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SOURCE: CBCP NEWS By Roy Lagarde
November 16, 2018
Official figures show that the Catholic Church built more than 30,000 homes in different provinces devastated by the Philippines’ deadliest typhoon on record.
The figures were announced Friday during Caritas Philippines’ commemoration of the 5th anniversary of typhoon Yolanda in Palo, Leyte.
Started in 2014, the church’s 3-year rehabilitation program focused on shelter, livelihood, water, sanitation and health, community organizing, community-managed risk reduction, ecosystems recovery and institutional capacity building.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Caritas Philippines’ Executive Secretary, said that Caritas Internationalis was instrumental in ensuring not only funds but also experts in the fields of recovery and rehabilitation.
“That is why we were able to accomplish so many things,” Gariguez said.
“In 2013, we at Caritas Philippines didn’t even thought that we’ll be capable of implementing what would be the Church’s most massive, largest-funded and most comprehensive humanitarian response,” he quipped.
The number of houses built does not include yet the shelter projects of various religious congregations and other church-based groups.
The priest said each of the Caritas organization doing bilateral programs in the dioceses ensured collaboration, thus maximizing all available resources, reaching more than 1.4 million Filipinos.
He was referring to Caritas Internationalis member organizations namely, Catholic Relief Service, Caritas Switzerland, Caritas Italiana, Caritas Belgium, Caritas Germany, Development and Peace (D&P), Caritas Austria, and Cordaid.
He added that being able to able to build thousands of houses speak of the dedication and commitment of the Church “to better the lives and restore the dignity” of typhoon victims.
“We are very proud of this accomplishment, yet humbled by the experience,” Gariguez stressed.
The houses were constructed in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Easter Samar, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique and other areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.
The Church’s over-all Caritas response amounted to more than P3.2 billion.
“Don’t use Bible to justify death penalty”
BY: Bishop David
Mahirap makipag-usap tungkol sa Bibliya sa mga fundamentalista, ‘yung tipong kukuha ng isang linya sa Bibliya pero hindi na papansinin ang ibang linya na salungat sa binanggit.
Ang Salita ng Diyos ay unti-unting nabunyag sa atin mula sa Lumang Tipan hanggang sa Bagong Tipan, hanggang sa magkatawang-tao ang mismong salita ng Diyos kay Kristo. Para tayong mga bata na unti-unting nag-mature. Kay Hesus natin dapat makita ang pinakamataas na antas ng maturity ng ating pagkatao. Siya ang pamantayan natin sa pagbasa sa Bibliya bilang salita ng Diyos.
Kung gagamitin lang natin ang Bibliya bilang depensa o para lang igiit ang mga pansarili nating opinyon, e ‘di ibalik na rin natin ang pang-aalipin (slavery), ang mababang pagtingin sa mga babae, ang death penalty para sa mga bakla, ang mga sinaunang batas tungkol sa malinis at maduming pagkatao? Kasi nasa Bibliya din ang mga iyan? Marami nang gumamit ng Bibliya para sa hindi makataong mga layunin.
Kung sa personal na opinyon ni Senador Pacquiao, ang death penalty ay makatutulong sa pagsugpo ng kriminalidad, karapatan niyang ipahayag ang personal niyang opinyon. Sa demokrasya, irerespeto naman talaga natin ang personal na opinyon ng isa’t isa. Pero sana huwag na lang niyang gamitin ang Bibliya bilang justification.
Kung sang-ayon sa death penalty si Kristo, e ‘di sana binato na rin niya ang babaeng nahuling nakikiapid? E ‘di sana imbes na mamatay para sa mga makasalanan e pinagpapatay na lang niya ang mga makasalanan? ‘Di ba favorite passage ng mga Evangelicals ang John 3:16: “For God so loved the world…? God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save it!”
Willing akong makipag-discuss na personal sa butihing senador tungkol sa Bibliya kung willing din siya at sincere sa pagsusumikap na unawain ang Bibliya bilang salita ng Diyos.
Bishop David’s statement in English:
It is difficult to discuss the Bible with fundamentalists, the type who would quote a verse or two from the Scriptures and not mind the other passages that may not be supportive of their opinion.
The Word of God was gradually revealed to us from the Old Testament to the New Testament, culminating with the incarnation of God’s Word in Jesus Christ. We were like children who matured in stages. In Jesus we’re supposed to see the highest level of maturity of our humanity. He is our criterion and standard for reading the Bible as Word of God.
