, the Spe-
cial Secretary, and a group of six prelates
called to assist in drafting the document.
The group includes: president and
deputy of the Commission for the
message, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi,
president of the Pontifcal Council for
Culture; Archbishop Victor Fernandez,
rector of the Catholic University of
Argentina; the General Superior of the
Society of Jesus, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas;
Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of
Tlalnepantla; Cardinal Donald Wuerl
of Washington; and Peter Kang U-il,
Bishop of Cheju.
The appointment of six people to
help in drafting the fnal report was
normal. Before, there were proposals,
and there was no need of help to draft
a comprehensive text. This kind of sum-
mary is a hard amount of work for the
only General Rapporteur and General
Secretary, said Fr. Federico Lombardi,
director of the Holy See Press Offce.
The Pope will decide whether or not
to make public the synods report. Its
conclusions will be the basis for the
working document of the 2015 synod
of bishops. (CNA/EWTN News)
Synod / A1
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes. CBCP NEWS
Closer to God
From feeling it was the end of the
world, the earthquake made them closer
to God, that God is with them, accompa-
nying them, the prelate said. He added
local residents have begun building
homes, churches and lives are starting
to go back to normal in communities.
Medroso added, while tourism has
gone down with the destruction of
heritage and age-old churches, the
community is back on its feet.
From hopelessness, local residents
have come to understand life and why
tragedies happen.
They have accepted that little by
little, slowly opening their eyes to the
realities, he further said.
Medroso said Boholanons longed for
a decent place for worship and with
their churches destroyed someway,
somehow people saw the need for
putting up alternate churches, not
necessarily build the centuries-old
structures, but places for them to wor-
ship on Sundays.
While the government plans to re-
build old churches, it may take years
and some may just be declared ruins
while others may be converted into
auditoriums or schoolhouses, the
bishop added.
It is the peoples initiative to rebuild
alternate churches through the efforts
of generous donors.
Network of friends, benefactors
They already inaugurated the al-
ternate church in Loboc last Sunday,
Medroso said.
He said the government also re-
sponded to the needs of the earth-
quake victims though they have
their own pace with fund releases
requi ri ng some ti me as offi ci al s
would deliberate and discuss how
projects would be implemented.
The prelate said for Bohol to fully
recover, investments in tourism should
be made because it is tourism that
drives the island provinces economy
aside from agriculture.
We have to bring the tourists back
as we rebuild churches, not for the
tourists alone, [but also because] Bo-
holanons would like to express their
faith, he further explained.
As Medroso thanked generous
benefactors, he said he prays more
donors will continue to support in
building churches which may take
five to ten years.
The Bohol earthquake also strength-
ened the network of overseas Filipinos
who extended the much-needed help.
(Melo M. Acuna)
Bohol / A1
love they know (and the act
that accompanies it) is one
for and with another person
of the same gender, they
argue that they have a right
to find happiness in love.
Kasalanan ko bang ipinan-
ganak akong isang sirena?
(Is it my fault that I was born
a mermaid?), a lot of gay men
I know have jokingly asked.
Like any other person they
look for someone to love,
be loved by, and when they
do, they have sex without
babies (to put it bluntly). Its
sex to please oneself and the
beloved. Pleasure blinds the
indulgent, and this is where
their problem worsens. They
drop out of Church, or in any
case stop listening to God
talkinstead they choose
listen to the other side,
and from there its a slippery
slope to perdition.
Somebody has to remind
them of their divine rights,
to convince them that they
arelike everybody else,
inside or outside the Catholic
Churchchildren of a kind
and loving God. As such
we have a right to ask for
strength from our Father in
times of temptation. As His
children we all are bound by
love to listen to Gods voice,
to seek His will in everything
we doand certainly, wast-
ing sexual energy is not one
of them.
Who says you have to
have sex with your boy-
friend to express your love?
I tell this to my gay friends
who seem to fit from one
fling to another in search
of happiness in love. (They
keep getting brokenhearted
anyway). Happiness in
love is not found in human
love aloneperhaps, in
making you a sirena God
wants to be your siyukoy
(merman)! But if you keep
complaining and marching
in the streets for your gay
rights, how can you hear the
Father telling you He loves
you?
It is said that hope springs
eternal in the human breast.
And so my gay friends still
hope that with such a dy-
namic pope as Francis at the
helm, the ongoing synod of
bishops will maybe allow
same-sex marriage. You
see, I tell them, youre just
listening to the noise! The
Church will continue to love
you dearly but it will never
bless your same-sex union
and call it marriage. And
thats the truth.
And Thats The Truth / A4
IPs are Gods children too priest
JARO, Iloilo, Oct. 13, 2014 As the Phil-
ippine Church celebrates Indigenous
Peoples Sunday, a diocesan priest
echoes the truth that all are children of
God, including indigenous people.
Let us always remember that indig-
enous people are no different from us,
we are all children of God! We have
the same Father in heaven; we are all
brothers and sisters, Fr. Ricky B. So-
riano, director of the Jaro Archdiocesan
Commission on Indigenous People said
in his message on Indigenous Peoples
Sunday,
Observing the current situation of
the IPs, Soriano lamented, They are
at many times neglected, despised
and rejected. Yet still they continue
to live, survive and face the future
with hope and courage. Their prayer
is that, one day, they will be treated
with dignity like every human person
should be.
According to him, IPs are no dif-
ferent from other people in that they
also dream of justice; of affording their
children the freedom to express them-
selves without fear of being ridiculed;
of living in a home free from the fear of
demolition jobs.
They pray that people will under-
stand their custom and tradition and
hope that everyone will see and appre-
ciate the beauty of their lives and their
goodness, Soriano added.
Following the CBCPs call to Fili-
pino Catholics to be a people of mercy
and compassion, the priest said On
this day, we are called to remember
the Indigenous People in our prayers
and through our concrete acts of char-
ity. Indigenous People need us. They
need our love, our concern and our
respect. They need us to appreciate
their goodness and acknowledge and
understand them for who and what
they are. They need our sensitivity
to their feelings and struggles. They
need us to be their friend to lean on,
to be their brothers and sisters who
can listen and not judge them, and
as their own family who can protect
them.
In his call to action, Soriano chal-
lenged the people of his archdiocese to
Act now, not tomorrow, to have the
heart and the courage to express our
love and support to the IPs.
On Oct. 21, 2014, the Archdiocese
of Jaro will hold a celebration with
Indigenous Peoples with the theme
Hugpong Katutubo: Magbalik Tan-
aw, Ugatsang Ginsuguran Padulong
sa Kauswagan.
On that day the Ati community of
Leong will act as the host community
for this years Indigenous Peoples cel-
ebration. Different IP communities in
Iloilo will gather at the Ati Community,
Barangay Leong, Cabatuan, from 8 a.m.
to 4 p.m.
The Jaro Archdiocesan Commission
on Indigenous People is appealing to
people for their generosity by sending
donations for the on-going programs
for IPs. Interested parties may con-
tact their offce at telephone number
(033)329-4442.
This occasion will be an opportunity
for all of us to re-visit and re-appreciate
once again indigenous cultures and
practices and to strengthen their broth-
erhood as one family of God, Soriano
added. (Fr. Mickey Cardenas)
Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
A8 People, Facts & Places
CBCP heads
interfaith forum
THE Catholic Bishops Con-
ference of the Philippines
(CBCP), through its Episco-
pal Commission on Inter-
religious Dialogue (ECID),
was at the frontline of an
interfaith forum on Oct. 11,
Saturday, at the Fo Guang
Shan Mabuhay Temple on
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay
City.
According to CBCP-ECID
Executive Secretary Fr. Car-
los Reyes, the interfaith
forum gathered around 150
leaders of the countrys vari-
ous religious denominations
to discuss the positive role
of religion on culture and
society.
Reyes detailed that the
meet i ng zoomed i n on
important issues affect-
ing the country like cli-
mate change, the peace
and order situation, good
governance, and disaster
response.
According to the priest,
society and culture are in-
debted to religion.
Reyes stressed that reli-
gion serves an indispensable
function in helping resolve
problems confronting the
Philippines.
Religion, he explained,
provides people with moral
precepts that guide them in
their actions.
Reyes also pointed out
that each person has a right
to choose his or her religion.
(Raymond A. Sebastin)
Some 150 religious leaders from various denominations took part in an interfaith forum on Oct. 11, 2014 at the Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple on Roxas
Boulevard, Pasay City. MASOL SANTIAGO
Cotabatos March of Saints
to replace Halloween
THE Archdiocese of Cotabato has
decided to recapture the essence of
Undas by encouraging its parishes
to organize wholesome activities that
will highlight the lives and virtues of
Catholic saints, replacing the popular
Halloween practices.
Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Col-
lin Bagaforo told Church-run Radyo
Veritas in a recent interview that they
will be coming out with a March of
the Saints shortly before November
1 and 2, All Saints Day and All Souls
Day, respectively, when Catholics
honor the souls in heaven (Church
triumphant), and pray for the souls in
purgatory (Church penitent).
It is a values-oriented program which,
the prelate explained, aims to do away
with the Western-infuenced tradition
of scary pranks and bizarre costumes
many Filipinos are used to seeing during
Halloween with its focus on the para-
normal and reemphasize the message
of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
Bagaforo expresses hope that his
archdioceses lead will be taken up by
other episcopal sees.
The bishop shared it will inspire the
lay faithful, especially the youth, to
learn from and emulate the examples
of the Churchs super heroes whose
sanctity has earned them the privilege
of beatifc vision.
According to Bagaforo, this March
of the Saints is one way the Cotabato
Archdiocese takes part in the celebra-
tion of the Year of the Laity before it
draws to a close.
This Year of the Laity, with its con-
stant reminder that Christians are
Called to be Saints and Send Forth As
Heroes, is due to end in November.
It will be followed by the Year of the
Poor. (Raymond A. Sebastin)
Several parishes are promoting the March of Saints practicehaving children dressed up as saints and
martyrs during Halloweeninstead of the usual scary costumes. CARLOS ODA
KC, KCFAPI host skills
training for out-of-
school youth
THE Knights of Columbus Luzon
Jurisdiction together with its insur-
ance arm, the Knights of Columbus
Fraternal Association of the Philip-
pines, Inc (KCFAPI) launched a hotel
and restaurant services skills training
program on Oct. 7 at the KC Fr. George
J. Willmann, SJ Center in Intramuros,
Manila.
The training, which is organized in
coordination with the DSW-Manila
Manpower Development Center of the
city of Manila, aims to teach the out-
of-school youth basic skills for food
and beverage services as a livelihood
opportunity.
Samuel O. Ambayer from DSW-MLA
will be the resource speaker of the said
skills training program that will culmi-
nate on Nov. 7.
Among the topics to be discussed
are basics of table setting that includes
napkin-folding and table-skirting;
cocktail-mixing; hotel housekeeping;
bartending; and fower arrangement,
among others.
To be eligible for the program, partici-
pants must be physically and mentally
ft; 18-35 years of age and residing in
Metro Manila.
After the course, the attendees of the
training program will be given a TESDA
accreditation certifcate. DSW-MLA is a
TESDA accredited training center that as-
sists in the implementation of livelihood
programs in the city of Manila. (YO)
Luzon Deputy and KCFAPI President, Arsenio Isidro G. Yap leads the opening of the Hotel and Restaurant
Services Training Program launch, together with KCFAPI Executive Vice President, Ma. Theresa G. Curia,
Luzon State ofcials and representatives of DSW-MLA. YEN OCAMPO
Baclaran kids star in
month-long celebration
OCTOBER being the month especially
dedicated to children, the National
Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help
(Baclaran Church), is set to come out
with a host of activities which aims to
pay tribute to whom Rizal once called
as the hope of the fatherland.
Queenamor Monserrat, an engineer
who donates her free hours catechiz-
ing poor children, many of whom are
neglected and abandoned by their
parents, shared the annual event, which
is organized in coordination with its
Redemptorist Catechetical Commission,
is one that the Baclaran Shrine regularly
observes.
This is to emphasize the importance
of children in our society, especially the
children in the Redemptorist [commu-
nity], she said.
Monserrat explained this celebration
is also in keeping with the Presidential
Proclamation No. 267 [which] declared
the month of October of every year as
National Childrens Month.
Themed Batang Layko, Si Kristo Like
(A)ko, Baclaran Churchs Childrens
Month event schedule is as follows:
October 19 (Sunday)
1:30 p.m. Catechesis
2:30 p.m. Childrens Mass
3:30 p.m. Shrine Clean-Up Project
October 26 (Sunday)
1:30 p.m. Catechesis
2:30 p.m. Childrens Mass
3:30 p.m. Final Round The Voice of
RedempKids
& Culmination Program
According to the Council of the
Welfare (CWC) website, the National
Childrens Month seeks to emphasize
the importance of the role of the child
within the Filipino family and in nation
building.
Section 13, Article II of the Philippine
Constitution recognizes the vital role
of the youth in the nation building and
shall promote and protect their physi-
cal, moral, spiritual, intellectual and
social well-being. It shall inculcate in
the youth, patriotism and nationalism,
and encourage their involvement in
public and civic affairs. (Raymond A.
Sebastin)
Baclaran children, mostly from depressed areas nearby, perform a doxology as part of the shrines Flores
de Mara celebration while the famous icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help watches them from behind.
RAYMOND A. SEBASTIN
Fatima parishes to hold
fundraising devotional concert
IN what is expected to be the grandest
devotional-concert of the season,
parishes under the Archdiocese of Ma-
nila (RCAM) dedicated to Our Lady of
Ftima, are set to bring to the faithful a
fund-raising musical extravaganza on
on Oct. 23, Thursday, 8 p.m. at the El
Shaddai International House of Prayer,
Amvel, San Dionisio, Paraaque City.
Dubbed Ave Maria: One Lady, One
Voice, One Concert, the event, which
aims to raise funds for the Churchs
various programs and projects, is slated
to feature some of the biggest names in
the Filipino entertainment scene with the
special participation of RCAMs Arch-
bishop Lus Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle,
who is all out in support of the concert.
These top performers i ncl ude
FORTEnors, a quartet of young tenor
vocalists composed of David Ezra Cruz,
Christian Nagao, Jenmai De Asis,
and Johann Enriquez; Pinoy Dream
Academy Season 2 winner, Laarni Lo-
zada; Bayanihan, the National Dance
Company of the Philippines, Asias
Diva, Dulce; and music legend Jos
Mari Chan.
Chan, the genius behind classic Fili-
pino love ballads, shared,I always say
that music is its own reward and con-
necting with people through my music
is the most satisfying of all.
Seats are priced at Php 1000 for VIP,
Php 500 for Patron, and Php 300 for
Premium.
For other inquiries, contact the Our
Lady of Fatima Parish (OLFP) offces:
OLFP Mandaluyong, (02) 532-84-00;
OLFP Manila, (02) 713-57-76; OLFP
Makati, (02) 751-57-21; or OLFP, Pasay
(02) 854-74-50. (Raymond A. Sebastin)
IN keeping with its mission
of promoting and directing
the liturgical life of the faith-
ful, the Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines
(CBCP)s Episcopal Com-
mission on Liturgy (ECL) is
set to hold the Venerable
Pope Paul VI Pastoral Con-
ference I on Oct. 17, Friday,
3:00 p.m. at the San Carlos
Seminary, Guadalupe, Edsa,
Makati City.
Pastoral liturgy
The event, which is orga-
nized in coordination with
the Archdiocese of Manila
(RCAM)s Archdiocesan Li-
turgical Commission, the
Paul VI Institute of Liturgy,
and the San Beda College
Graduate School of Liturgy,
is dedicated to Pope Paul VI,
whose beatifcation is set on
the same day.
CBCP-ECL Chair Bishop
Julius S. Tonel of the Diocese
of Ipil in Zamboanga is slated
for the opening remarks,
while Manila Archbishop
Emeritus Gaudencio B. Cardi-
nal Rosales will look back to
Pope Paul VIs Pastoral Visit
to the Philippines in 1970.
Fr. James H. Kroeger of
the Loyola School of Theol-
ogy will give an overview
of Pope Paul VIs Apostolic
Exhortation Evangelii Nun-
tiandi (Evangelization in
the Modern World), which
the present pontiff, Francis,
described as The greatest
pastoral document written
to this day.
In it, the Pope affrms the
role of every Christian, clergy
and laity alike, in proclaiming
and spreading the Gospel.
Msgr. Ricardo Jess T. Ser-
rano, former president of the
University of the Assumption
in San Fernando, Pampanga
will discuss Pope Paul VIs
Legacy of Pastoral Liturgy.
Vespers will be said after
the talks.
Pope Paul VI
(1897-1978)
Paul VI was
born Giovanni Bat-
tista Enrico Anto-
nio Maria Montini
on September 26,
1897 in Concesio,
Italy. He was the
263rd successor to
the See of Peter
from 1963 until his
death in 1978.
Paul VI contin-
ued the Second
Vatican Council
which John XXIII
started in 1962.
In July 1968, he
issued the contro-
versial encyclical
Humanae Vitae
(Of Human Life) in
which he reaffrms
the orthodox teach-
ing of the Catholic Church on
married love, responsible par-
enthood, and contraception.
Dubbed the pilgrim
pope, he was the frst pontiff
to fy in an airplane.
He died in 1978 from a
heart attack. He was 80.
(Raymond A. Sebastin)
Liturgical confab set on Paul VIs beatication
B1
Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Pastoral Concerns
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YOUR Eminences, Your Beatitudes,
Your Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,
I give you my warm welcome to this
meeting and I thank you from my heart
for your caring and qualifed presence
and assistance.
On your behalf, I would like to express
my heartfelt thanks to all the people
who have worked with dedication,
with patience and with competence,
for many months, reading, evaluating,
and elaborating the themes, texts and
studies for this Extraordinary General
Assembly. Allow me to address a special
and warm thank you to Cardinal
Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General
of the Synod, to Bishop Fabio Fabene,
Undersecretary, and with them to
all the Relators, writers, consultants,
translators and to the entire staff of the
Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
They have worked tirelessly, and
continue to work, for the successful
outcome of this Synod: Thank you so
very much and may the Lord repay you!
I likewise thank the Post-Synodal
Council, the Relator and the Special
Secretary; the Bishops Conferences,
which have worked very hard and
with them, I thank the three President
Delegates.
I thank also you, dear Cardinals,
Patriarchs, Bishops, priests, men and
women religious and lay men and
women for your presence and for your
participation which enriches this work
and to collegiality and synodality
spirit for the good of the Church and
of the family! I also wanted this spirit
of synodality in the election of the
Relator, the Special Secretary and the
President Delegates. The frst two were
elected directly by the Post-Synodal
Council, by participants who attended
the last Synod. However, given that the
President Delegates must be chosen
by the Pope, I asked that Post-Synodal
Council to propose a few names, and I
have appointed those proposed to me.
You bring the voice of the Particular
Churches, assembled at the level of
local Churches through the Bishops
Conferences. The Universal Church
and the Particular Churches are divine
institutions; the local Churches are thus
understood as human institutions. You
will give voice in synodality . It is a great
responsibility: to bring the realities and
problems of the Churches, in order to
help them to walk on that path that is
the Gospel of the family.
One general and basic condition is
this: speaking honestly. Let no one say:
I cannot say this, they will think this
or this of me... It is necessary to say
with parrhesia all that one feels. After
the last Consistory (February 2014),
in which the family was discussed, a
Speaking with parrhesia,
listening with humility
(Greeting of Pope Francis to the Synod Fathers during the First General Congregation of the Third Extraordinary General
Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 6 October 2014)
Speak honestly. Let no
one say: I cannot say
this, they will think this
or this of me...
It is necessary to say
with parrhesia all
that one feels.
Called to work for the
Lords vineyard
(Homily of Pope Francis at the opening of
the Extraordinary Synod on the Family,
Vatican Basilica, 5 October 2014)

TODAY the prophet Isaiah and the Gospel employ the image of the Lords
vineyard. The Lords vineyard is his dream, the plan which he nurtures
with all his love, like a farmer who cares for his vineyard. Vines are plants
which need much care!
Gods dream is his people. He planted it and nurtured it with patient
and faithful love, so that it can become a holy people, a people which brings
forth abundant fruits of justice.
But in both the ancient prophecy and in Jesus parable, Gods dream is
thwarted. Isaiah says that the vine which he so loved and nurtured has
yielded wild grapes (5:2,4); God expected justice but saw bloodshed,
righteousness, but only a cry of distress (v. 7). In the Gospel, it is the farmers
themselves who ruin the Lords plan: they fail to do their job but think only
of their own interests.
In Jesus parable, he is addressing the chief priests and the elders of the
people, in other words the experts, the managers. To them in a particular
way God entrusted his dream, his people, for them to nurture, tend and
protect from the animals of the feld. This is the job of leaders: to nurture
the vineyard with freedom, creativity and hard work.
But Jesus tells us that those
farmers took over the vineyard.
Out of greed and pride they want
to do with it as they will, and so
they prevent God from realizing
his dream for the people he has
chosen.
The temptation to greed is ever
present. We encounter it also in
the great prophecy of Ezekiel on
the shepherds (cf. ch. 34), which
Saint Augustine commented
upon in one his celebrated
sermons which we have just
reread in the Liturgy of the Hours.
Greed for money and power. And
to satisfy this greed, evil pastors
lay intolerable burdens on the
shoulders of others, which they
themselves do not lift a fnger to
move (cf. Mt 23:4)
We too, in the Synod of Bishops,
are called to work for the Lords vineyard. Synod Assemblies are not meant
to discuss beautiful and clever ideas, or to see who is more intelligent They
are meant to better nurture and tend the Lords vineyard, to help realize his
dream, his loving plan for his people. In this case the Lord is asking us to
care for the family, which has been from the beginning an integral part of
his loving plan for humanity.
We are all sinners and can also be tempted to take over the vineyard,
because of that greed which is always present in us human beings. Gods
dream always clashes with the hypocrisy of some of his servants. We can
thwart Gods dream if we fail to let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit gives us that wisdom which surpasses knowledge, and enables us
to work generously with authentic freedom and humble creativity.
My Synod brothers, to do a good job of nurturing and tending the vineyard,
our hearts and our minds must be kept in Jesus Christ by the peace of God
which passes all understanding (Phil 4:7). In this way our thoughts and
plans will correspond to Gods dream: to form a holy people who are his
own and produce the fruits of the kingdom of God (cf. Mt 21:43).
We too, in the Synod
of Bishops, are called
to work for the Lords
vineyard. Synod
Assemblies are not
meant to discuss
beautiful and clever
ideas, or to see who is
more intelligent...
Cardinal wrote to me, saying: what a
shame that several Cardinals did not
have the courage to say certain things
out of respect for the Pope, perhaps
believing that the Pope might think
something else. This is not good, this is
not synodality, because it is necessary
to say all that, in the Lord, one feels the
need to say: without polite deference,
without hesitation. And, at the same
time, one must listen with humility and
welcome, with an open heart, what your
brothers say. Synodality is exercised with
these two approaches.
For this reason I ask of you, please, to
employ these approaches as brothers in
the Lord: speaking with parrhesia and
listening with humility.
And do so with great tranquility
and peace, so that the Synod may
always unfold cum Petro et sub
Petro, and the presence of the Pope
is a guarantee for all and a safeguard
of the faith.
Dear brothers, let us all collaborate
so that the dynamic of synodality shine
forth.
Thank you.
B2 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
became their proper vestment. For a
time, especially during the ninth to
14th centuries, bishops and even priests
would sometimes wear the dalmatic
under the chasuble. This use persists
today, but only for bishops, who may
vest a light dalmatic underneath
the chasuble in solemn celebrations,
especially ordinations.
According to current practice, priests
Updates
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso,
J.C.D.
THE Holy Father, Pope Francis,
has called upon the Synod of
Bishops to reflect upon the
situation of the family, decisive
and valuable, in its Extraordinary
General Assembly of October
2014, a reflection which will
then be pursued in greater
depth in the Ordinary General
Assembly scheduled to take
place in October 2015, as well as
during the full intervening year
between the two synodal events.
In the face of this great ecclesial
event, perhaps it would be good
to consider once more the notion
of the synod of bishops.
Al t hough t he synodal
principle is an ancient one in the
Churcha refection of the reality
of communion as a fundamental
principleit has been applied
analogously in different settings.
The present Synod of Bishops is
considered as one of the most
important innovations to the
canonical order from Vatican
Council II, instituted by Paul VI
in the M.P. Sollicitudo comnium
Ecclesiarum (24.VI.1969). Its
nature has only been clarifed
of late, after an initial period
of doctrinal controversy, or
what some author would call a
terminological impasse.
The Synod of Bishops
The convenire in unum around
the Bishop of Rome is already
an event of grace, in which
episcopal collegiality is made
manifest in a path of spiritual
and pastoral discernment:
thus Pope Francis described the
synodal experience, indicating
its tasks in the dual process of
listening to the signs of God and
the history of mankind and in
the resulting dual and unique
fidelity. Nevertheless, in the
strict sense of canonical doctrine,
such a statement needs some
clarifcation, as it could lead to a
misconception of the canonical
nature of the synod of bishops.
a. Canonical Nature of the
Synod of Bishops

Can.342The synod of bishops
is that group of bishops who have
been chosen from different regions
of the world and who meet at stated
times to foster a closer unity between
the Roman Pontiff and the bishops,
to assist the Roman Pontiff with
their counsels in safeguarding and
increasing faith and morals and
in preserving and strengthening
ecclesiastical discipline, and to
consider questions concerning the
Churchs activity in the world.
Certain quarters have pointed
out that the CIC had avoided the
debate on the canonical nature
of the Synod of Bishops by not
providing a legal defnition of the
synod that might have resolved
the question, and instead limited
itself to a description. Nevertheless,
to my mind the chapter on The
Synod of Bishops (cc.342-348) does
give us enough elementswhile
conspicuously omitting certain
othersto come up with a good
notion of this institution.
1) It is a coetus episcoporum
i.e., an assembly or group of bishops.
The terminological choice is
important, because it shows the
prevalence of the personal and
functional aspect rather than
the organic-institutional. This
point becomes more obvious
when we consider that in the
M.P. Apostolica Sollicitudo, the
Synod had been defned as a
central ecclesiastical institution
highlighting its structural aspects
and its hierarchical position in the
ecclesiastical organization.
In fact, during the deliberations
on text of c.343which we
shal l deal wi t h bel ow
it had been suggested that
the synod be considered as
an organ of government of the
universal Church, to which the
Commission responded that it
is rather a peculiar council of the
sacred Bishops, a stable council of
bishops, which did not enjoy any
legislative or decision-making
power, not even vicarious.
1
Thus,
the canonical legislator appears
to have wanted to diffuse the
institutional aspects of the
Synod, preferring to emphasize
its functional dynamics rather
than its structural form.
2) It is not a representative body
of the College of BishopsAnother
noteworthy omissionwith
respect to earlier documents
is that of the adverbial clause
taking the part of the whole Catholic
Episcopate, which underscored
the representative character of
the Synod with respect to the
College of Bishops. The Pontifcal
Commission for the Revision of
the CIC explained this omission
by pointing out the equivocal
nature of the expression, given
that one cannot attribute to the
Synod such a representative
characterin strict juridical
sensewith respect to the
Episcopal College.
2
3) It is a special consultative
body in aid of the Primacy At
the positive level, we can affrm
that perhaps the best way to
understand the nature of the
synod is to consider it as a special
consultative body which the Pope
convenesat his discretion and
for specifc questionsin order
to help him in the exercise of
his power of primacy over the
universal Church. This idea is
articulated in cc.343-344. In this
regard, we need to steer off two
extreme positions, and make two
clarifcations:
a) It is not just any consultative
body Rather, the authority of
the synodal conclusions are
of the highest levelamong
consultative bodiesnot so
much by the formal force of
the pronouncement, but by
reason of the representative
and sacramental qualities of the
members of the synod. No less
than John Paul II himself had
affirmed that the unanimous
opinion of the Bishops gathered
in a Synod constitutes a pondus
Ecclesiae peculiaris generis, quod
alicuius voti consultivi rationem
simpliciter formalem excedit.
3
b) But neither is it a
deliberative bodyand should
not be confused with the only
episcopal collegial organ with
deliberative power, which is
the Ecumenical Council. Paul
VI had clarified this point,
affrming that the Synod can in
no way be considered like an
Ecumenical Council, since it lacks
the composition, the authority
and the fnality of such a Council.
4

More recently, John Paul II had
reaffrmed this point.
5
The synod of bishops
Just as a priest would
not use the chasuble for
a Communion service,
the deacon would not
use a dalmatic.
When to Wear a Dalmatic
(Father Edward McNamara, professor
of liturgy and dean of theology at the
Regina Apostolorum university, answers
the following query:)
Q: I never assist in Mass wearing
just the alb and the stole. I insist in
wearing the ordinary vestment for
a deacon, my dalmatic. In case of
Communion services, should I or
shouldnt I wear a dalmatic? Is this
a vestment reserved only in case of
a sacrament, such as the Eucharist?
Also, may a deacon wear a dalmatic
when celebrating a baptism or
presiding the sacrament of holy
matrimony? -- J.M., Tampa, Florida
A: The proper vestment for a deacon
at Mass is an alb (with an amice if
required), cincture, stole worn in
the diaconal manner, and dalmatic.
The stole and dalmatic should be of the
corresponding liturgical color.
This vestment is a knee-length,
sleeved garment. It was originally
developed in Dalmatia, modern-day
Croatia, and was imported into Rome
during the second century.
At first the dalmatic, which was
originally longer, reaching the heels,
and more ample than today, was not
well received, being seen as somewhat
effeminate. Later, however, it became
popular among Roman senators and
imperial officials as a substitute for
the toga and was even used as the
proper garb for the consecration of
the emperor.
From this it became a habit proper
to the pope and to bishops. Finally it
was introduced as a vestment for the
deacons of Rome by Pope Sylvester I
in the fourth century and gradually
celebrating according to the ordinary
form never use the dalmatic. In the
extraordinary form there are certain
solemn celebrations in which a priest
substitutes for a deacon and is vested
accordingly. Likewise on exceptional
occasions cardinal deacons serve the
pope dressed in dalmatic.
With respect to its habitual use, we
may say that the dalmatic is to the
deacon what the chasuble is to the priest.
Therefore, in most cases the deacon may
use the dalmatic only when the priest
would use the chasuble.
An exception to this rule is when a
deacon accompanies a bishop or priest
who wears a cope in a solemn celebration
of the Liturgy of the Hours or for
Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.
As far as I have been able to ascertain,
there are no ritual situations in which a
deacon would use the dalmatic on his
own. It would seem that it is only
used when carrying out his functions
accompanying a bishop or priest.
Therefore, just as a priest would not
use the chasuble for a Communion
service, the deacon would not use
a dalmatic. The same can be said
of other celebrations of sacraments
and sacramentals, such as funeral
services, outside of Mass.
The proper vest ment f or
celebrations such as baptisms,
weddings, funerals and the like
outside of Mass is alb (or surplice
over a cassock), stole, and cope of the
appropriate liturgical color. In most
cases the appropriate color will be
white, although violet may be used
for funerals. These vestments may
be used by both priests and deacons
with the only difference being the
manner of wearing the stole.
c) Although hypothetically
it can become a deliberative body
with a power delegated by the
Roman Pontiff for specifc cases,
in which case he has to ratify its
decisions. Some authors have
pointed out that this hypothesis
has not been verifed in fact up
to the present, and I agree that
even from the point of view of
canonical technique, it would be
quite clumsy.
c. Types of Synods
In the practical level, the
CIC provides for three types of
synods, based on purpose and
membership. These are regulated
in cc.345-346.
1) General SessionA synod
of bishops can meet in a general
session, which deals with matters
which directly concern the good of
the entire Church; such a session
is either ordinary or extraordinary
(c.345, in principio). These are
convoked with a periodicity of
three years.
a) Ordinary General Session
The membership of a synod of bishops
gathered in ordinary general session
consists of the following: for the most
part, bishops elected to represent their
individual groups by the conference
of bishops in accord with the special
law of the synod; other bishops
designated in virtue of this law itself;
other bishops directly named by the
Roman Pontiff. To this membership
are added some members of clerical
religious institutes elected in accord
with the norm of the same special law
(c.346, 1).
The topics are selected in
advance by the Pope and
discussed by the conferences of
bishops prior to the meeting of
the Synod.
b) Extraordinary General
SessionA synod of bishops is
gathered in extraordinary general
session to deal with matters
which require a speedy solution;
its membership consists of the
following: most of them them are
bishops designated by the special
law of the synod in virtue of the
offce which they hold; others are
bishops directly named by the
Roman Pontiff. To this membership
are added some members of clerical
religious institutes elected in accord
with the same law (c.346, 2).
In the absence of a clear
criterion in the CIC regarding
the difference between the two
forms of the general session of
the Synod, the special law, to
which c.346 remits itself, situates
the distinctive criterion in the
note of urgency in the matters
to be tackled in extraordinary
session.
6
Nevertheless, the fact
remains that ultimately it is up
to the Roman Pontiff to evaluate
the note of urgency in the matter
to be tackled.
2) Speci al Sessi onThe
membership of a synod of bishops
gathered in special session consists
of those who have been especially
selected from the regions of which the
synod has been convoked, in accord
with the norm of the special law
which governs such synod (c.349,
3).
Special sessions are designed
for issues affecting one or more
particular regions. The members
are elected by their respective
episcopal conferencesfrom
one to four members according
to the size of the conference (one
delegate for every 25 members
of the episcopal conference or
fractions thereof).
3) Particular AssemblyThis is
a fourth type, neither foreseen in
the Code nor in the special law on
synods, created by John Paul II
and convoked twice in 1980: with
the Bishops of the Netherlands
and the Ukraine respectively. It is
very similar to the special session,
but is differentiated from it in two
points:
a) Membershipsince it
includes all the members of the
episcopal conference, while the
special session only includes a
number of delegates from the
same.
b) Para-deliberative Power
manifested in the particular
assembly, at least in the two
occasions when it has been
convoked.
In any case, this only shows
the great fexibility of the synodal
institution, while at the same
time exhalting the collegial
methodology in the exercise of
episcopal power in the context
of a lived collegiality.
Footnotes:
1 Cf. Communicationes, 14 (1982), 180.
2 Cf. Communicationes, 14 (1981), 93.
3 John Paul II, Discurso (20.IV.1983),
in Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, 1
(1983), 1101.
4 Paul VI, Allocuzione (30.IX.1967), in
AAS, 59 (1967), 560.
5 John Paul II, Discurso (30.IV.1983), in
AAS, 75 (1983), 650.
6 Cf. Ordo Synodi Episcoporum celebran-
dae promulgatur a Summo Pontifce appro-
batus, 8.XII.1966, in AAS, 59 (1967) 91-103.
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B3 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Year of the Laity
Relatio Post Disceptationem
The Midterm Report of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
DURING the prayer vigil held in St
Peters Square on 4 October 2014 in
preparation for the Synod on the family,
Pope Francis evoked the centrality of
the experience of family in all lives, in a
simple and concrete manner: Evening
falls on our assembly. It is the hour at
which one willingly returns home to
meet at the same table, in the depth
of affection, of the good that has been
done and received, of the encounters
which warm the heart and make it
grow, good wine which hastens the
unending feast in the days of man.
It is also the weightiest hour for one
who fnds himself face to face with his
own loneliness, in the bitter twilight
of shattered dreams and broken plans;
how many people trudge through the
day in the blind alley of resignation, of
abandonment, even resentment: in how
many homes the wine of joy has been
less plentiful, and therefore, also the
zestthe very wisdomfor life [].
Let us make our prayer heard for one
another this evening, a prayer for all.
The source of joys and trials, of deep
affections and relationsat times
woundedthe family is truly a school
of humanity (Familia schola quaedam
uberioris humanitatis est, Vatican Council
II, Constitution on the Church in the
Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 52),
of which we are in great need. Despite
the many signs of crisis in the institution
of the family in various contexts of the
global village, the desire for family
remains alive, especially among the
young, and is at the root of the Churchs
need to proclaim tirelessly and with
profound conviction the Gospel of
the family entrusted to her with the
revelation of Gods love in Jesus Christ.