If we use the Bible as a mere justification for our personal opinions (such as on death penalty) then we might as well return to the morality of slavery, misogyny, death penalty for homosexuals and the ancient laws of purity and impurity, just because we also have them in the Bible. The Bible has been used much too often to justify even the most inhuman and ungodly things.
If Senator Pacquiao is convinced that the death penalty is a useful deterrent for criminality, he is entitled to his personal opinion. His right to express it will be protected in a democracy. But I just wish he didn’t have to justify it using the Bible.
If Christ were in favor of death penalty, perhaps he would have been the first to cast a stone at the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11. Instead of dying for sinners, he would have just killed them all instead.
But isn’t John 3:16 a favorite of Evangelicals? “For God so loved the world he gave us his only Son so that all who believe might not perish but might have eternal life. God did not send his Son to the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him.”
I am willing to have a discussion with the good senator about the Bible if he is willing and sincere in his effort to understand the Bible as Word of God.
For two thousand years wherever you find Catholics you find a group of people making phenomenal contributions to their local, national, and international communities. Every single day the Catholic Church feeds more people, houses more people, clothes more people, visits more imprisoned, cares for more sick people, and educates more people than any other institution on the planet.
The Church gave birth to scientific method, which has been at the center of scientific discovery for hundreds of years. The Church gave birth to the first university. The early Church was the first to institutionalize the care of widows, orphans, and the sick. The Church has also made incredible contributions in music, art, medicine, architecture, language, and law. In the area of law, equality before the law, trial by jury, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt are all the fruit of Catholic thought.
And no other organization or institution has done more than the Catholic Church in defending human rights around the world. The Catholic idea of charity—that we help those in need, without the expectation of anything in return, whether they are Catholic or not, and even if they despise us—is the idea of charity that even our secular society today strives to achieve.
In fact, all of these Catholic contributions spring from the notion of agape love. For two thousand years the Catholic Church has been a force for tremendous good in the world.
There have also been some dark moments in our story. Our past is not perfect. Pope John Paul II made more than one hundred public apologies during his papacy on behalf of Catholics for events reaching back as far as one thousand years.
He apologized to women, Jews, minorities, people convicted by the Inquisition, Muslims killed by the Crusaders, and almost everyone who had suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church throughout history. He apologized for Catholics’ involvement in the African slave trade, the Church’s role in religious wars and burnings at the stake, and the legal process Galileo suffered. He apologized for injustices committed against women and the inactivity and silence of many Catholics during the Holocaust.
Our past is not without blemish. There have been some horrible moments in Catholic history. But it is important to recognize that these moments are the result of individuals wandering away from the teachings of Christ and his Church. Here we find one of the central mysteries of God’s plan: The Church is made up of human beings like you and me, who are in many ways
weak and imperfect.
Some people look at the failings of the Church and use them as an excuse to leave. I see it very differently. All of the lowest moments in Church history are examples of what happens when we don’t live the Catholic faith authentically. I have studied these low moments, and what I’ve found is immorality and personal weakness, selfishness and abuse of power. I’ve found Christ’s teachings misunderstood and misrepresented. But the scandals that stain our history do not exist because we lived our Catholicism, but rather, because we failed to live it. And what I find most of all in the Church’s history is a reflection of my own fragile and broken humanity. When we behave as-second-rate-versions-of-ourselves bad things happen. That’s true for us as individuals and it’s true for the Church.
One of the ugliest scandals surrounding the Catholic Church is also one of the most recent: the sexual abuse scandal among priests. There is never any excuse for the abuse of a child. It is not only immoral and unchristian, but it is criminal in every civilized society. The abuse and the scandal were also mishandled in some cases by Church officials. Scandals like this rock people’s faith. When the Church fails to live up to her mission and the values she invites others to live by, the faith of millions of ordinary people is affected. Why? The Church is supposed to help people get closer to God. But when she gets caught up in a scandal it can stand as an obstacle between God and the people.
The first e-mail Pope John Paul II sent was an apology to everyone who had been abused by a priest or religious. Benedict XVI also apologized to the victims.
There have been some truly ugly moments in Catholic history. They are inexcusable. We should pray for the victims of these parts of our history.
History is also full of lies about the Catholic Church. These lies are often perpetuated by modern popular culture. Let’s take a look at some.