The Bishop of Rome called upon
the Synod of Bishops to refect upon
the situation of the family, decisive
and valuable, in its Extraordinary
General Assembly of October 2014, a
refection which will then be pursued in
greater depth in the Ordinary General
Assembly scheduled to take place in
October 2015, as well as during the
full intervening year between the two
synodal events. The convenire in unum
around the Bishop of Rome is already
an event of grace, in which episcopal
collegiality is made manifest in a path
of spiritual and pastoral discernment:
thus Pope Francis described the synodal
experience, indicating its tasks in the
dual process of listening to the signs of
God and the history of mankind and in
the resulting dual and unique fdelity.
In the light of the same discourse we
have gathered together the results of
our refections and our dialogues in the
following three parts: listening, to look
at the situation of the family today, in
the complexity of its light and shade;
looking, our gaze fxed on Christ, to
re-evaluate with renewed freshness
and enthusiasm what the revelation
transmitted in the faith of the Church
tells us about the beauty and dignity of
the family; and discussion in the light
of the Lord Jesus to discern the ways in
which the Church and society can renew
their commitment to the family.
THE Synod dialog has allowed an agreement
on some of the more urgent pastoral needs to
be entrusted to being made concrete in the
individual local Churches, in communion
cum Petro et sub Petro.
The announcement of the Gospel of
the family is an urgent issue for the new
evangelization. The Church has to carry this
out with the tenderness of a mother and the
clarity of a teacher (cf. Eph 4, 15), in fdelity
to the merciful kenosi of Christ. The truth is
incarnated in human fragility not to condemn
it, but to cure it.
Evangelizing is the shared responsibility
of all Gods people, each according to his or
her own ministry and charism. Without the
joyous testimony of spouses and families, the
announcement, even if correct, risks being
misunderstood or submerged by the ocean
of words that is a characteristic of our society
(cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 50). On various
occasions the Synodal Fathers underlined that
Catholic families are called upon themselves
to be the active subjects of all the pastoral of
the family.
It will be decisive to highlight the primacy
of grace, and therefore of the possibilities that
the Spirit gives in the sacrament. This is about
letting it be known that the Gospel of the family
is a joy that flls the hearts and lives, because
in Christ we are set free from sin, sorrow,
inner emptiness, and loneliness (Evangelii
Gaudium, 1). In the light of the parable of the
sower (cf. Mt 13,3), our task is to cooperate in
the sowing: the rest is Gods work. We must
not forget that the Church that preaches about
the family is a sign of contradiction.
For this reason, what is required is a
missionary conversion: it is necessary not
to stop at an announcement that is merely
theoretical and has nothing to do with peoples
real problems. It must not be forgotten that the
crisis of faith has led to a crisis in matrimony
and the family and, as a result, the transmission
of faith from parents to children has often been
interrupted. Confronted by a strong faith, the
imposition of certain cultural perspectives
that weaken the family is of no importance.
Conversion has, above all, to be that of
language so that this might prove to be
effectively meaningful. The announcement
is about letting it be experienced that the
Gospel of the family is the response to the
deepest expectations of a person: to his or her
dignity and its full realization in reciprocity
and communion. This is not merely about
presenting a set of regulations but about
putting forward values, responding to the
need of those who fnd themselves today even
in the most secularized countries.
The indispensable biblical-theological study
is to be accompanied by dialog, at all levels.
Many insisted on a more positive approach
to the riches contained in diverse religious
experiences, while not being blind to the
diffculties. In the diverse cultural realities
the possibilities should frst be grasped and in
the light of them the limits and radicalizations
should be rejected.
Christian marriage cannot only be considered
as a cultural tradition or social obligation, but
has to be a vocational decision taken with the
proper preparation in an itinerary of faith,
with mature discernment. This is not about
creating diffculties and complicating the
cycles of formation, but of going deeply into
the issue and not being content with theoretical
meetings or general orientations.
The need was jointly referred to for a
conversion of all pastoral practices from
the perspective of the family, overcoming
the individualistic points of view that still
characterize it. This is why there was a
repeated insistence on renewing in this light
the training of presbyters and other pastoral
operators, through a greater involvement of
the families themselves.
In the same way, the necessity was
underlined for an evangelization that
denounces clearly the cultural, social and
economic factors, for example, the excessive
room given to market logic, that prevents an
authentic family life, leading to discrimination,
poverty, exclusion, and violence. For this
reason a dialog and cooperation has to be
developed with the social structures, and
lay people who are involved in cultural and
socio-political felds should be encouraged.
Guiding couples on the path in preparation
for marriage
Introduction
IN order to walk among
contemporary challenges, the
decisive condition is to maintain a
fxed gaze on Jesus Christ, to pause
in contemplation and in adoration
of His Face. ... Indeed, every time
we return to the source of the
Christian experience, new paths
and undreamed of possibilities
open up (Pope Francis, Address
of 4 October 2014). Jesus looked
upon the women and the men
he met with love and tenderness,
accompanying their steps
with patience and mercy, in
proclaiming the demands of the
Kingdom of God.
From the moment that the
order of creation is determined
by orientation towards Christ, it
becomes necessary to distinguish
without separating the various
levels through which God
communicates the grace of the
covenant to humanity. Through
the law of gradualness (cf.
Familiaris Consortio, 34), typical
of divine pedagogy, this means
interpreting the nuptial covenant
in terms of continuity and novelty,
in the order of creation and in that
of redemption.
Jesus Himself, referring to
the primordial plan for the
human couple, reaffirms the
indissoluble union between man
and woman, while understanding
that Moses permitted you to
divorce your wives because your
hearts were hard. But it was not
this way from the beginning
(Mt 19,8). In this way, He shows
how divine condescension
always accompanies the path of
humanity, directing it towards
its new beginning, not without
passing through the cross.
The family in Gods salvifc plan
Since, by their commitment
to mutual acceptance and with
the grace of Christ couples
promise fdelity to one another
and openness to life, they
acknowledge as constitutive
elements of marriage the gifts
God offers them, taking their
mutual responsibility seriously, in
His name and before the Church.
Now, in faith it is possible to
assume the goods of marriage as
commitments best maintained
with the help of the grace of the
sacrament. God consecrates love
between spouses and confrms its
indissolubility, offering them help
in living in fdelity and openness
to life. Therefore, the gaze of the
Church turns not only to the
couple, but to the family.
We are able to distinguish
three fundamental phases in the
divine plan for the family: the
family of origins, when God the
creator instituted the primordial
marriage between Adam and
Eve, as a solid foundation for
the family: he created them male
and female (cg. Gn 1,24-31; 2,4b);
the historic family, wounded
by sin (cf. Gn 3) and the family
redeemed by Christ (cf. Eph
5,21-32), in the image of the Holy
Trinity, the mystery from which
every true love springs. The
sponsal covenant, inaugurated
in creation and revealed in the
history of God and Israel, reaches
its fullest expression with Christ
in the Church.
The discernment of values
present in wounded families and
in irregular situations
In considering the principle of
gradualness in the divine salvifc
plan, one asks what possibilities
are given to married couples
who experience the failure of
their marriage, or rather how it
is possible to offer them Christs
help through the ministry of
the Church. In this respect, a
significant hermeneutic key
comes from the teaching of
Vatican Council II, which, while
it affrms that although many
elements of sanctifcation and
of truth are found outside of its
visible structure ... these elements,
as gifts belonging to the Church
of Christ, are forces impelling
toward Catholic unity (Lumen
Gentium, 8).
In this light, the value and
consistency of natural marriage
must frst be emphasized. Some ask
whether the sacramental fullness
of marriage does not exclude the
possibility of recognizing positive
elements even the imperfect forms
that may be found outside this
nuptial situation, which are in any
case ordered in relation to it. The
doctrine of levels of communion,
formulated by Vatican Council II,
confrms the vision of a structured
way of participating in the
Mysterium Ecclesiae by baptized
persons.
In the same, perspective, that
we may consider inclusive, the
Council opens up the horizon
for appreciating the positive
elements present in other religions
(cf. Nostra Aetate, 2) and cultures,
despite their limits and their
insufficiencies (cf. Redemptoris
Missio, 55). Indeed, looking at
PART I
Listening: the context and
challenges to the family
The socio-cultural context
ANTHROPOLOGICAL and cultural change today infuences
all aspects of life and requires an analytic and diversifed
approach, able to discern the positive forms of individual
freedom. It is necessary to be aware of the growing danger
represented by an exasperated individualism that distorts
family bonds and ends up considering each component of
the family as an isolated unit, leading in some cases to the
prevalence of an idea of the subject formed according to his
or her own wishes, which are assumed as absolute.
The most diffcult test for families in our time is often
solitude, which destroys and gives rise to a general sensation of
impotence in relation to the socio-economic situation that often
ends up crushing them. This is due to growing precariousness
in the workplace that is often experienced as a nightmare, or
due to heavy taxation that certainly does not encourage young
people to marriage.
Some cultural and religious contexts pose particular
challenges. In African societies the practice of polygamy
remains, along with, in some traditional contexts, the custom of
marriage in stages. In other contexts the practice of arranged
marriages persists. In countries in which Catholicism is a
minority religion, there are many mixed marriages with all
the diffculties that these may lead to in terms of legal form,
the education of children and mutual respect from the point of
view of religious freedom, but also with the great potential that
derives from the encounter between the differences in faith that
these stories of family life present. In many contexts, and not
only in the West, the practice of cohabitation before marriage,
or indeed cohabitation not orientated towards assuming the
form of an institutional bond, is increasingly widespread.
Many children are born outside marriage, especially in certain
countries, and there are many who subsequently grow up with
just one of their parents or in an enlarged or reconstituted family
context. The number of divorces is growing and it is not rare
to encounter cases in which decisions are taken solely on the
basis of economic factors. The condition of women still needs
to be defended and promoted, as situations of violence within
the family are not rare. Children are frequently the object of
contention between parents, and are the true victims of family
breakdown. Societies riven by violence due to war, terrorism
or the presence of organized crime experience deteriorating
family situations. Furthermore, migration is another sign of
the times, to be faced and understood in terms of the burden
of consequences for family life.
The relevance of emotional life
Faced with the social framework outlined above, a greater
need is encountered among individuals to take care of
themselves, to know their inner being, and to live in greater
harmony with their emotions and sentiments, seeking a
relational quality in emotional life. In the same way, it is possible
to encounter a widespread desire for family accompanied by
the search for oneself. But how can this attention to the care
for oneself be cultivated and maintained, alongside this desire
for family? This is a great challenge for the Church too. The
danger of individualism and the risk of living selfshly are
SYNOD UPDATE
PART II
The gaze upon Christ: the Gospel of the Family
The gaze upon Jesus and gradualness in the history of salvation
Part III
The discussion: pastoral perspectives
Proclaiming the Gospel of the family today, in various contexts
The condition of women still needs
to be defended and promoted, as
situations of violence within the
family are not rare. Children are
frequently the object of contention
between parents, and are the true
victims of family breakdown.
Part III / B7
Part II / B7
Part I / B7
(The General Rapporteur, Cardinal Peter Erdo, presented the midterm report outlining the main questions highlighted at
the General Congregations from October 6 to 10, 2014 that in the following days will be examined by the bishops, fraternal
delegates, auditors and experts in the minor circles or small working groups.)
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October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Features
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Prison / B7
End Peoples Indifference!
A FEW months ago, at the Popes Angelus
at St. Peters Square, inspired by the days
Gospel, our Holy Father Pope Francis
deplored the poor conditions people
around the world have to live with.
Jesus calls to them and says: Come
to me, and he promises them relief and
rest. This invitation from Jesus extends
to the present day, reaching the many
brothers and sisters weighed down by
poor living conditions, by diffcult life
situations and sometimes by a lack of
valid points of reference.
Pope Francis reminded pilgrims that
in the poorest countries, there are people
who are suffering and even to the point
of exhaustion due to the unbearable
weight they bear of abandonment and
indifference.
Indifference
The Pope talked about the damage
that indifference makes.
Indifference. Human indifference
hurts those in most need! And worse
even, is that from Christians. On the
margins of society, there are many men
and women worn down by poverty, but
also by dissatisfaction and frustration in
life. So many are forced to emigrate from
their homeland, risking their own lives.
Many others, every day bear the burden
of an economic system that exploits man,
imposes an unbearable yoke, which the
privileged few prefer not to carry.
In Philippine society, we see so much
indifference from the rich and powerful
against the poor workers, informal
settlers, vendors, farmers and fsherfolk.
In Cebu, one factory worker shared
that while working, his hand got
eaten up by the machine. His hand
was amputated. After which, he was
terminated from work.
Vendors stalls in a market got burned
by a huge fre; then city and barangay
offcials did not allow the more than 300
vendors to rebuild their stalls, depriving
them of livelihood.
Farmers in hinterland barangays are
being driven away from the land they
are tilling, to pave way for reforestation
projects.
Fisherfolks are being displaced from
their livelihood due to reclamation
projects which damage the marine
environment.

Pork barrel in the budget
More Filipinos are getting poorer and
hungry. Why cant there be programs for
the upliftment of the poor from poverty?
Trillions of pesos in the National
Government Budget in the past and
until today have not been used for the
genuine development of the Philippine
economy, for the lifting of the poor out
of poverty.
We also know that there are billions
of pesos proposed in the 2015 National
Budget to become part of the discretionary
funds of the Executive.
The proposed 2015 National Budget
contains discretionary lump sum funds
such as follows:
Off-Budget Accounts
179,745,522,000
Special Purpose Funds
214,621,846,000
Unprogrammed Funds
123,056,081,000
Automatic Appropriations
103,507,999,000
Regular Departmental Budget
254,613,000 ,000
Total
875,544,448,000
Despite Supreme Court decisions
declaring congressional pork barrel
and the practices in the Disbursement
Acceleration Program (DAP) as
unconstitutional, pork barrel funds are
still being used and proposed. Pork
barrel funds are evil since these have
been sources of corruption and are used
for patronage politics.
Peoples initiative
It is time to break the INDIFFERENCE
in most of our people!
One step is knowing, understanding
and participating actively in the
Peoples Initiative to Abolish the
Pork Barrel (PIAP). Last 23 August
2014, the PIAP held its NATIONAL
PEOPLES CONGRESS in Cebu City.
It was attended by representatives from
different sectors of civil society, and
different religions. The labor sector was
also represented.
The Peoples Congress approved the
proposed legislation against all kinds
of pork barrel. The said legislation
also includes appropriate sanctions/
punishments against violators. The
Peoples Congress ended with the initial
salvo of SIGNATURE CAMPAIGN at
the Plaza Independencia, just nearby.
The signature campaign strives to
gather at least 10% of the registered
voters per congressional district. Then,
a referendum would be called in order
to pass the proposed legislation into
law. No branch of government may veto
or revise THE NEW LAW AGAINST
PORK; only another Peoples Initiative
can do it.
So, the CALL for us in the Church
people-Workers Solidarity (CWS) is
the following:
1. Get a copy of the NATIONAL
UNITY STATEMENT, PROPOSED
LEGISLATION and the PETITION.
2. Get a copy from the NATIONAL
COORDINATING COMMITTEE of the
PIAP of all the materials needed to run
a signature campaign.
3. Mobilize all our CWS members to
work hard for the gathering of signatures.
May St. Joseph the Worker, His Son the
Carpenter and Mama Mary be with us.
+GERARDO A. ALMINAZA, D.D.
Diocese of San Carlos
Chairperson
Church people Workers Solidarity (CWS)
One factory worker shared that while working,
his hand got eaten up by the machine.
His hand was amputated. After which,
he was terminated from work.
The prison ministry today
By Rodolfo D. Diamante

INSTITUTIONAL imprisonment is not meant
only to punish the offender. It is also supposed
to correct him/her, that is, to prepare him/
her to rejoin society after serving sentence.
It is likewise meant to temporarily detain an
accused pending the resolution of his/her
case, if his/her alleged crime is non-bailable,
or if he/she cannot afford the bail.
Correction as part of the criminal justice
system is both complex and crucial. It is
essential to the maintenance of peace and
order in society and of the human dignity
of its straying members.
U n f o r t u n a t e l y ,
correction is least seen
and known by the
public. Society is eager
to recognize the duty of
the state to punish the
offender, but reluctant to
see its equally important
role to correct the
offender, little realizing
t hat i nj ust i ce and
other societal factors
contribute to the making
of an offender.
The objective of transforming the
correctional process into an educating and
humanizing experience for offenders has
been dampened by the insuffcient provision
of the inmates basic needs. The overcrowded
conditions and the grossly defcient facilities
in national prisons and various jails give rise
to sub-human living and health conditions of
prisoners. This is aggravated by insuffcient
budget for the basic needs of the prisoners.
There are also reports of incidents where the
exercise of authority is abused to the extent
of degrading the dignity of prisoners and
detainees to include maltreatment, sexual
harassment, extortion, and other inhumane
treatment.
Moreover, the struggle for supremacy, in
prison/detention cells often results in inmates
exploiting or abusing other inmates and
detainees for personal gains, further creating
problems and issues particularly in the use
of prison labor.
Furthermore, the appropriate provisions
for youth offenders, women offenders, the
elderly and the mentally-challenged in
prisons and political prisoners are inadequate
for their protection.
As of March 2014, the population in jails
and prisons, under the supervision of the
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology
and the Bureau of Correction reached 114,
368. Only 35% of this number were actually
found guilty of crimes and are serving their
sentences. The remaining 65% are only
charged but not yet proven guilty. They are
detained because their alleged crimes are not
bailable or they cant afford to pay the bail.
In the Philippines, there are three levels in
our institutional approach to correction. The
frst consists of the national penitentiaries
under the Bureau of Correction (BUCOR)
of the Department of Justice, for offenders
sentenced to more than three years of
imprisonment. The second level is composed
of the provincial jails under the offce of the
governor and city and district jails under the
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology
(BJMP) of the Department of Interior and
Local Government for offenders whose
sentences are from seven months to three
years. Finally, at the third level are the
municipal jails under the BJMP, for offenders
sentenced to not more than six months of
imprisonment.
There are seven
p e n i t e n t i a r i e s
strategically located all
over the Philippines
and these are under the
administrative control
and supervision of the
Bureau of Corrections
( BUCOR) of t he
Department of Justice.
Two of them are in Metro
Manila, two in Luzon,
one is in the Visayas, and
two are in Mindanao.
As of April 2014, these penitentiaries had
a total of 39, 127 inmates. More than half of
them (or 22, 826) are at the New Bilibid Prison
in Muntinlupa City. They are distributed
in three different compounds - Maximum
Security Compound (14, 541); Camp
Sampaguita, inclusive of Medium Security
Compound, Reception and Diagnostic
Center, Metro Jail and Youth Rehabilitation
Center (7,926); and the Minimum Security
Compound (359). The other penal institution
Society is eager to recognize the duty of the state to
punish the offender, but reluctant to see its equally
important role to correct the offender, little
realizing that injustice and other societal factors
contribute to the making of an offender.
A plea to His Excellency
Benigno Aquino III to be
merciful and compassionate
to VISO prisoners on the
occasion of the 27th Prison
Awareness Week
THE CBCP- Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care
wishes to bring before His Excellency, the case of the VISO
visitor-less, indigent, sick and oldprisoners in our seven (7)
national prisons under the Bureau of Corrections.
The VISO prisoners have spent several years in our jails
and prisons. They and their families have been enduring the
effect of incarceration for several years, especially those who
have been sick and are presently confned at the hospital.
Their families have exhausted all the resources available to
them to fnance their medical bills. The CBCP-ECPPC and
its volunteers in prison group with its limited resources have
provided support for their needs.
More than this problem, the VISO prisoners are longing to
be free. They have sought our help on this matter.
We understand that the Board of Pardons and Parole had
forwarded to Your Excellency the records of these prisoners
and that after careful study they have recommended the
granting of Executive clemency to these prisoners
In this regard, we would like to appeal to His Excellency to
grant their plea for EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY. Their release will
be a humanitarian act on the part of the offce of the President
especially during the celebration of the 27th Prison Awareness
Week which coincides with the observance of National
Correctional Consciousness Week from October 20-26, 2014.
B5 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Statements
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Creation / B7
All creation bless the Lord! (Daniel 3:57)
A CHALLENGE from the Past.
In 1988 our predecessors in the
Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippines (CBCP) issued
the landmark letter What is
Happening to Our Beautiful
Land? The statement lamented
the destruction of our forests,
the ravaging of our soil and the
pollution of our seas. It also
decried the manner in which
this environmental degradation
has been justifed in the name of
industrial progress. Now, more
than a quarter century after
that forceful exhortation, we
are prompted to ask the same
question in more global, universal
terms. What is happening to
our beautiful world? We ask
the question, calling to mind
the same, largely unaddressed
concerns raised by our bishops in
1988. But now we are forced to
view all these concerns through
the prism of global warming
and climate change. Drawing
from the lessons of Scripture and
the teachings of the Church, we
discern anew how we as Catholics
and as Filipinos are called to
address the challenges posed
by global warming and climate
change for our country and the
whole world.
A Warmer, Wetter World.
For some time now, climate
change and global warming have
been contentious ideas. Certain
quarters argue that they are simply
part of the natural cycles of nature.
Others maintain that these are
global realities being aggravated
by human irresponsibility. In
recent years, however, there
has been a growing consensus
within the scientifc community
and even among industrialized
nations (most notably the United
States) that climate change and
global warming are man-made
realities that have to be addressed
urgently.
Thi s consensus can be
summarized in several important
points.
First, there has been a
defnite pattern of rising global
temperatures since the dawn of
the industrial age.
Next, these rising temperatures
are being caused, or at least
accelerated, by carbon emissions
and other pollutants--collectively
known as greenhouse gases--
from industry.
Third, these rising global
temperatures have an adverse
effect on nature, on sea water
levels, and possibly on weather
patterns. It has been pointed
out, for instance, that a two
degree centigrade rise of global
temperatures from pre-industrial
levels will submerge many island
countries and coastal cities. The
four degree centigrade rise in
global temperatures predicted
by the year 2100 will simply be
disastrous for all.
Blame for the inexorable
warming of our world and the
rising of our seas falls squarely
on the industrialized powers and
their fossil fuel driven economies,
a number of whom are not
complying with international
agreements such as the Kyoto
Protocol. The unabated burning
of oil and coal has resulted
in record amounts of carbon
dumped into the atmosphere,
leading to the destruction of
the ozone layer and the rise in
global temperatures. Methane
emissions from factory farms
further exacerbate this problem.
However, the economi c
powers are not solely responsible
for this. All of us as Catholic
Christians are called to care for
our earth, especially in this time
of grave danger for her and for
all of us.
Called to Care for Creation.
From the very beginning God
ordained that all creation be at
the service of humanity. At the
conclusion of His creative work,
God enjoined humanity to have
dominion over creation. This is
not to be construed, however, as
blanket permission for the wanton
destruction of the environment.
In the same creation account
we are told that God looked at
everything he had made, and
found it very good (Genesis 1:
26-31). The intrinsic goodness of
the earth represents a sacred trust
for us to care for and use wisely
the goodness God has gifted to
us. Israel recognized this sacred
trust and praised God with the
immortal words Send forth your
spirit, they are created and you
renew the face of the earth (Psalm
104: 30). By caring and using the
gifts of creation, we participate in
the renewal of the earth.
We as Christians are called
to this renewal in a privileged
manner, cognizant that Jesus
Christ himself is the frst born
of all creation in whom were
created all things in heaven and on
earth, the visible and the invisible
. (Colossians 1: 15-6).
St. Paul tells us that all creation
is groaning in labor pains even
until now (Romans 8: 22-3)
as it awaits, together with us,
the salvation won for us by
Christ our Savior. Thus we are
called to utilize creation as a
means towards this salvation, to
which all the universe is moving
forward.
Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
describes this idea beautifully
as t he Omega Poi nt ,
where creation and human
consciousness evolve towards
perfection, in unity with Christ.
The crucial role of created
nature not only for human
flourishing but for our own
salvation has been emphasized
by our Holy Pontiffs. Pope John
Paul II has emphasized that It is
the Creators will that man should
treat nature not as a ruthless
exploiter but as an intelligent and
responsible administrator.
Pope Benedict XVI links this
responsibility to the environment
with our larger obligations to
the human community: The
environment is Gods gift to
everyone, and in our use of it we
have a responsibility towards the
poor, towards future generations
and towards humanity as a whole.
Most forcefully, Pope Francis
Statement on the Death Penalty on the Occasion
of the 27th Prison Awareness Week on October 20-26
THE CBCP-ECPPC strongly opposed the
call of some legislators and some sectors in
our society to revive the death penalty. The
CBCP-ECPPC considers this effort to be an
unenlightened, counter-productive, and
counter-progressive move.
Some two thousand years ago, a man
was sentenced to death and crucifed on the
cross. Two millennium years later, states and
societies have not learned their lesson. They
still impose the ultimate punishment on those
whom they deem have violated their laws,
despite the fact that some of those that they
have sent to death are innocent, like Christ,
the man who died on the Cross.
Others, like Dismas and Hestas and those
who followed after them were guilty, but their
fatewhether on the cross, at the gallows,
in the gas chamber, on the electric chair, or
through any contraption of societys extreme
cruelty to its erring membersfailed to
deter others from committing even the most
heinous of crimes.
Indeed, then as now, the imposition of
capital punishment is deemed by some as the
quickest, most effcient solution to its biggest
penal-administration problemdisposing
of a subject who has transgressed its laws. .
The stance against the death penalty is in
no way a posture to let criminal offenders
go scot-free. The CBCP-ECPPC believes in
Justice and it is ranked high in its hierarchy
of values. Those who have transgressed the
laws of the land should be held answerable
and accountable after a fair trial; otherwise,
they become effective endorsers of crime
and criminal actions, and strong parody for
the ethical adage that crime does not pay.
But taking away the life of someone,
whom we have condemned, immobilized
and rendered helpless with contraptions
of death is a horrible lesson to teach our
children, that human life is as disposable
as any contraptions and trimmings of
postmodern life.
The CBCP-ECPPC frmly believes in the
capacity of the human being to transform
and reform its behavior, especially with the
help of society which, in the frst place, has
much to do in creating an environment for the
commission of crime, intended or not. Each
A CBCP Pastoral Exhortation on Climate Change
Message on
the occasion of
the 27th Prison
Awareness Sunday
LOVE of God and love of neighbor is the most important
commandment Christ gave us. A commandment he simply
did not preach, but a way of life he lived. Because of the love
Christ has shown, sinners repented, the lonely jumped with
joy, the weak became strong and the hopeless were flled with
hope. This is what love can do.
Gods longing is that we give each other love. This is also
why each of us yearns to be loved. It is love that gives us hope.
Today as we celebrate the 27th Prison Awareness Week,
the church urges us to look at the prisoners as our neighbors.
We are challenge to show them mercy and love them so that
they may become whole again. Let us pray that we may say
YES to this challenge.
Let us come before God and pray that we may always be
flled with the grace to respond to His call of love for our
brothers and sisters, especially those imprisoned. Today let
us make a plea to our compassionate God to teach us to love
the least, the last and the lostthe prisoners.
We urge the faithful to pray:
That the Church through her fdelity to the gospel
values continue to give hope to the world embattled with
selfshness and the absence of love;
That the leaders of our country may learn to follow
Christs life of love and service;
That through the understanding, love and forgiveness
of their families and friends, prisoners may continue to hope
for a new and better life;
That those who are actively involved in the Prison
Ministry may continue to give hope to the prisoners through
their life of love and service;
That God may continue to renew and transform us into
loving persons through our constant and active participation
in the celebration of the Eucharist.
+LEOPOLDO S. TUMULAK, DD
Chairman
Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care
identifes care for the environment
with our Christian vocation when
he exhorts, Let us protect Christ
in our lives, so that we can protect
others, so that we can protect
creation!
Refecting on our Response.
Clearly then it is incumbent
upon us Filipino Catholics to
care for the environment, and
most urgently, to address the
problems of global warming
and climate change. This process
begins on the personal level,
where all of us should examine
what we have done to contribute
to these problems. Rampant
consumerism compels industry
to produce more and more
goods, which end up polluting
the atmosphere.
In what ways have we
been excessive in our own
consumption patterns, buying
superfuous items, or patronizing
goods that are harmful to the
environment? Do we carefully
observe regulations that are
meant to protect nature, such
as waste segregation, reducing
harmful emissions from vehicles,
and the use of biodegradable
products? Global warming
and climate change are world-
wide problems, but addressing
them begins with each person
undertaking an environmental
examination of conscience to
reduce our individual carbon
footprint.
Having examined ourselves and
our relation to the environment,
we are then obligated to ensure
that our response is not just on
the individual, but also on the
community level. Unfortunately,
we Filipinos are content to say
not in my backyard! We keep
our home and surroundings
clean, even if it means dumping
our waste in our neighborhood.
In our parishes, basic ecclesial
communities, Church based
groups, as well as in our work
and civic organizations, we are
called to explore ways to protect
our environment as well as to
propagate this environmental
awareness. When necessary we
should lobby our government for
legislation and advocate causes
that will help curb environmental
degradation caused by the
excesses of industry.
Finally, even as we do our best
as individuals and communities
to curb climate change, we must
realize it is already upon us. In
government and civic circles the
prevailing paradigm is one of
Climate Change Adaptation
and Disaster Risk Reduction
and Management (CCA-
DRRM). With climate change,
our risk to disasters increases as
the probability of extreme events
increases. As Filipino Catholics,
we ask ourselves, how do we help
build this inherent awareness of our
risk to disasters and to the impacts
of climate change? Do we talk
about disasters and prepare for
them accordingly in our families
and communities? Integral to this
would be knowing the hazards that
we face, knowing our environment,
knowing our community, and
working with our government
and civil society organizations to
prepare for the future.
Conclusion: a Challenge for
the Present and Future. More
than twenty fve years ago our
elders in the CBCP warned in
no uncertain terms that for our
environment It is already late in
the day and so much damage has
been done. Similarly, scientists
have dubbed our epoch the
Anthropocene, an age where
our human interventions are
having profound and possibly
B6 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Ref lections
Bishop Pat Alo
Bo Sanchez
ENCOUNTERS
SOULFOOD
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WHEN my son Bene was
only three years old, he was
already a brilliant philosopher-
theologian.
Because of this, I sometimes
felt he was an alien disguised
as a three-year old boy doing
espionage work.
Let me give you an example
of what I mean.
When the little guy turned
three, my wife placed him on
her knee and asked him a simple
question, What is Mommy?
The cute elf smiled, shocked
the daylights out of her when
he declared, Mommy is a gift.
A gift for Bene.
Naturally, my wife hugged
him to pieces, wetting the floor
with her tears.
She called me excitedly and
told me what the in-house
philosopher-theologian said
this time.
Builders of a better world
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mt 22:15-21 (A) World Mission Sunday, October 19, 2014
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time,
Mt 22:34-40 (A) Prison Awareness
Sunday, October 26, 2014
All Souls Day, Jn 14:1-6 (A) November 2, 2014
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
FOR centuries Christians
have concentrated mostly on
rendering to God what belongs
to God. Religious observances
were top priority on their
agenda, as well as in their
examination of conscience. They
offered the criterion to decide
whether one was a practicing
Catholic or not.
Render to Caesar what is
due to Caesar was generally
understood as paying ones
taxes and obeying the laws
of the country promulgated
by the legitimate authority.
Contri buti ve j usti ce and
obedience to the legitimate
authority are just two aspects
of our civil duties. Important
and hard as these may be, there
are also other ways in which
we are expected to make our
contribution to the building up
of a better, more humane, more
just society.
The list is long: love of country
and its cultural values, honesty,
good example, solidarity,
contribution of ideas and even
constructive criticism, respect
for the environment, avoidance
of waste, hard work, considering
the whole nation as ones
greater family...These are
just some of the ways through
which we give to Caesar what
is due to Caesar some aspects
of what it means to be a good
citizen today.
But today it is not enough to
focus on our own geographical
and historical country. We have
to be aware that we are citizens
of the world. The entire planet
is our homeland. Hence, even
the term good citizen must
have, for us, a wider meaning
now than it had in the past.
It must mean to be an active
and responsible member of the
family of nations that make
up mankind one that takes
to heart the hopes, aspirations
and diffculties of every human
being and society.
We must learn to leave
the ghetto of a short-sighted
and selfish nationalism
and acquire a global and
participative mentality. We
must learn to feel responsible
for the world in all its aspects
because this is our world the
world God has entrusted to our
stewardship in order that we
make it the blueprint of the
Kingdom.
Vatican II and subsequent
pronouncements of the Churchs
teaching authority have not
only confirmed this new
orientation, but have also
spelled it out in greater detail.
They have also proclaimed
clearly that it is the specifc
duty of the Catholic laity to
get involved and actually to
take the lead in the building
of a better world. This is their
mission. It is in accomplishing
such a mission to the world
that they will be contributing to
the coming of Gods Kingdom
here on earth, and thereby bring
about their own sanctifcation.
Today, one cannot be a good
Christian if one does not
endeavor to be a good member
of the family of nations. We
must be fully involved. We owe
it to ourselves, to society, to the
Church. It is only by giving to
Caesar what is due to Caesar
that we begin to give to God
what is due to God.
Gods commandments:
the road map to his
Kingdom
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
LOVE of God and neighbor was
the soul of the Covenant which the
Lord had made with His Chosen
People. Failure to love in practice
was a betrayal of the Covenant and
resulted in the creation of victims
in the various sectors of society (see
the First Reading). All the prophets
kept reminding the people about it.
The synthesis of the two loves is
also the soul of the New Covenant
established by Christ and sealed
in his blood. It embodies all the
essential requirements of the Old
Law, but it is much more demanding
because it is situated in the new
setting of the Kingdom, and is
patterned after the example of Jesus.
He is the perfect model of how
we should love God and men, for
he lived the demands of the two
commandments with an intensity
and a totality that cost him his
very life.
Love of God and neighbor is really
the essence of Christianity. It is
the golden rule of life which guides
all believers in building up the
Kingdom both in themselves and
around them.
Defending Catholic truths
IT is true majority of Filipinos are Catholics. But we ought
to realize that what is important is being on the side of truth.
After all, thats what Jesus said: If you make my word your
home you will indeed be my disciples, you will learn the truth
and the truth will make you free (Jn. 8:32).
There are so many statements in our world today. What
is important is that these be on the side of truth. If so many
saints and wise people chose to become Catholics, we ought
to have deeper study into its teachings or doctrine.
Of course, with so many great saints and people who chose
to be Catholics we ought to thank God and all the missionaries
and people in our lives who helped to usher into our Land
the Catholic truth that has made our Country one singular
Catholic nation in the Far East. Simply, of course, for all of us,
the paramount value is that, in the spirit of genuine freedom,
we are on the side of truth. And we have to respect every
persons freedom in the search for the truth.
No more of those violent exchanges of the past which were
only vestiges or marks of immaturity or ignorance. Lets have
the spirit of total freedom in our quest for truth. No one has
the monopoly of truth, except God Almighty whose very
essence is Truth itself.
These two loves are prioritized
but also complementary none
of the two is perfect without the
other. Love of God is number one.
It grounds and gives meaning to
the love of neighbor. It keeps all the
elements of the construction together.
But love for God fnds its necessary
and most challenging manifestation
in the love for neighbor, as Jesus
showed us through his life and
death.
Two loves, one heart, one attitude,
then. These two related loves
should never be dissociated, never
opposed. St. John no doubt echoing
his Master spelled out their
relatedness and complementariness
when he stated, If anyone says, My
love is fxed on God, yet hates his
brother, he is a liar. One who has no
love for the brother he sees, cannot
love the God he does not see (1 Jn
4:20). Therefore, Whoever loves
God must also love his brother (1
Jn 4:21).
It is only by keeping these
commandments together and living
them out, day by day as Jesus
did, that the Kingdom grows and
becomes ever more an integral part
of our life.
See each person as a gift
I told her, Three-year old
boys dont say such things.
They should just say Mama
and Wiwi and Mamam. See
Sweetheart? I told you hes
an alien. Probably from planet
Krypton.
Wanting to find out who
I was to him, I grabbed the
little bundle and placed him
on my knee, and asked, What
is Daddy?
He smiled, Daddy is a straw.
A long straw. Because Daddy
is tall.
I thought my wife wouldnt
stop laughing.
I told her, I think hes faking
it. He realized we suspected
hes an alien so hes talking like
a three-year old boy again.
I looked at my son and asked,
Bene, your Daddy is just a
straw? Im not a, you know,
something more special? Like a
blessing from heaven? A ray of
sunlight? A song of the angels?
A poem of the universe?
His lips were pursed, his face
firm. Youre a straw.