One lie is the idea that the Church is against science and wants to keep everyone ignorant so they can be controlled. This is nonsense. Many of the great scientific discoveries were made by Catholic priests.
And if the Church wanted to keep everyone ignorant why did it develop universities and become the champion of education for the common man?
Another lie that is perpetuated about the Church is that it is opposed to progress and is an obstacle to progress. This is also an absurd lie. The Church has been a champion of progress from the very beginning, and this is a tradition that has continued throughout our rich history of contribution. The Catholic Church has nurtured and encouraged progress in education, law, art, music, architecture, science, philosophy, theology, language, and human rights. In fact, many of the best minds of our times believe that Western civilization is almost completely indebted to the Catholic Church.
Today one of the biggest lies surrounds the priesthood. The media would have you believe that every priest sexually abuses children. In a recent poll, when asked what percentage of priests were pedophiles, respondents said between 33 and 50 percent. In fact, 1.8 percent of priests were involved in the scandal. The great majority of priests are good men who have given their lives to help you and me grow spiritually, become the-best-version-of-ourselves, and get to Heaven.
The world tends to ignore the goodness of the Church and blow our mistakes out of proportion to make them all-encompassing. At the beginning of this section we talked about some of the Church’s great contributions—how many of those did you already know about? I’ve met many Catholics who didn’t know any of those things.
The last lie I want to explore briefly with you is the idea that the Church is always behind the times. Not so. It is easy to present the Church as being old-fashioned and out of date, but this is a lie. The Church is a prophet and as such is ahead of the times.
One modern example of this can be found in the papal encyclical “Humanae Vitae.” In it Pope Paul VI explained what would happen if artificial contraceptives became widely used in society. It was written in 1968, before you and I were born. It was written in a time very different from the world we live in today. But it is full of prophecy, and what Paul VI predicted would happen is exactly what has happened.
Pope Paul VI predicted artificial contraception would be bad for marriage, bad for families, and in particular, that it would lead to the objectification of women.
He was an unwelcome prophet of his times, and remains an unwelcome prophet in our times—but he is modern proof that the Church is ahead of the times, not behind the times.
The bottom line is this: Don’t believe everything you hear about the Church. When someone criticizes the Church, ask them to prove it. If you have doubts about something, delve into the issue yourself so that you can really understand the great history of the Catholic Church.
It is not a perfect history, but the Church has always been a force for incredible good in the world.
There have been some regrettable moments in the life of the Catholic Church, but a fair look at history demonstrates that violence and abuse are not the overarching story of Catholicism. Our story is primarily one of agape love, incredible contribution, and the relief of human suffering.
Are you proud to be Catholic, and the more You learn about our history, the prouder you become?
“And even itong Last Supper who are the idiots there? Basta na lang ginawang santo kasi nandun sila sa painting. San Isidro, San Pablo, St. Jude, Santo Rodrigo kung sino na lang,” Duterte said, eliciting laughter from his supporters.
Clearly Duterte’s recent attacks veers away from his being a tactician. His conclusion is not drawn out of a diligent reading and faithful study of Scriptures, but of a mere perception of a painting on the Last Supper. He mocks the Apostles as idiots who were allegedly made saints because they landed on the scene of the Last Supper.
Who are these Apostles? And why are they saints?
These Apostles, whom Duterte calls “idiots,” are named in the Gospel of Matthew: “The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him” (10:2-4). Most of them were originally fishermen who have not gone to formal schooling, and all of them definitely have their own defects and weaknesses. Simon (Peter) for example was impulsive and hot-headed. Yet, Jesus chose him to lead the Church he has established. Judas Iscariot, the group’s purse-keeper, was also initially called to become an apostle, but later on chose to betray Jesus. At the last supper, “Satan entered him” (John 13:27), and left Jesus and the rest of the apostles.
The Apostles — minus Judas Iscariot — are celebrated as saints not because of their weaknesses and shortcomings. They are saints for having strived in their lifetime to remain united in Jesus, through the Eucharist (sancta) and through doing things in and for Jesus (sancti) in their lives (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 960-961).
Should we scoff and laugh for making idiots saints? Definitely not. Becoming a saint — holiness — is the vocation of all men. We must strive and work for it. It should be our ultimate goal. Saint John Paul II, who graced our country twice during his papacy, once said: “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures, we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of His Son Jesus.” All of us has the capacity to become saints!