Perhaps I dont have the IQ
to decipher the hidden message
behind his esoteric definition
for Daddy. Could it be that
through his Daddy, my son is
able to suck the juices out of
lifes wealth and wisdom?
Dont push it, my wife
said curtly.
But both of us agreed with
Bene: What if we really saw
each other as gifts? Gift-
wrapped by God in different
shapes and sizes, colors and
personalities. Some are as long
as straws, some as chubby as
basketballs. But all are gifts.
No wonder, Beneand all
little childrenseem to have
so much fun in life. Theyre
so busy unwrapping people as
gifts of love from above.
Look around you now.
Have you opened some gifts
lately?
No wonder, Beneand all little
childrenseem to have so much fun in
life. Theyre so busy unwrapping people
as gifts of love from above.
Love for God fnds its necessary and most
challenging manifestation in the
love for neighbor, as Jesus showed us through
his life and death.
Such a God-given hope
spurs us to perform
those works of love
like prayer, the offering
of personal sacrifces,
and especially the
holy Sacrifce of the
Eucharist, in behalf
of the deceased.
The hope that flls our
lives with light
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
DEATH is an inescapable reality for all
creatures. For us human beings, it is a
tremendous mystery that confronts us
all without exception. Both the rich and
the poor; the powerful and the weak;
the oppressors and the oppressed; the
bad and the good...will inevitably reach
that fnish line whose time, place and
circumstances are known to God alone.
We Christians believe that not
everything ends with death. Our
spiritual component our immortal soul
lives on. While death does conclude
the earthly phase of human life, it is
also a passage, a transformation of
the human situation into something
absolutely new, though closely
dependent on the way we fared in the
days of our earthly life, especially the
fnal moments.
The new form of existence, which all
the souls of those who die enter, is not
the same for all. A judgment determines
it the conclusion of a very personal
encounter between God and the soul of
every individual, in an atmosphere of
absolute truth and justice. A judgment
which will be made known to all only
at the fnal judgment.
All this is part of the mystery of
death. But our present ignorance of
the destiny of the departed should not
paralyze or frighten us, for we know that
God is not only just, but also merciful
and does not reject any of those who
approach Him with humble trust (see
Jn 6:37).
But this is not all. Our Catholic faith
tells us that a vital link, the Communion
of Saints, still bind together those who
are living on earth with those who have
crossed the border of death. With our
prayers, sacrifces, offerings and words
of charity we may be of help to those who
have preceded us in the after death.
The prayers offered today can help save a
person who died thousands of years ago,
for with God every moment, no matter
how remote in time for us, is still now.
All this is not a pious invention
propagated to console people who feel
so much the loss of their dear ones. It
is a consoling truth which the Church,
instructed by the Spirit, teaches us all
in order that our view of death may be
flled with hope and love.
We should never despair of the
eternal salvation of anyone, not even of
those who may have died without the
sacraments and apparently unrepentant
of their sins. In the top-secret encounter
behind closed doors between God and
each soul, everybody else is shut out,
but not the intercessory power of Jesus
Christ and all his friends . . .
Such a God-given hope spurs us
to perform those works of love
like prayer, the offering of personal
sacrifices, and especially the holy
Sacrifce of the Eucharist, in behalf of
the deceased. This is all that we can
do but it is really a lot! for all our
brothers and sisters who have passed
away from this life.
Our presence in the cemeteries,
especially on All Souls Day, our prayers,
our lighting candles and bringing
fowers, are meant to say just this: We
believe that our dead are alive in God,
and we intend to show our hope and love
for them through these works of piety
which became precious through Jesus
Christ our Lord. He was who, through
his death and resurrection, made
death not only bearable, but actually
transformed it into a Passover, an
entrance into everlasting life.
B7 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Year of the Laity
Part II / B3
Part III / B3
Part I / B3
Death Penalty / B5
crime committed has a social
context and society as a whole,
for creating an environment
vulnerable to the commission
of crime, is as guilty as its erring
member.
Taking away life is an easy, quick
but wrong solution. It merely gives
the impression that measures are
being taken so as to eradicate
crime, or that criminality is fnally
solved. But until such time that
the root causes of criminality are
aborted, criminality will forever
rise. Society itself has implanted
those roots.
Rather than take away precious
human life, the Church wants
to explore alternatives to mete
out justice. For one, it seriously
considersand vigorously
advocatesa shift in the paradigm
of justice: from litigation to
mediation; prosecution to
healing; punishment to reform
and rehabilitation: from the
retributive to the restorative.
The CBCP-ECPPC is glad
to fnd allies in our President
and our Secretary of Foreign
Affairs who together with other
ministers in other countries, see
beyond the criminal act and
reiterated opposition to capital
punishment.
We laud His Holiness Pope
Francis, who like his two
predecessors St. John Paul II
and Pope Emeritus Benedict
XVI, reaffrms the call to abolish
capital punishment arguing that
such a stand is a defense to the
dignity of human life.
The CBCP-ECPPC lauds and
supports the declaration of the
5th World Congress Against
Death Penalty urging nations
in the world to abolish death
penalty.
EPISCOPAL COMMISSION
ON PRISON PASTORAL CARE
Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippines
signifcant.
Todays world appears to
promote limitless affectivity,
seeking to explore all its
aspects, including the most
complex. Indeed, the question
of emotional fragility is very
current: a narcissistic, unstable
or changeable affectivity do not
always help greater maturity
to be reached. In this context,
couples are often uncertain and
hesitant, struggling to fnd ways
to grow. Many tend to remain in
the early stages of emotional and
sexual life. The crisis in the couple
destabilizes the family and may
lead, through separations and
divorce, to serious consequences
for adults, children and society
as a whole, weakening the
individual and social bonds. The
decline in population not only
creates a situation in which the
alternation of generations is no
longer assured, but over time
also risks leading to economic
impoverishment and a loss of
hope in the future.
Pastoral challenges
SYNOD UPDATE... CONT
the human wisdom present in
these, the Church learns how the
family is universally considered
as the necessary and fruitful
form of human cohabitation. In
this sense, the order of creation,
in which the Christian vision
of the family is rooted, unfolds
historically, in different cultural
and geographical expressions.
Realizing the need, therefore,
for spiritual discernment with
regard to cohabitation, civil
marriages and divorced and
remarried persons, it is the task
of the Church to recognize those
seeds of the Word that have spread
beyond its visible and sacramental
boundaries. Following the
expansive gaze of Christ, whose
light illuminates every man (cf.
Jn 1,9; cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22), the
Church turns respectfully to those
who participate in her life in an
incomplete and imperfect way,
appreciating the positive values
they contain rather than their
limitations and shortcomings.
Truth and beauty of the family
and mercy
The Gospel of the family, while it
shines in the witness of many families
who live coherently their fdelity to
the sacrament, with their mature
fruits of authentic daily sanctity must
also nurture those seeds that are yet
to mature, and must care for those
trees that have dried up and wish
not to be neglected.
In this respect, a new dimension
of todays family pastoral consists
of accepting the reality of civil
marriage and also cohabitation,
taking into account the due
differences. Indeed, when a
union reaches a notable level
of stability through a public
bond, is characterized by deep
affection, responsibility with
regard to offspring, and capacity
to withstand tests, it may be seen
as a germ to be accompanied
in development towards the
sacrament of marriage. Very
often, however, cohabitation is
established not with a view to
a possible future marriage, but
rather without any intention of
establishing an institutionally-
recognized relationship.
Imitating Jesus merciful gaze,
the Church must accompany her
most fragile sons and daughters,
marked by wounded and lost
love, with attention and care,
restoring trust and hope to them
like the light of a beacon in a
port, or a torch carried among the
people to light the way for those
who are lost or fnd themselves
in the midst of the storm.
In this context the Church
is aware of the need to offer
a meaningful word of hope.
It is necessary to set out from
the conviction that man comes
from God and that, therefore,
a refection able to reframe the
great questions on the meaning
of human existence, may fnd
fertile ground in humanitys
most profound expectations. The
great values of marriage and the
Christian family correspond to the
search that distinguishes human
existence even in a time marked
by individualism and hedonism.
It is necessary to accept people
in their concrete being, to know
how to support their search, to
encourage the wish for God and
the will to feel fully part of the
Church, also on the part of those
who have experienced failure
or fnd themselves in the most
diverse situations. This requires
that the doctrine of the faith, the
basic content of which should be
made increasingly better known,
be proposed alongside with mercy.
The complex social reality and the changes
that the family is called on today to deal with
require a greater undertaking from the whole
Christian community for the preparation of
those who are about to be married. As regards
this necessity the Synodal Fathers agreed to
underline the need for a greater involvement
of the entire community privileging the
testimony of the families themselves, as well
as a rooting of the preparation for marriage
in the path of Christian initiation, underlining
the connection between marriage and the other
sacraments. In the same way, the necessity
was highlighted for specifc programs for
preparation for marriage that are a true
experience of participation in the ecclesial life
and that study closely the diverse aspects of
family life.
Accompanying the early years of married life
The early years of marriage are a vital
and delicate period during which couples
grow in the awareness of the challenges and
meaning of matrimony. Thus the need for a
pastoral accompaniment that goes beyond
the celebration of the sacrament. Of great
importance in this pastoral is the presence of
experienced couples. The parish is considered
the ideal place for expert couples to place
themselves at the disposal of younger ones.
Couples need to be encouraged towards
a fundamental welcome of the great gift
of children. The importance of family
spirituality and prayer needs to be underlined,
encouraging couples to meet regularly to
promote the growth of the spiritual life and
solidarity in the concrete demands of life.
Meaningful liturgies, devotional practices
and the Eucharist celebrated for families, were
mentioned as vital in favoring evangelization
through the family.
Positive aspects of civil unions and
cohabitation
A new sensitivity in todays pastoral
consists in grasping the positive reality of
civil weddings and, having pointed out our
differences, of cohabitation. It is necessary
that in the ecclesial proposal, while clearly
presenting the ideal, we also indicate the
constructive elements in those situations that
do not yet or no longer correspond to that ideal.
It was also noted that in many countries
an an increasing number live together
ad experimentum, in unions which have
not been religiously or civilly recognized
(Instrumentum Laboris, 81). In Africa this
occurs especially in traditional marriages,
agreed between families and often celebrated
in different stages. Faced by these situations,
the Church is called on to be the house of
the Father, with doors always wide open []
where there is a place for everyone, with all
their problems (Evangelii Gaudium, 47) and
to move towards those who feel the need to
take up again their path of faith, even if it is
not possible to celebrate a religious marriage.
In the West as well there is an increasingly
large number of those who, having lived
together for a long period of time, ask to be
married in the Church. Simple cohabitation
is often a choice inspired by a general
attitude, which is opposed to institutions
and defnitive undertakings, but also while
waiting for a secure existence (a steady job
and income). In other countries common-law
marriages are very numerous, not because
of a rejection of Christian values as regards
the family and matrimony, but, above all,
because getting married is a luxury, so that
material poverty encourages people to live
in common-law marriages. Furthermore in
such unions it is possible to grasp authentic
family values or at least the wish for them.
Pastoral accompaniment should always start
from these positive aspects.
All these situations have to be dealt with in
a constructive manner, seeking to transform
them into opportunities to walk towards the
fullness of marriage and the family in the light
of the Gospel. They need to be welcomed and
accompanied with patience and delicacy.
With a view to this, the attractive testimony
of authentic Christian families is important, as
subjects for the evangelization of the family.
Caring for wounded families (the separated,
the divorced who have not remarried, the
divorced who have remarried)
What rang out clearly in the Synod was
the necessity for courageous pastoral choices.
Reconfrming forcefully the fdelity to the
Gospel of the family, the Synodal Fathers,
felt the urgent need for new pastoral paths,
that begin with the effective reality of familial
fragilities, recognizing that they, more often
than not, are more endured than freely
chosen. These are situations that are diverse
because of personal as well as cultural and
socio-economic factors. It is not wise to think
of unique solutions or those inspired by a logic
of all or nothing. The dialog and meeting
that took place in the Synod will have to
continue in the local Churches, involving
their various components, in such a way that
the perspectives that have been drawn up
might fnd their full maturation in the work
of the next Ordinary General Assembly. The
guidance of the Spirit, constantly invoked, will
allow all Gods people to live the fdelity to
the Gospel of the family as a merciful caring
for all situations of fragility.
Each damaged family frst of all should be
listened to with respect and love, becoming
companions on the journey as Christ did
with the disciples of the road to Emmaus. In
a particular way the words of Pope Francis
apply in these situations: The Church will
have to initiate everyonepriests, religious
and laityinto this art of accompaniment,
which teaches us to remove our sandals before
the sacred ground of the other (cf. Es 3,5). The
pace of this accompaniment must be steady
and reassuring, refecting our closeness and
our compassionate gaze which also heals,
liberates and encourages growth in the
Christian life. (Evangelii Gaudium, 169).
Such discernment is indispensable for the
separated and divorced. What needs to be
respected above all is the suffering of those
who have endured separation and divorce
unjustly. The forgiveness for the injustice
endured is not easy, but it is a journey that grace
makes possible. In the same way it needs to
be always underlined that it is indispensable
to assume in a faithful and constructive way
the consequences of separation or divorce on
the children: they must not become an object
to be fought over and the most suitable means
need to be sought so that they can get over the
trauma of the family break-up and grow up
in the most serene way possible.
Various Fathers underlined the necessity
to make the recognition of cases of nullity
more accessible and fexible. Among the
propositions were the abandonment of the
need for the double conforming sentence; the
possibility of establishing an administrative
means under the responsibility of the diocesan
bishop; a summary process to be used in cases
of clear nullity. According to authoritative
propositions, the possibility should then be
considered of giving weight to the faith of those
about to be married in terms of the validity
of the sacrament of marriage. It needs to be
emphasized that in all these cases it is about
the ascertaining of the truth over the validity
of the obstacle.
As regards matrimonial suits, the speeding-
up of the procedure, requested by many, as
well as the preparation of a suffcient number
of operators, clerics and lay people, dedicating
themselves to this, requires an increase in the
responsibilities of the diocesan bishop, who in
his diocese might charge a specially trained
priest who would be able to offer the parties
advice on the validity of their marriage.
Divorced people who have not remarried
should be invited to fnd in the Eucharist the
nourishment they need to sustain them in their
state. The local community and pastors have
to accompany these people with solicitude,
particularly when there are children involved
or they fnd themselves in a serious situation
of poverty.
In the same way the situation of the divorced
who have remarried demands a careful
discernment and an accompaniment full of
respect, avoiding any language or behavior
that might make them feel discriminated
against. For the Christian community looking
after them is not a weakening of its faith and
its testimony to the indissolubility of marriage,
but rather it expresses precisely its charity in
its caring.
As regards the possibility of partaking of
the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist,
some argued in favor of the present regulations
because of their theological foundation,
others were in favor of a greater opening on
very precise conditions when dealing with
situations that cannot be resolved without
creating new injustices and suffering. For
some, partaking of the sacraments might
occur were it preceded by a penitential
pathunder the responsibility of the diocesan
bishopand with a clear undertaking in favor
of the children. This would not be a general
possibility, but the fruit of a discernment
applied on a case-by-case basis, according
to a law of gradualness, that takes into
consideration the distinction between state
of sin, state of grace and the attenuating
circumstances.
Suggesting limiting themselves to only
spiritual communion was questioned by
more than a few Synodal Fathers: if spiritual
communion is possible, why not allow them
to partake in the sacrament? As a result a
greater theological study was requested
starting with the links between the sacrament
of marriage and the Eucharist in relation to the
Church-sacrament. In the same way, the moral
dimension of the problem requires further
consideration, listening to and illuminating
the consciences of spouses.
The problems relative to mixed marriages
were frequently raised in the interventions
of the Synodal Fathers. The differences in
the matrimonial regulations of the Orthodox
Churches creates serious problems in certain
contexts to which have to be found suitable
responses in communion with the Pope. The
same applies to inter-religious marriages.
Welcoming homosexual persons
Homosexuals have gifts and qualities
to offer to the Christian community: are
we capable of welcoming these people,
guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our
communities? Often they wish to encounter a
Church that offers them a welcoming home.
Are our communities capable of providing
that, accepting and valuing their sexual
orientation, without compromising Catholic
doctrine on the family and matrimony?
The question of homosexuality leads to
a serious refection on how to elaborate
realistic paths of affective growth and human
and evangelical maturity integrating the
sexual dimension: it appears therefore as an
important educative challenge. The Church
furthermore affrms that unions between
people of the same sex cannot be considered
on the same footing as matrimony between
man and woman. Nor is it acceptable that
pressure be brought to bear on pastors or
that international bodies make fnancial aid
dependent on the introduction of regulations
inspired by gender ideology.
Without denying the moral problems
connected to homosexual unions it has to be
noted that there are cases in which mutual aid
to the point of sacrifce constitutes a precious
support in the life of the partners. Furthermore,
the Church pays special attention to the
children who live with couples of the same
sex, emphasizing that the needs and rights of
the little ones must always be given priority.
The transmission of life and the challenge
of the declining birthrate
It is not diffcult to notice the spread of a
mentality that reduces the generation of life
to a variable of an individuals or a couples
plans. Economic factors sometimes have
enough weight to contribute to the sharp
drop in the birthrate which weakens the
social fabric, compromising the relationship
between generations and rendering the view
of the future less certain. Being open to life
is an intrinsic requirement of married love.
Probably here as well what is required
is a realistic language that is able to start
from listening to people and acknowledging
the beauty and truth of an unconditional
opening to life as that which human life
requires to be lived to its fullest. It is on this
base that we can rest an appropriate teaching
regarding natural methods, which allow
the living in a harmonious and aware way
of the communication between spouses, in
all its dimensions, along with generative
responsibility. In this light, we should go back
to the message of the Encyclical Humanae
Vitae of Paul VI, which underlines the need to
respect the dignity of the person in the moral
evaluation of the methods of birth control.
So help is required to live affectivity, in
marriage as well, as a path of maturation,
in the evermore profound welcoming of the
other and in an ever-fuller giving. It has to
be emphasized in this sense the need to offer
formative paths that nourish married life and
the importance of a laity that provides an
accompaniment consisting of living testimony.
It is undoubtedly of great help the example
of a faithful and profound love made up of
tenderness, of respect, capable of growing in
time and which in its concrete opening to the
generation of life allows us to experience a
mystery that transcends us.