Today (June 26), we celebrate the feast of the “saint of the ordinary.” He is Saint Josemaria Escrivá de Balaguer. He is known for having said: “there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it. Our ordinary everyday life, devoid of human glamour, can be a path to holiness.” Yes, dear friends, doing ordinary yet good deeds with great love for God can help us become holy. True change can be achieved, not by rabid loyalty to a master tactician who scoffs and disrespects, but by striving to imitate the One who calls all men, idiots and intellectuals alike, to holiness.
Let us pray that all of us become holy. Let us strive to become saints by doing good on earth.
Mahal kong Father Richmond,
Paalam. Salamat. Maligayang bati!
Simula ng barilin ka nila hanggang ngayon ay hindi na tumigil ang ulan. Kulimlim ang langit tulad ng puso naming kulimlim din. Natigatig kaming lahat na Karlista mong kapatid sa text message “Bro binaril si Richmond”.
Sinong Richmond? Hindi puwedeng ikaw! Hindi ikaw yon! Pero si Bishop Elmer ang tumiyak sa akin na ikaw nga. Umiyak ako nang lihim habang hawak ang breviary para sa evening prayer. Hindi ko maituloy ang dasal dahil hindi ako makabasa dahil sa luha. Bakit? Ano ba ng kasalanan at kailangang patayin?
Wala kaming magagawa. Naawa kami habang nakatingin sa picture mong duguan sa Facebook. Katay ang tawag sa ginawa sa iyo hindi pagpatay. Hindi para sa tao. Hindi para sa pari. Hindi para kahit kanino. Sana makaharap ko ang bumaril sa iyo. Hindi ko sila sasaktan. Gusto ko lamang tanungin sila “Bakit?” Baka makatulong silang maunawaan namin ang pagkatay nila sa iyo. Baka sakali. Naghahanap ako ng paliwanag.
Hindi higanti ang hinihingi ng Karlista kundi katarungan. Hindi na kami umaasa ng katarungan galing sa may kapangyarihan. Baka nga gawan ka pa nila ng kuwento at tsismis. Pero tiyak ko Richmond, hindi natutulog ang Diyos. Alam niya ang lahat. Mula sa Diyos may tunay na katotohanan, totoong katarungan at walang hanggang gantimpala sa mga alagad na tulad mo.
Salamat sa paninindigan. Salamat sa katapatan. Salamat sa pagiging Karlistang matapang!
Nakakainggit ka Father Richmond. Biniyayaan ka ng Panginoon na diligin ang altar ng kapilya sa Mayamot ng iyong dugo! Ang laking biyaya! Inihalo ni Jesus ang kanyang Dugo sa iyong sariwang dugo. Ang galing di ba, Richmond! Dugo mo tinanggap ni Jesus at inihalo sa kanyang Dugo! Hindi lahat ng pari may ganyang kagandang kamatayan.
Noon pa mang seminarista ka, alam ko na “iba ka”. May malaking plano ang Diyos sa iyo.
Ito pala yon. Hindi ko sukat akalain.
Ang huling hininga mo ay sa loob ng simbahan! Ang huling hininga mo ay isang dipa lang galing sa altar. Ang huling hininga mo ay pagkatapos butasin ang tarpaulin ng Papuri sa Diyos.
Ang huling hininga mo may halo pa ng hininga ni Jesus na tinanggap mo galing sa kabilang barangay chapel. May kamatayan pa bang gaganda pa kaysa sa ibinigay sa iyo? Congratulations Father Richmond! Natapos ang maikli mong buhay kung paano ka nabuhay…laging tapat sa Diyos, laging laan para sa taumbayan, masayang nagbibiro hanggang sa huli…
Father Richmond, paalam mabunying Karlista! Salamat, masipag na Karlistang lingkod. Maligayang pagbalik sa bahay ng Ama.
Ipagdasal mo kami. Huwag mo kaming kalilimutan.
Ikumusta mo ako kay Cardinal Sin. Mahal ko kayong dalawa.