The challenge of education and the role of
the family in evangelization
The fundamental challenge facing families
today is undoubtedly that of education,
rendered more diffcult and complex by
todays cultural reality. What have to be
considered are the needs and expectations
of families capable of testifying in daily life,
places of growth, of concrete and essential
transmission of the virtues that provide form
for existence.
In this Church can carry out a precious
role in supporting families, starting from
Christian initiation, through welcoming
communities. What is asked of these, today
even more than yesterday, in complex as well
as mundane situations, is to support parents
in their educative undertaking, accompanying
children and young people in their growth
through personalized paths capable of
introducing them to the full meaning of life
and encouraging choices and responsibilities,
lived in the light of the Gospel.
Conclusion
The refections put forward, the fruit of
the Synodal dialog that took place in great
freedom and a spirit of reciprocal listening,
are intended to raise questions and indicate
perspectives that will have to be matured
and made clearer by the refection of the local
Churches in the year that separates us from
the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod
of bishops planned for October 2015. These
are not decisions that have been made nor
simply points of view. All the same the collegial
path of the bishops and the involvement of
all Gods people under the guidance of the
Holy Spirit will lead us to fnd roads of truth
and mercy for all. This is the wish that from
the beginning of our work Pope Francis has
extended to us, inviting us to the courage of
the faith and the humble and honest welcome
of the truth in charity.
Prison / B4
within Metro Manila is the
Correctional Institute for Women
in Mandaluyong City and in
Tagum, with a population of 2,
235 inmates.
The other penitentiaries include
the Sablayan Prison and Penal
Farm in Occidental Mindoro (2067
inmates); the Iwahig Prison and
Penal Farm in Palawan (2,409);
the Leyte Regional Prison in
Abuyog, Leyte (1,586); the San
Ramon Prison and Penal Farm
in Zamboanga (1,547); and the
Davao Prison and Penal Farm in
Davao del Norte (6,457).
There are 81 provincial
jails, 143 city jails and 1, 491
municipal jails in the country,
with approximately 75, 241
prisoners.
In addition to the traditional
levels of criminal and judicial
institutions, there are also
military stockades under the
Armed Forces of the Philippines,
detention centers - at the National
Bureau of Investigation, Bureau
of Immigration and Philippine
National Police.
The CBCP-ECPPC in response
to the issues and concerns in
jails and prisons has formulated
programs to accomplish the
following thrust:
Advocacy that entails the
continuous education and
organization of individuals and
groups for that will work for a
restorative justice paradigm in
our criminal justice system.
Lobbyi ng t hat consi st s
in working for policies and
procedures that protect the
dignity of the prisoners and
advance their human rights.
Publication, Documentation
and Information Dissemination
that will consists in gathering,
organization, safekeeping, and
dissemination of materials for
the advancement of restorative
justice.
M a i n t a i n i n g a n d
Strengthening the Linkages
and Partnerships with groups,
agencies and organizations
involve in jails in prison locally
and internationally.
Sustained Program for ECPPC
Staff and Volunteers towards the
deepening of their commitment
and relationships and team
work.
Creation / B5
irreversible effects on our world. The task
of addressing global warming and climate
change is thus an urgent one.
It begins with a deep gratitude for the
created gifts God has given us, and a renewed
commitment to the sacred trust of caring
for these gifts. We are called to respond
with care and creativity as individuals and
communities, as nations and as one human
family. We face these immense challenges
trusting in our loving and merciful God, who
once proclaimed: If then my people, upon
whom my name has been pronounced, humble
themselves and pray, and seek my face and
turn from their evil ways, I will hear them
from heaven and pardon their sins and heal
their land (2 Chronicles 7: 14).
We pray that we may have the hope and faith
of our Blessed Mother, who praised God in all
His creation: My soul proclaims the greatness
of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my
savior (Luke 1: 46).
For the Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines, October 4, 2014, Feast of Saint
Francis of Assisi
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
CBCP President
_________________________
i Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
What is Happening to Our Beautiful Land? 29 Janu-
ary 1988
ii Hare, Bill. Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 C World
Must Be Avoided. FABC Papers no. 140. October
2013, pp. 8-10.
iii Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre. The Phenomenon of Man.
New York: Harper Collins, 2008.
iv Pope John Paul II. Ecclesia in Asia: Post-synodal
Apostolic Exhortation. 6 November 1999
v Pope Benedict XVI. Caritas in Veritate. 29 June 2009.
vi Pope Francis. Message to the Diplomatic Corps.
14 January 2014.
vii CBCP. What is Happening to Our Beautiful Land?
B8
Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
B8
CBCP Monitor
Entertainment Entertainment
Technical Assessment
Poor
Below average
Average
Above average
Excellent
Moral Assessment
Abhorrent
Disturbing
Acceptable
Wholesome
Exemplary
UUWI mul a s a Amer i ka
ang mag- asawang El ai ne
at Rommel (Bing Loyzaga
at Yul Servo), kasama ang
dalagang anak na si Rachel
( J a s mi ne Cur t i s - S mi t h)
upang alagaan si Mara (Nora
Aunor), kapatid ni Elaine
na may dement i a, i s ang
kal agayan ng mat i ndi ng
pagkal i mot at pangl al abo
ng i s i p. Sa pa g- a s a ng
makatutulong sa paggaling
ng demensya ni Mara ang
pagbabal i k ni t o sa bahay
na kanyang ki nal aki han,
magbabakasyon silang lahat
sa kanilang ancestral home
sa Batanes.
Ta t l o n g b a g a y a n g
matatawag na mga panalong
puhunan ng Dementia: ang
Batanes, ang musika, at si
Nora Aunor.
I s i p i n n y o n a l a n g ,
k u n g s i y u d a d o i s a n g
makabagong probinsya ang
pangyayari han ng i st orya,
t i yak na mababawasan ang
hi waga ni t odi t ul ad ng
Bat ane s na pumupukaw
s a p a g k a ma l i k h a i n n g
c i ne ma t o g r a phe r. Ang
mu s i k a : s a s i mu l a p a
l ama ng ay i s i ni s i l i d na
ni t o a ng da mda mi n ng
manonood sa isang mood
na mananat i l i sa kahabaan
ng pel i kul a.
At si Nora Aunor? Tila
i pi na ng a na k s i y a pa r a
g u ma n a p s a g a n i t o n g
mga papel t ul ad ng s a
Hi mal akung s aan ang
kanyang katauhan ay ti l a
isang bugtong, nababalot ng
hiwaga, lalo pat kakaunti
ang mga l i nyang dapat
bi gkasi n ng aktres kaya t
babantayan mo na lang ang
kanyang mukha, mga mata,
at kilos upang matanto mo
ang kahal agahan ni t o sa
pagbubuo ng salaysay.
N a p a k a g a l i n g n g
pagkakagami t ng angki ng
ganda ng Bat anes uang
i s u l o n g a n g d r a ma ;
malamang ay inspirasyon na
rin ito sa mga artista upang
gampanan nang kahanga-
hanga ang kani l ang mga
papel. Kakatwa lamang na
ang i ki nabawas ng l akas
ng Dementi a ay ang mga
idinagdag ditong sangkap
na hindi makatuturan.
Malaman ang kuwento ng
Dement i a, bagama t may
mga sangkap i tong kapag
ki nuwenta mo na sa dul o
ay kal abi san l ang naman
pal a, hi ndi nakakadagdag
sa kabul uhan o t akbo ng
istorya; sinadya kaya ito para
i l i gaw ang pagpapal agay
ng manonood, o kaya y
upang busugi n ang sabi k
ng mga tao sa karani wang
katatakutang natatagpuan
s a k a r a n i wa n g h o r r o r
movi es?
Ka h i t n a ma y mg a
panggul at na eks ena at
multo ang Dementia, hindi
DEBUTI NG di rect or Wes
Ball opens the movie with
16-year-old Thomas (Dylan
O Br i en) st ruggl i ng i n a
f rei ght el evat or shoot i ng
up underground. It surfaces
i n a pl ace i nhabi t ed by
t een boys he had never
met before. He learns he
i s now i n the gl adea
wide expanse of meadows
and woods surrounded by
massive concrete walls. The
glade has been home to the
boys who have been placed
there, one each month, for the
past three years, arriving like
Thomas in the same conveyor,
remembering nothing of their
past except their names. This
makeshift society is led by
the first arrival Alby (Aml
Ameen) ; havi ng survi ved
in the glade alone for one
DIRECTION: Percy Intalan
CAST: Nora Aunor, Jasmine
Curtis, Bing Loyzaga,
Yul Servo, Chynna
Ortaleza
WRITER: Jun Lana
CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Mackie Galvez
PRODUCTION: Octobertrain
Films, The IdeaFirst
Company
MUSIC: Von de Guzman
LOCATION: Batanes
GENRE: Drama, mystery
thriller
DISTRIBUTOR: Regal Films
TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT:

MORAL ASSESSMENT:

CINEMA rating: V14
DIRECTOR: Wes Ball LEAD
CAST: Dylan OBrien, Aml
Ameen, Ki Hong Lee,
Blake Cooper, Thomas
Brodie-Sangster, Will
Poulter, Dexter Darden,
Kaya Scodelario, Chris
Sheffeld, Anish Sureped-
di, Patricia Clarkson
GENRE: science fction, ac-
tion thriller
CINEMATOGRAPHER: En-
rique Chediak
DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century
Fox
LOCATION: Louisiana, USA
RUNNING TIME: 113 Minutes
TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT:

MORAL ASSESSMENT:
CINEMA rating: PG 13
Buhay San Miguel Brothers Matias
ito isang horror movie o
kababalaghan kaya. Itoy
i sang pal ai si pan na nag-
aanyaya sa manonood na
sakyan ang kal agayan ng
isang taong may demensya
kinakalawang ang alala-ala,
pumupurol ang isipan.
Naililibing kaya kasama
ng i sang yumaong mahal
sa buhay ang kasawi ang
namagi t an s a dal awang
ni l al ang? I t o ang nai s
bungkal i n ng Dement i a:
sadya kayang nakakalimot
ang may sakit, o mayroon
l a ma ng s i ya ng gus t ong
i ba on s a l i mot ? Kung
sadyang nakakalimot na nga
siya, bakit may isang higit
pang makapangyar i hang
al a-al a ang tumatanggi ng
sumama sa libingan? Ano
ang tunay na bumabagabag
kay Mar ade me ns ya, o
konsiyensya?
month, he has become their
natural leader. Newt (Thomas
Brodi e Sangst er) , second
in command, tells Thomas
they are virtual prisoners
in the glade, the eye of an
enormous maze whose ever-
shifting walls are too high to
scale. It is the duty of Gally
( Wi l l Poul t er) t o enf orce
the rules in the glade, the
DEMENTIA
THE MAZE
RUNNER
most i mport ant of whi ch
is never to enter the door
to the mazea tantalizing
portal that closes by itself
at night when gigantic bio-
mechanical creatures called
Grievers patrol the maze.
Thomas is warned that no one
has ever survived a night in
the maze.
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CBCPMonitor
Know St.
Teresa of Avila
Dashner s bestselling 2009
book of t he s ame t i t l e,
po s t - a po c a l y pt i c s c i - f i
movie version of The Maze
Runner j oins the ranks of
The Hunger Games and
Divergents as young-adult
adventure thriller. Although
the story is compelling, it is
not without loopholes. The
absence of a back story also
hi nders charact eri zat i on,
although acting is adequate
and convincing, given the bit
of uneven handling of the cast.
The Maze Runner s strongest
technical point is the action,
which owes its excitement to
the sensible balance between
CGI and nat ur al human
skills. No superhero strength
for the characters, no demi-
godly powers, no flyingjust
running and a great deal of
guts.
The Maze Runner has for
its redemptive elements a
st rong mor al wor l dvi ew
and the message that man
has an innate capacity for
good. Despite the loss of
past memory, its characters
display courage, selflessness,
ki ndness, and a sense of
sacrifice. Although clueless
about their confinement in
the glade, the boys prove
that teamwork can build a
harmonious community where
each has a duty to keep their
habitat livable. Living off
the land, they grow their own
food, some are goatherds,
some are craftsmen making
tools and building dwellings
from sticks. Three rules of
paramount importance in the
glade: Do your part with work,
never harm another Glader,
and never go into the maze.
Teresa & Therese
ON March 28, 2015, Carmelites the world over will
celebrate the 5th birth centenary of St. Teresa of Avila,
the first woman Doctor of the Church. The three-year
campaign of the Philippines National Commission
for the Celebration of the 5th Birth Centenary of St.
Teresa of Avila, launched on March 28, 2012, aims to
promote St. Teresa of Avilas teaching on prayer among
the Filipinos.
There are only eight parishes in the whole country
named after St. Teresa of Avila (a. k. a. St. Teresa of
Jesus), and although a number of Catholic schools
for girls are named after St. Teresa, Filipinos are
more familiar with her daughter, St. Therese of the
Child Jesus, the third woman doctor of the Church,
and whose relics have visited the Philippines three
times (2000, 2008, and 2013). It would therefore be
appropriate to begin this series with something to
establish the identity of the two Carmelite Doctors of
the Church. In the succeeding issues we will feature
highlights from the teachings of St. Teresa of Avila,
Reformer of Carmel and Founder of the Order of
Discalced Carmelites.
ST. TERESA OF AVILA
Birth: March 28, 1515, in
Spain
Death: October 4,
1582
Name in Carmel: Teresa
of Jesus
Popular iconography:
Book, quill, dove
Canonization: March 12,
1662 by Pope Gregory XV
Proclaimed Doctor of the
Church: September 27, 1970
ST. THERESE OF
LISIEUX
Birth: January 2, 1873,
in France
Death: September 30
1897
Name in Carmel:
Therese of the Child
Jesus
Popular
iconography:
Crucifix, roses
Canonization: 17
May 1925 by Pope
Pius XI
Proclaimed Doctor
of the Church:
October 19, 1997
Hail Mary! Queen of Families
CFCs Continuing Journey with Mary
Catchfre Rally 2014:
Set the World Ablaze!
Kids save up for the Global Day of Service
IN PREPARATION for the Com-
munity Consecration to Jesus
thru Mary of the Global Family
of Couples for Christ on Decem-
ber 7, 2014, the CFC Mission
Core of Metro Manila held a
recollection on Marian consecra-
tion last October 5, 2014. Rev.
Fr. Melvin Castro, Executive
Secretary of the Episcopal Com-
mission on Family and Life, was
Recollection Master.
In the recollection, Fr. Castro
recounted the meaning of con-
secration to Jesus through Mary,
and why all should do it.
To consecrate (from the Latin
words con and sacrare) means to
make holy, to set apart for the
Lord, Fr. Castro said, to begin
the recollection.
The first consecration hap-
pened at the foot of the cross,
when Jesus said, Woman, be-
hold your son... Behold, your
Mother. (John 19: 26-27)
Jesus wanted us to be taken
care of by a mother, Fr. Castro
added. But He didn't want it to
be just any mother, but His own
Mother.
This is what consecration is
about: entrusting that the Blessed
Mother knows what the faithful
needs, even without telling her.
To be possessed, to be cov-
ered with the mantle of her
protection, to be owned by
Our Lady... means we submit
ourselves to the Lord himself.
When we consecrate ourselves to
Mary, we consecrate ourselves to
Christ, Fr. Castro said.
He added, Any devotion
to be true, it should lead us to
Christ.
CFC Leaders Personally Encounter
Pope Francis at the Synod of Bishops
CFC was blessed to be have a personal
encounter with Pope Francis and to
participate in the III Extraordinary
Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on
the Family, with George and Cynthia
Campos as official representatives of
Couples for Christ in the Synod. The
theme for this years Synod is Pas-
toral Challenges to the Family in the
Context of Evangelization.
According to the Vatican website,
the Synod of Bishops is a permanent
institution of the Catholic Church
established by Pope Paul VI in 1965,
shortly after the close of the Second
Vatican Council. It was instituted to
continue the spirit of collegiality and
communion that was present at the
Council. The Synod is an assembly of
bishops from around the world who
assist the Holy Father by providing
counsel on important questions facing
the Church in a manner that preserves
By CFC Global Comm
the Churchs teaching and strengthens
her internal discipline.
The ongoing Extraordinary General
Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
is the third; previous Extraordinary
General Assemblies were held in 1969
and 1985. The Preparatory Document
described the purpose of the III Ex-
traordinary General Assembly as to
define the status quaestionis (current
situation) and to collect the bishops
experiences and proposals in pro-
claiming and living the Gospel of the
Family in a credible manner.
The III Extraordinary General As-
sembly will then thoroughly examine
and analyze the information, testimo-
nies and recommendations received
from the particular Churches in order
to respond to the new challenges of
the family.
The Synod opened last October 5,
2014. Together with Cardinals and
Bishops, 13 lay individuals also partic-
ipated in the Synod. George Campos CFC LEADERS/ C2
GDS/ C2
And so on November 5, 2014
(Wednesday), the global CFC
family shall begin the do-it-
yourself retreat prior to the
community consecration using
the book 33 Days to Morning
Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley,
MIC. On December 7, 2014, the
global community of CFC will
be consecrated to Jesus thru the
Blessed Mother.
The Marian consecration shall
be done simultaneously in all
CFC areas in the Philippines and
foreign countries on December
7. On December 8, the Feast of
the Immaculate Conception, will
mark the personal consecration
of every CFC member.
Fr . Ca s t r o c onc l ude s ,
Through this consecration, let
us, like John the beloved disci-
ple, bring Mary into our own
homes.
ARE YOU a Christian in active service
of a Church community or parish?
Are YOU a Christian seeking to be in-
volved in Church ministry or service?
Are YOU a Christian who seem to
have lost the zeal in Church minis-
try or service?
Are YOU a Christian simply longing
to take your faith more seriously?
If you are any of the above, then
Catchfire is for YOU! Catchfire is a
major inspirational event that aims to
re-ignite the fre among Catholics and
other Christians by allowing them to
receive the fre of Gods love and spread
it to others. After all, Catchfre means
to ignite, to burn, to excite, to set on fre.
Catchfre provides an exciting oppor-
tunity for Christians from all walks of
lifefrom those who are already actively
serving in the Church parishes and its
communities to those who are still in
search of more meaning in their faithto
become inspired, renewed and refreshed.
Amidst a very cold and modern
world, Catchfre aims to give hope, in-
spiration and courage. Through Catch-
fre, our hope is for people to receive the
fre and spread it to others.
What is the FIRE to be spread and for
people to catch? The FIRE of Gods Love!
By coming together as Gods people,
Catchfire hopes to enable people to
stand frm in their faith and engage in
the mission of evangelization amidst
the moral relativism that they face in
this modern world.
On November 23, 2014 (Sunday),
Christ the King Sunday, about 18,000
people from various Catholic Com-
munities, as spearheaded by Ang
Ligaya ng Panginoon, Brotherhood of
Christian Businessmen and Profession-
als (BCBP), Couples for Christ (CFC),
and Familia, are expected to troop to
the SMART Araneta Coliseum as they
set the world ablaze.
Catchfire will start with the Rally
Proper, which promises an exciting after-
noon of praise and worship with inspi-
rational talks and personal testimonies
that are meant to set ablaze the fre in the
hearts of Catholics and other Christians
so that they become more ready and
willing to step out into the world and
proclaim their faith. It will conclude with
a Eucharistic Celebration on the occasion
of Christ the King Sunday.
Through Catchfre, people would
be overwhelmed by Gods love that
they would come out of it ready to do
anything for Him.
For inquiries and tickets, please call
(02) 709-4868 local 25, or email cfc-
globalcommunications@gmail.com. An
offcial Memo will be sent to all lead-
ers in Metro Manila and neighboring
provinces soon.
and wife Cynthia shared about their
personal family life in the synod last
October 7, 2014.
Below is the testimony of the Cam-
pos couple, following the presentation
of Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of the
Archdiocese of Manila:
Your Holiness, Your Eminences,
Your Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters
in Christ.
Our Call to Vocation:
Cynthia and I were married in 1987,
blessed with four children. In 1990,
we became members of Couples for
Christ, a Private Lay Association of
the Faithful of Pontifical Right. We
have committed ourselves to be a liv-
ing catechesis of our vision to live as
Families in the Holy Spirit Renewing
the Face of the Earthand our mission:
Building the Church of the Home and
of the Poor in the 107 countries that
we are present in.
AS EARLY as Summer of 2014,
members of CFC Kds for Christ
have been saving up in their
decorated coin bottles, all ea-
gerly looking forward to the
day when they will crack their
coin banks open and share the
contents with those in need.
And true enough, come Sep-
tember 27, 2014, during the
Global Day of Service 5, CFC
KFC opened their bottles of
blessing in order to bless others.
All over the world, children
of all ages trooped to various
locations together with their
families in order to share love
in any way they can.
This years GDS is Kids Love
To My Beloved, and kids all over
the world were encouraged to
express their love for the poor.
Through GDS 5, children
were made to understand how
blessed they are, and how they
could become blessings to those
in need. The GDS became an
instrument which empowered
KFC to put their faith into ac-
tion by doing something con-
crete, like saving up, pooling
their resources and sharing
everything they saved so they
can help.
The beauty of this years GDS
is that the children did not just
stop at saving money them-
selves. They were likewise
encouraged to tell their
friends, classmates, cousins,
etc. to do their own saving
and sharing.
Among the activities dur-
ing the GDS 5 were cleaning
up of schools and surround-
ing areas, gift-giving to
Cornerstone tutees, helping
SFC Ates and Kuyas in the
feeding program, visiting
the abandoned elderly, visit-
ing other children in institu-
tions, and tree planting.
In Leyte, which was se-
verely hit by typhoon Yola-
By CFC Global Comm
By Alma M. Alvarez
C1
Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
The News Supplement of
Couples for Christ
C2 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Vocation Discernment:
I applied to be a nun with
the Rosas Hermanas (Sister
Servants of the Holy Spirit), a
contemplative congregation. I
was accepted, however, I was
asked to undergo a one-on-one
directed retreat with a priest.
At the end of the retreat the
priest said, You are not meant
for the religious life. God will
give you a husband who will
help you rear the children who
will serve Him in the future.
Your work is outside. After
this seeming rejection from the
Lord, I went back to school to
finish my course. By the way,
George was an altar server in
the same convent I was apply-
ing to.
I attained a high stature in a
company I was working with
for 25 years. At age 46, I opted
to resign. I told the owner that
I have spent the first half of
the prime of my life serving this
company and now I want to
spend the 2nd half serving the
Lord.Cynthia at 47, resigned
too, so we can serve together
as a couple.
We have grown deeper in
faith and love for the Lord
through our teaching forma-
tions and weekly household
prayer meetings with other
couples. This blessed encounter
with Jesus led us to become
full time missionary disciples.
Our children are following
suit. They have joined the CFC
Family Ministries beginning
with Kids, Youth and Singles
for Christ. We have been in
missions together in Vietnam,
Thailand and Australia.

Cynthias dangerous preg-
nancy:
On my 4th pregnancy, I was
diagnosed with gestational
diabetes and pre-eclampsia. We
were told that my life would
be at risk if I continued the
pregnancy and my child had a
high probability of being born
abnormal. We were advised to
choose between terminating
the pregnancy or taking the
risk. It was truly a test of faith
and surrender. We decided to
have the baby and to abide by
the will of God. By Gods grace,
we both survi ved and my
daughter Christen is now very
healthy and full of life.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis In
1998:
I was diagnosed with breast
cancer with 3 to 6 months to
live. Instead of letting go of
our service, we continued,
support ed by t he prayers
of my family and our CFC
community. My prayer was,
Lord with just a flick of your
finger you could change my
illness. You just have to will
it. God heard our prayers for
now I am standing before you,
cured with a simple medical
intervention and a dose of
antibiotics.
The pastoral formation and
support CFC gives strengthens
and sustains us and our family
in the daily challenges we face.
But how about those who do
not have the privilege of hav-
ing a support group? And so
our mission continues with
greater passion. CFC has min-
istries for mature men (Serv-
ants of the Lord) and women
(Handmaids of the Lord) who
are single, with spouses work-
ing abroad, who lost their
spouses either through death,
legal separation/ divorce or a
diverging view of associative
Church groupings.
For couples in irregular situ-
ations, the JACOBs WELL
ministry was established. This
was inspired from the conver-
sation of Jesus with the Samari-
tan woman in the Gospel of
John (4:1-42). It didnt fare well
due to mutually felt uneasiness
and lack of interactive prepar-
edness with regularly married
couples and a Church advisory
that our organization is meant
only for couples married in
Church.
An enlightened pastoral
charity inaugurating innova-
tive forms of accompani-
ment, of conjugal spirituality
formation and of inclusionary
participation in church life
leading to full communion
needs promotion and enact-
ment by our ordained minis-
ters.
Caritas Christi urget nos.
Grazie!
na last year, KFC and their families went to the
CFC ANCOP Communities and helped in the
activities involving the building of houses in the
area for the typhoon survivors.
Of course, what is Kids for Christ without Kids
Praise and prayer? In all the GDS activities, the
children opened and closed the day with the
recitation of the Rosary, kids praise, and the
offering of special prayers.
The kids also enjoyed creating love cards for
their parents, siblings and new-found friends.
These photos are a testimony that the innocent
hearts of children are capable of expressing love
at its purest. Through the Global Day of Service,
CFC Kids for Christ hopes to truly pursue its vi-
sion of Bringing Kids to the Lord and Building
a Bright New World.
(To see more photos of Global Day of Service
5, please go to http://bit.ly/GDSfve and http://
bit.ly/GDSgroup)
Ugnayan
COURTNEY Barich, an 18-year-
old senior from Holy Cross
Regional High School in Surrey,
British Columbia, Canada decid-
ed to forego a $700 prom dress
for graduation. Instead, she has
done the unthinkable by wear-
ing a dress made of potato sack.
Courtney felt guilty about buy-
ing a $700 dress, and so after her
mother told her that she would
look good even in a potato sack,
she let go of the expensive dress,
bought a $3 burlap fabric and
sought the help of Vancouver
Art Institute student designer
Suman Faulkner to design a
dress for her.
All this was all part of an effort
to raise $10,000 for San Martin
De Porres Childrens Center in
Tondo, Manila. Courtney started
a website in December explain-
ing: I will give up the glitz and
glam of a beautiful grad dress
and I will wear a burlap dress to
grad instead, if I can get $10,000
in much needed donations to
help this orphanage.
Flashback
Six months ago, thirty-two
students from Grades 11 and
12 of Holy Cross Regional High
School came to the Philippines to
participate in what they call the
Holy Cross Mission Trip 2014.
The students, together with 7
teachers and a priest spent two
weeks in immersion, building
houses and making friends with
residents in ANCOP Communi-
ties, namely ANCOP Kapatid
Community, AVANAI and
Our Lady of Banneux. Then,
the group visited San Martin
de Porres Childrens Center in
Tondo, Manila. Courtney Barich,
prior to her trip to Manila, had
pledged to raise money for the
said center. It was definitely
an eye-opener to see all the
poverty, from the houses they
Canadian teen wears burlap dress to graduation
and raises $10K for Philippine orphanage
live in to the food they eat. All
the kids were walking around
with no shoes. It was very sad.
I came back grateful, she told
Today.com.
Labor of love
Courtney Barich teamed up
with designer Suman Faulkner
of Lata Design, who donated her
time and skills to create a white
fitted one-strap gown, made
from burlap, with a winding trail
of small pink and yellow fowers.
For a teenager, the prom is
almost like a wedding, said
Faulkner. So for her to want to
do this, it just touched my heart.
The stunning gown took two
weeks to make, but for the de-
signer it was no easy task as she
was quite allergic to burlap. But
despite this, the outcome was
purely magical. Courtney went
to her graduation ball in a glam-
orous and stunning burlap dress,
all in the name of charity.
On August 24, 2014, during
the Ancop Walk Canada, Court-
ney Barich, presented a $15,000
cheque representing the money
she raised through social media
for the San Martin de Porres
Childrens Center. The said
amount will sponsor 40 children
of Tondo, Manila in their one
year education.
Coming back to Manila
On September 25, 2014, as
promised, Courtney arrived in
the Philippines, together with her
sister Kelsey and friend Joseph.
They dropped by ANCOP offce
where they were met by the staff
and ANCOP President Jimmy
Ilagan.
The next day, September 26,
was very special for Courtney
as she met her 40 sponsored
children in San Martin de Porres
Childrens Center. The children
were very happy and excited to
see Courtney in person. One by
one, the students, all in elemen-
tary, introduced themselves and
thanked her, at the same time
promising that they will work
hard in school. All the children
knew Courtneys burlap dress
story.
Courtney expressed her hap-
piness in seeing the joy in the
childrens eyes. She said, I am
also thankful that I was given the
chance to help.
Courtney al so asked for
prayers as she embarks a new
chapter in her life as she enters
college. Courtney, Kelsey and
Joseph distributed some goddie
bags, including volleyballs and
basketballs for the children.
Courtneys Story Immortalized
Courtney was in for a surprise
when Eunice Chua Cheng, Ex-
cecutive Director of San Martin
Children Center and Ruel Canda,
Livelihood Trainor brought
her to the livelihood area and
showed her assorted bags made
from potato sacks. The bags were
designed and made by Ruel
Canda. Each bag has a tag show-
ing Courtneys picture holding
a potato sack and her beautiful
story. The bags were labeled
Courtney Inspired.
Courtney was asked to pick
one for herself. She also signed
her name in one of the bags for
memorabilia purposes. Cheng
said they are planning to sell the
bags and use the proceeds for the
childrens center needs. Kelsey
and Joseph bought Courtney In-
spired bags for themselves too.
Courtney ended her Manila
visit with an interview with a
morning television program,
Good Morning Boss at PTV 4
on September 29. Together with
Kelsey and Vida Cuares, ANCOP
Canada Coordinator for the Phil-
ippines, they told the story of the
burlap dress, the burlap bags and
their experiences with ANCOP
and the children of San Martin
de Porres.
CFC ANCOP Elects New Board of Directors
CFC LEADERS/ C1
GDS / C1
By Romy Medina
CFC ANCOP recently elected the new set of members of the Board of Directos during the recent
membership meeting. The new BOD are Joe Yamamoto, Jimmy Ilagan, George Campos, Mannix
Occampo,James Solano, Eric delos Reyes, Manny Garcia, Steve Maningat, and Arnel Santos. A new
set of offcers were likewise chosen, with Yamamoto as Chairman; Ilagan as President; Garcia as
VP; and Maningat as Treasurer. Rene Punsalan remains Corporate Secretary.
Princess Necy and Andrew
--Pursuers of Dreams
PRINCESS Necy Gonzales was born blind
while Andrew Onas is nearly blind and an
amputee. They are considered persons with
disabilities (PWDs), but they prefer to be
called as differently-abled.
Due to lack of education, many blind
people end up begging for alms in front of
churches, along the sidewalks and other
places where there are plenty of people.
Under Republic Act 7277 or the Magna
Carta for Disabled Persons, the government
is mandated to provide the differently-
abled citizens access to quality education.
However, education especially among poor
disabled persons remain a luxury.
Princess Necy and Andrew have big
dreams and ambitions, despite their physi-
cal conditions. They completed elementary
and high school amidst plenty of sacrifices
and unending challenges. In one weeks
time, Princess Necy has proven to her
doubting teachers and classmates that
she could be in mainstream high school.
Andrew has mobility problems and needs
assistance in going to and from the school.
But he persisted, finished high school and
even learned how to swim.
However, Princess Necy dropped out of
school after one (1) year in college while
Andrew was out of school for five years
after completing high school. Their families
could no longer support their college educa-
tion, which means no more dreams to fulfill.
But God really has a way of connecting
people in need to the right people. Andrew
Onas was referred to CFC ANCOP by a part-
ner organization, the Breaking Barriers of
Child and Youth with Disabilities (BBCYD),
to pursue tertiary education under the Child
Sponsorship Program (CSP).
Andrew started 1st year college at age
21 and after four (4) years of continuous
financial support from ANCOP USA, he
graduated from the Western Visayas State
University last April 2014, with a degree in
Special Education.
Princess Necy, on the other hand, was
endorsed by the Camarines Norte CSP team
for the ANCOP scholarship. She was an
ANCOP USA scholar since 2010 until May
2014, when she finally completed BS in
Special Education at the Mabini Colleges.
Princess Necy was cited by the provincial
government for her outstanding achieve-
ment as the first visually impaired person
that earned a degree in Special Education
from an education institution in Camarines
Norte.
Andrew and Pri ncess Necy took the
board exams for Teachers last August 17,
2014. Both are hopeful they will pass and
become licensed Teachers so they can do
their share in educating differently abled
young people. (Efren Tompong)
C3
C3 Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Ugnayan
Mens Conference Abba Father
THIS is going to be historical,
exclaimed one of the organizers
during the planning stage of
the Mens Conference. He was
referring to the recent Abba
Fathers Weekend, the first-
ever mens conference held in
St. Johns Church, Kuala Belait,
Brunei, with 76 registered
participants.
Being the first conference
conducted and attended by
fathers and fathers-to-be, the
preparations involved even the
cooperation and participation of
the families of the participants.
Through God s grace and
guidance, help and motivation,
all things went well.
The first talk titled Gods
Plan for Fathers delivered by
Charly Laiz gave the fathers the
chance to refect on how they
are doing as a father and as a
husband. They were asked to
ponder on their relationships
in the family, asking questions
like, Are they giving enough love
to their families? Or they are
just the typical breadwinner and
provider?
The second sessi on, A
Fathers Response to a Fast-
Changing World, by Willy
Padida, gave the participants
an overview of the fathers role.
Towards the end of the talk,
they were enlightened on how
they can balance their time with
their jobs, with their families,
including their time to do their
service in the church or in the
community they belong to.
They were also asked to set their
priorities in life.
Sharers Eiel, daughter of an
OFW, and Jeremiah Naweh, son
of participant Johnny Naweh
moved the fathers to tears, as
the two honored their respective
fathers on their great sacrifces
for their children and families.
Sessi on t hree was a bi t
emotional, as the title suggests,
Redeeming Love. It was all
about loving and forgiving.
Videos featuring father-and-
son relationships made some
tough men cry as they recalled
their own fathers, remembering
their own relationships with
their fathers and their present
relationships with their own
sons. Sharers, Bien, Rene and
Rodman gave moving accounts
on their respective fathers,
honoring them for what they are
now and for what they become
as fathers. The video about
forgiveness gave substance
to the talk, and the personal
testimonies led to the prayer
for healing and forgiveness.
The importance on how men
father their children and the
famous line, Let Go and Let
God was emphasized. Overall,
the conference was summarized
as forgiveness doesnt change
the fact, cant erase the past but
enlarges the heart and enables
one the capacity to love people
who have caused hurt.
The final session, Never
Too Late to Start gave each
participant time to reflect on
how the Lord can lead them as
a father and as a husband.
I n d e e d , i t w a s a n
empowering weekend, giving
the fathers an opportunity to
be recharged, and be refreshed
about their roles as fathers and
husbands.
By Ammie Quizon-Alano
By Bads & Agnes Ellica
Meeting God on the road to Botswana
Priests from CFC families
Sons of Couples for Christ in Pangasinan, former members of YFC, now members of the clergy,
all four of them, concelebrating the Mass at the Pangasinan anniversary. CFC truly praises and
thanks the Lord for Fr. Allan Abuan, Fr. Greg Francisco, Fr. George Bacani, and Fr. Jonathan Dulay.
THE PASTORAL Formation Offce, thru its Direc-
tor Arnel Santos, received three volumes of the frst
issues of the UGNAYAN from Caloy Yturzaeta this
morning at the the CFC Global Mission Center in
Cubao, Quezon City. The UGNAYAN is the offcial
publication of Couples for Christ. Yturzaeta was one
First Issues of UGNAYAN Turned Over to CFC GMC
Couples for Christ Serves Episcopal
Commission on Missions
COUPLES for Christ is now
actively serving the Episcopal
Commission on Missions (ECM).
According to ECM Chairman
Bishop Arturo Bastes, SVD of
the Diocese of Sorsogon, CFC is
now involved because at least 2
of them, George Campos and Jun
Famatigan, are in the Philippine
Catholic Mission Commission or
PCMC. The PCMC is an arm of
the ECM, which helps make poli-
cies and programs in view of the
numerous activities, especially
for the culmination of the 5th
centennial of the evangelization
of the Philippines in 2021.
Bishop Bastes added, CFC,
among the lay organizations, is
the most organized in terms of
international and local missions.