Mahigpit at mainit na yakap,
SOURCE: The Splendor of the Church
It came as a shock to me to be informed of the brutal death of REV. FR. RICHMOND NILO of the Diocese of Cabanatuan. A beloved pastor of God’s flock and undaunted defender of the Church, Fr. Nilo agreed to debate Iglesia ni Cristo minister Ramil Parba this August. While we in the Catholic Faith Defenders were excited about the impending debate and offered to Fr. Nilo all our prayers and support, we are sad that the debate won’t push through anymore. We are sadder that we lost a good and dedicated servant of God, ironically during this year dedicated to them. We are saddest that violence and impunity now seem to be a culture and daily occurrence in our country. WE CONDEMN IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERM this cold-blooded murder of a servant of God. His blood cries to high heavens for vengeance. As he prepared to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass yesterday, it was the sacrifice of his own life that he offered in that liturgy of martyrdom. We call on the authorities to bring about justice for the death of Fr. Nilo. May his death be not an addition to the growing statistics of unsolved crimes in our country today. We mourn for Fr. Nilo’s passing. We pray for his eternal rest. We will continue to fight the good fight he started. We will remember his legacy. We will demand justice. We will not forget his sacrifice. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christianity.
SOURCE: CBCP NEWS by Roy Lagarde
For the first time, the “incorruptible” heart of a celebrated saint will visit the Philippines this October.
Fr. Joselin Gonda, rector of the National Shrine of Saint Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, said the relic of Saint Padre Pio will be in the country for at least 20 days, from Oct. 6 to 26.
Initially, he said that the visit was set for 10 days in early September to coincide with the centenary of the appearance of the widely venerated stigmata of Padre Pio.
However, the plan did not push through because it will coincide with the Italian bishops’ assembly in San Giovanni Rotondo, in southern Italy, wherein the shrine that houses the saint’s remains and relics is located.
“But we are blessed to have this heart relic of St. Padre Pio for 20 days instead of ten days,” Gonda said in a Facebook post.
“We hope and plan that it can visit Manila for Luzon, Cebu for the Visayas and Davao for Mindanao for 3 days each,” he said.
The priest said that they are also coordinating with the Commission on Clergy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in planning out the activities.
According to Gonda, the pastoral visit becomes more meaningful as the local Church celebrates the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Life. “Padre Pio was chosen as the model for all priests and religious,” he said.
Born in Pietrelcina, Padre Pio came to the Capuchin monastery in San Giovanni Rotondo in 1916 and made his home there for 52 years until his death in March 1968.
Besides being devoted to God. he was known for his care of the sick, powers of healing and prophesy. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
SOURCE: CBCP News
Two priests were among the 1,724 who passed the 2017 Bar examinations.
Fr. Romeo Dawaton of the Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk and Fr. Efren Bugayong of the Imus diocese hurdled the licensure test taken by more than 6,748 aspiring lawyers.
Bugayong, a doctor in Canon law, and Dawaton are both serving as chancellors in their respective dioceses.
Last year’s Bar exams held at the University of Santo Tomas posted a passing rate of 25.54 percent.
Oath taking for the new bar passers will be on June 1.
Statement of Sister Patricia Fox:
I woke this morning to hear there had been an order from the Bureau of Immigration about my case. I was surprised as I had thought the process was that I would have 10 days to put in a counter affidavit to answer the charges. It was through the media that I heard of the decision as I or my legal counsel don’t yet have a copy. I am very sad that the decision at present is that I leave the Philippines.
In 1990, when my Congregation was asking for volunteers to come to the Philippines, I eagerly volunteered as I had Filipino friends in Australia. It took a while to become a bit inculturated as things are done differently, but the people in the rural areas where I spent most of my time, were so patient and laughing with me at my mistakes. It was through them that I came to learn some of the basic issues which caused their poverty: lack of their own lands, control of markets, dependence on pesticides. I stayed with tribal people and learnt how the mountains are their supermarkets and pharmacies, how they were excited to have their own schools which taught sustainable agriculture but also preserved their culture. But also about how large mining and logging corporations as well as plantations were threatening the life and livelihood of these rural people.
As I lived in the city, I came to know the situation of the workers and their lack of job security which is now happening in other countries as well. As a Christian, believing that our mission is to bring God’s Kingdom to the here and now, I couldn’t help but to get involved both with projects, such as training in organic farming, to uplift the livelihood of the farmers, but also to advocate with them for their rights to land, livelihood, peace, justice and security, all universal human rights which the church sees as integral to her mission.
It seems this is what has brought me into conflict with the Philippine Government. I am still hoping for a chance to explain how I see my mission as a religious sister and maybe the decision can be reconsidered.
Whatever happens, I will be forever grateful to all those Filipinos that I call my friends and for all those from both church and sectors who have supported me through this time. I may lose my right to be in the Philippines but I can never lose the learnings and beautiful memories.