And because of this vast experi-
ence, the community is very
ready to help us.
Today, the ECM Execom com-
posed of Fr. William Larousse,
MM, Secretary of the PCMC;
Fr. Andrew Recepcion, Mission
Director of the Archdioceses of
Caceres and Consultant for the
ECM; Fr. Soc Mesiona, MSP, Na-
tional Director of the Philippine
Missions Society and Executive
Secretary of the ECM; Bishop
Arturo Bastes; George Campos,
Executive Director of CFC; and
Jun Famatigan, convened to
formulate the national mission
plan. One of the concrete activi-
ties that the ECM has decided to
do is the creation of a newsletter.
They are also looking at doing a
survey on the mission situation
of the Philippines. A major event
that the group is excited about is
the planning for a big national
mission conference set tentatively
for May 18-21, 2015.
In the conference, we will be
inviting mission directors, bish-
ops and lay people, in commemo-
ration of the 50th anniversary of
the Vatican II document on the
missions, Missio Ad Gentes. This
will also give us Filipino mission-
aries to have a good formation on
missions, Bishop Bastes said.
The meeting was held at the
newly-refurbished offce of the
ECM, which Bishop Bastes bless-
ed this morning. A luncheon fol-
lowed to celebrate the occasion.
(A. Alvarez)
ON THE 19th of September 2014, the team for
Botswana was formed from among the avail-
able South African-based fulltime missionary
workers. The team went in a private car owned
and driven by a local South African FTW, Dil-
lon Naicker, who was part of the team along
with Bads and Agnes Ellica and Zee Deiparine.
The road looked better than many roads back
home and driving was at a steady speed of 120
kilometers per hour but it was a seemingly
endless journey.
The destination was Francistown where CFC
community is already established. However, after
6 hours of travel, it only brought us to Gaborone,
the capital city, which is another 6- hour drive
away and driving at night is too dangerous due
to the presence of wild animals. We were forced
to rest overnight at Gaborone. It was a blessing
as it gave us the opportunity to visit the Filipino
parish priest, Fr. Ariel in his Church and meet
some of his fellow Filipino parishioners.
The following day, the team proceeded with
the journey to Francistown. It was another
6-hour drive where the car experienced some
alarming mechanical sound that made every-
body uneasy. As not one among us has techni-
cal know-how, we went on with our journey
trusting fully in the Lords faithfulness that
He will bring us to our destination safely. And
by Gods grace and mercy, we reached Fran-
cistown safely despite the disturbing sounds
that became sharper and stronger in the last 30
minutes of our travel.
We were received by the CFC Country Head,
Felix Onya who escorted us directly to our host,
Aris and Angela Urio, where we were briefed
on the plan for the following day. The program
was simple. We attended Mass at 8 a.m. and
conducted the conference after.
The talks were given for one hour by each
speaker. The 21 participants were vibrant and
particularly drawn by the moving and touching
testimony of Dillon Naicker on the challenges of
the family in the frst talk. The four talks were
aptly delivered, reminding everyone of our
basic Christian calling to pursue and continue
the mission of Christ, to give glad tidings to the
poor, and to fully engage in the evangelization
and mission work as the true demonstration of
internalizing the message of the Gospel. In the
concluding talk, all were concretely led to under-
stand the signifcance of being called the Beloved
Sons and Daughters of God, which prompts each
Christian and CFC member even more, to accept
the call to be another Christ to others.
The culminating kiss of peace truly expressed the
unity of the community as the participants glad-
dened faces could hardly contain their overwhelm-
ing joy in having experienced Gods presence.
Once again, the Holy Spirit graciously mani-
fested His divine power in rekindling the hearts
of this CFC community who remained true to
their covenant despite the challenges of not
having received continuous nourishment from
our Global Mission Centre for a period of time.
After the hearty parting of the Beloved Con-
ference participants, the fulltime missionaries
were accompanied by Angela Urio in paying
our respects to His Excellency Bishop Frank
Nubuasah, SVD. The good Bishop was a true
father in nature with his warm accommodating
words of welcome. We felt so at home with him
even if we only met him for the frst time. He
was aware of the painful split that created some
problems among the members but exhorted
us, with his support and encouragement to
continue the work.
After the conference was a teaching night at the
house of Dominic Mwansa. The teaching was a
re-visit of the life and mission of CFC underscor-
ing the essentials of the community such as the
regular conduct of household prayer meetings,
daily personal prayers and reading of the Holy
Scripture. It was also accentuated that the trans-
formation of each one is a continuous living out,
of the Gospel message as well as sharing and
proclaiming the Good News. It was therefore
reiterated that the tangible sign of this conversion
is for each one to bring at least one member to
the community and conduct regular yearly CLP.
of the earliest editors-in-chief of the UGNAYAN.
The hardbound copies of the newsletter were
entrusted to the CFC Global Mission Center and
will become part of the CFC heritage library. Katy
Abao is lending her expertise in the design of
the CFC heritage library. (A. Alvarez)
facebook.com/CFC.Global.Mission @CFChrist
The Ugnayan News Supplement is published by the Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation, Inc.,
with editorial offces at 156 20th Avenue, 1109 Cubao, Quezon City.
Editorial trunk line: (+63 2) 709-4868 local 23
Direct line : (+63 2) 709-4856
www.couplesforchristglobal.org
cfcglobalcommunications@gmail.com
The News Supplement
of Couples for Christ
George B. Campos
IC Oversight
Bernadette Cuevas
Editor-in-Chief
Alma M. Alvarez
Associate Editor
Evangeline C. Mecedilla
Circulation Staff
Deomar P. Oliveria
Layout Artist
Ablaze Communications launched its early Christmas campaign last October 13, 2014. Dubbed
the 12 Days of Christmas, the campaign aims to encourage everyone to go beyond gift-giving. More
than celebrating the season, Ablaze challenges all to celebrate the Reason for the season. Visit the
Ablaze store every Monday, until Christmas at the CFC Global Mission Center, 156 20th Avenue,
Cubao, Quezon City.
Mission Story
C4
Vol. 18 No. 21
October 13 - 26, 2014
CBCP Monitor
Gods Beloved: A Victorious UAE HOLD
2014 NatCon
call on the Holy Spirit to help each
one accomplish the work set before
every member and leader. The third
Speaker, Jessy Corpus of Doha, Qatar
talked about In Your Presence, Lord.
The opening song, I Just Wanna Be
Where You Are, implied that all must
strive to be where Jesus is.
UAE NC Wife Jingle Valencia, the
fourth Speaker spoke on At the Foot of
the Cross. It was about Jesus Christs
sufferings as Christians walked with
Mother Mary through her sorrows from
the Cross and to the Tomb. The last
Speaker was Bernie Cuevas from the
Philippines on Gods Beloved. This
powerful session talked about what a
Handmaids true identity should beas
Gods Beloved. Each HOLD was told to
wear the attire of Compassion, Kind-
ness, Humility, Gentleness, Patience
and Forbearance, Forgiveness and Love.
The sessions were interspersed with
personal testimonies which enhanced
the message of each talk.
THIS YEARS HOLD International Con-
ference in the Philippines was a 3-day
affair and a 1-day condensed version of
the event was echoed on September 19,
2014 at the Abu Dhabi Country Club
needed a great deal of creativity and
prayers.
A total of 576 participants from
all over the UAE were present. An
inspiring opening prayer paved the
way for the sessions for the HOLD
ICON echo. Marilu Moreto, who
gave the talk titled Quiet My Soul,
Oh Lord, taught the Handmaids
that it is only in silence that one can
listen to and Hear Jesus speak. The
second speaker, UAE AGT Wife, Amie
Valarao talked on Lord, That I May
See. The session talked about being
transformed, being evangelizers and
having hearts committed to work with
the poor. Like Mama Mary, HOLD
needs to give that heartfelt Yes and
THE CFC-UAE s Nati onal
Council, the Area Governance
Teams of the three Areas (Abu
Dhabi, Dubai and Northern
Emirates) and the ME and Africa
Regional Center Coordinator,
were granted an audience by His
Lordship Bishop Paul Hinder
last September 6 at the Bishops
House in St. Josephs Cathe-
dral in Abu Dhabi. Despite His
Lordships very hectic schedule
in pastoring Gods fock in his
vicariate, Bishop Paul attentively
listened and interacted with
the top leaders of CFC-UAE.
Ramuel Garcia, CFC-UAE Na-
tional Director, presented the
highlights of the communitys
national and global events and
activities, including missionary
activities in CFC UAE supported
mission countries. Among these
were, the mission trip to Leba-
non in January, Team Building
training and workshop of top
leaders in February, Behold
and Ponder Conferences in the
UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman,
Seychelles, and KSA, Mission
Pairing Workshop for the UAEs
Mission Countries, and various
Pastoral Teachings conducted
by CFC International Council
Members from Manila together
with the Regional Coordinator
of ME and Country Coordinator
of UAE, Romy Alfaro.
In the second quarter of the
ART and Elle Los Baos, leaders of Jebel Ali cluster
under Dubai area, conducted a four-day mission at
the Holy Family Catholic Church in Maadi, Cairo,
from August 28 to 31. It was the frst overseas
mission of the couple who pastors two CFC
chapters as well as a SOLD and HOLD chapter.
They frst gave Talks 8 and 9 of the Household
Leaders Training in the evening of August 28
before an SFC and an HOLD household leader,
together with three singles and three handmaids.
Elle talked about Brotherly and Sisterly Love
while Art discussed the importance of Evangelistic
Headship.
The next day, the couple presented Talks 3 and
4 of the Christian Life Program before two CFC
participants and four HOLD participants in the
afternoon. Aside from the service team members,
several brothers and sisters listened to the talks,
too. It was supposedly their rest day being a Friday
but they chose to come and were very supportive
of the new missionaries.
The Covenant Orientation (CO) was the 3rd
teaching module assigned to the two. On August
30, Art discussed the purpose and sacredness of
a covenant and Elle encouraged the participants
to enhance their prayer life and reminded them to
By Connie Balda
By Baltazar Quiambao
CFC UAE Leaders Meet with HE Bishop Paul Hinder Jebel Ali cluster leaders conduct
four-day mission in Egypt
SFC UAE Finishes Mission Exchange Program 2014
year, missions in Nagaland-India,
Burundi, Namibia, Egypt and
Pakistan were among those vic-
toriously conducted. But Gods
miracle was not completed yet: a
mission trip in Iraq has re-estab-
lished the CFC community there
with the help of a former Abu
Dhabi SFC member and some
Filipino church workers. Thus,
when the humanitarian crises in
Iraq worsened, the CFC commu-
nity was one of the frsts who was
sought for help by the affected
areas Archbishop and Clergies.
Immediately, relief operations
were launched in coordination
with the top leadership of the
UAE and the National Council.
Financial assistance was imme-
diately sent to the area under the
care of the Archbishop.
Garcia reported to Bishop
Hinder the communitys in-
volvement, not only in terms of
evangelization efforts, but even
in the more practical initiatives
of bringing glad tidings to the
poorest of the poor through its
BCOP-ANCOP initiatives. Early
this year, CFC UAE donated
over Php3.0 M to victims of the
typhoon Yolanda through
ANCOPs shelter and commu-
nity development programs. The
community also pledged to fund
3 surgical missions, with the
frst one was already completed,
while the second and third are
scheduled in the 4th quarter.
CFC UAE ANCOP current-
ly sponsors 100 college level
scholars and is funding 18 Cor-
nerstone projects. While the
community is involved in all
of these, it continues to focus
on strengthening couples and
family ministry members by
implementing spiritual and
family life formation teachings
and cross-over programs for its
young adults. His Excellency
was also briefed with the com-
ing events and activities and the
pastoral visits of Bishop Joseph
Nacua, Msgr. Allen Aganon, the
Spiritual Director of the CFC
Global community, and Bishop
Pablo David in November.
For his part, His Lordship
praised God for continuing to
use the community and its mem-
bers mightily in Gods vineyard.
He also reminded the top leaders
that as the community experi-
ences unprecedented growth in
membership and achievements,
CFC must maintain its fdelity
to the Church and continue to
nurture spiritual maturity of its
members by immersing them
with the teachings of Christ and
coordinating and cooperating
with the spiritual advisers of the
community in the three areas.
In parting, His Lordship an-
nounced the completion of the
multi-room parish hall which
will be made available to all
communities in the parish, and
blessed the top leaders and the
CFC UAE community.
read the scriptures every day.
On the fourth day, they continued the CO with
Elle emphasizing on strengthening family life in
order to defend Gods creation and to renew the
face of the earth. Art reiterated to the participants
comprising Filipinos, Nigerians, Kenyans and
Cameroonians the Christian culture of CFC and
assured them that wherever they go they will
always feel at home when they attend a CFC
gathering as the practices are the same.
As a gesture of solidarity with the CFC
community in Maadi, the couple turned over
several new Bibles and a cash donation collected
from the MER 2 and Mega CLP service teams of
Jebel Ali cluster. The cash donation was used to
purchase a window type air-conditioning unit
for the new CFC Maadi mission house. Art and
Elle promised the leaders that they will continue
supporting their evangelization work and are
looking forward to their next mission trip.
Recollecting on their first overseas mission
Elle said: Brethren in CFC Maadi made us feel
welcome, special, and valuable. They validated us
and our roles as missionaries. God was talking to
us through our brethren. (A. Los Baos)
EGYPT is known as the land of phar-
aohs, pyramids and mummies. It is
also popular as the setting for the
stories of Moses, Aaron and the 10
Commandments in the Old Testa-
ment, of the hiding place of the Holy
Family from King Herod in the New
Testament. It is also the place where
you will fnd Virgin Marys tree, the
Hanging Church, the foating Bible,
to name a few things of signifcance
to the Coptic Catholic faith.
Blessed be Egypt my people.
(Isaiah 19:25)this passage was read
open when the foating Bible was
found on 12th March 1976 along the
suburb area of Maadi, Cairo along
the Nile River. Indeed, the power of
Divine Intervention led another Mission
Exchange 2014 Program team of seven 7
Singles for Christ (SFC) members from
UAE and Qatar, to Cairo, Egypt. The
team arrived on 4th September 2014 and
completed the 9-day Mission Exchange
Program on 13 September 2014.
The frst full day and leg of the Mis-
sion Exchange Program on 5 September
2014 included the promotion of the frst
ever CFC Egypt National Conference
(NATCON), The Beloved Weekend,
in the morning and the Christian Life
Program Talks 5 and 6 in the evening.
With the Holy Spirits inspiration, and
the direction, support and inputs of Joel
Jojo Sarmiento, CFC Country Head
for Egypt, and his wife, Tita Lany Sarm-
iento, the CLP Talks were conducted to
12 participants for CFC (4), HOLD (6)
and SFC (2).
The following 6 days were daily re-
minders for the Beloved Weekend after
every morning Mass followed by con-
ducting the Christian Character Week-
nights (CCW), an Intercessory Prayer
night and fellowship with SFC Kenyan
sisters, and a Household Meeting with
one SFC brothers household group.
The first night of the CCW, the
Prologue and Talk 1: The Character of
Humility, was attended by 9 SFC Mem-
bers, and a couple. The following CCW
night of Talk Nos. 2: The Character of
Courage and 3: Our Emotions and Our
Character highlighted by colorful Emo-
tions Letter Activity, was contemplated
on and enjoyed by 4 CFC, 6 HOLD and
12 SFC members. The third CCW night
of Talk 4: Righteous and Unrighteous
Anger, coupled with refection writing
and Confession, was attended by a total
of 23 participants. Talk 5: The Charac-
ter of Surrender together with healing
activity, on the fourth CCW night, was
another insightful night for 3 CFCs, 6
HOLDs and 10 SFC members. The last
CCW night (Talk 6: A Heart Attuned
to Christ) that ended with The Lords
Day Celebration and praise fest of
songs and dances, had 19 CFC, HOLD
& SFC-Egypt members and the Mission
Exchange Team.
With much excitement and zeal, the
SFC Mission Exchange Team-Egypt
was blessed with the opportunity of
being the Service Team during the
frst ever CFC-Egypt NATCON The
Beloved Weekend on the 12th of Sep-
tember 2014. A crowd of 62 brothers
and sisters listened eagerly to the talks,
with everyone blessed through the
Spirit and wisdom-flled prologue and
talks by Ramuel Ram Garcia, UAE
National Director, BCOP Head, and
Regional Coordinator for North Africa;
and Ronald Ronnie Rasco, Country
Coordinator for Egypt, with his wife
Malou. The personal testimonies added
life to the Conference. Edmond Durst, a
convert from non-practicing Orthodox
Catholic to convicted Roman Catholic,
proclaimed Jesus Christ is 100% hu-
man, and 100% God!. Mhob Rose, a
single woman coping with lifes dif-
fculties and trials affrmed that serv-
ing the Lord is my source of strength
and wisdom, and Jocelyn Cacho, an
SFC Mission Exchange Volunteer and
member for 13 years, exclaimed and
testifed forgiveness is very diffcult,
but possible by the grace of God.
The First CFC-Egypt NATCON was
even made inspiring with the visit of
Fr. Joseph Amin, the Parish Priest of the
Holy Family Catholic Church in Cairo,
Egypt. The Beloved Weekend was
concluded with the powerful praise
fest led by Joel Jojo Sarmiento.
The last day of the Mission Ex-
change Program was highlighted
with The Masters Stroke, a teach-
ing by Garcia, and was attended
by 2 CFC, 5 SFC, 5 HOLD-Egypt
leaders & members, 3 incoming
YFC members, plus the Mission
Exchange Team.
All of above mentioned CLP, frst
CFC-Egypt Nat-Con The Beloved
Weekend, CCW and Masters
Stroke teachings, conducted at the
Holy Family Catholic Church in
Maadi, Egypt were attended by
members and non-members of CFC
alike. Indeed the harvest is plenty in
this part of the world.
The mission was also a thanks-
giving by four of the Team Egypt
members, two of whom celebrat-
ed their birthdays just before leav-
ing for mission, and another two
celebrated their birthdays while
on mission. Indeed, the mission
was also a celebration of Gods
gifts of life. (By The SFC-Mission
Exchange Team-Egypt 2014: Gilbert
Mariano, Annie Gervacio, Maria
Victoria Gervacio, Maricel Ternate,
Jocely Cacho, Sis Leorosa Vercede,
Verna Moralita)