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- DepEd sued over sex education- Poor economy blamed for low enrollment in Catholic schools- Archbishop Cruz asks Aquino to abolish Pagcor- Residents file class suit vs 3 mining firms, DENR- Bishop, poll watchdog call for independent probe of May 10 polls

Text of CBCP Monitor Vol14 n13

Benedict XVI calls for A3 more profound knowledge of the Eucharist

The Priesthood ... Is B1 not Simply Office, but Sacrament



The News Supplement for Couples for Christ

Bishop Soc to Aquino: Oppose casino gamblingARCHBISHOP Socrates Villegas on Monday has made his first public appeal for Presidentelect Benigno Aquino III: stop the opening of more casinos. In a pastoral letter dated June 14 but was released to the media today, Villegas, known to be close with the Aquino family, said that gaming is not in the countrys best interests. He said its imperative for the incoming administration to provide alternatives to boosting economy that will not cost the country theBishop Soc / A6

CBCP official credits GMA for abolishing death penaltyAN official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care (ECPPC) has credited outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for having abolished the death penalty in the countrys justice system. Aside from abolishing the death penalty, ECPPC executive secretary Rodolfo Diamante also acknowledged Arroyos support to legislaGMA / A6

June 21 - July 4, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 13

Php 20.00

DepEd sued over sex educationBy Melo Acua

PARENTS led by a lawyer of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines have filed a class suit against the education department in response to new sex education program for public schools.Atty. Jo Imbong, CBCP Legal Office executive secretary, said the implementation of the foreign-funded program was unconstitutional and violates parents rights to be responsible for the development of their childrens moral character. Together with representatives of Catholic political party Ang Kapatiran, Imbong went to court on June 21 seeking to stop the pilot testing of the program funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The Adolescent Reproductive Health program, to be integrated in regular subjects including science and health, English, mathematics, and physical education, will be pilot tested in 80 elementary and 79 secondary schools. Imbong said she filed the case in behalf of 30 concerned parents who strongly opposed the sex education plan. Named respondents in the case were Education Secretary Mona Valisno and Undersecretary Ramon Bacani, among others. Contraceptive imperialism Imbong, a candidate of the Ang KapatiranDepEd / A6

Poor economy blamed for low enrollment in Catholic schoolsAS millions of elementary pupils and high school students trooped to their respective schools today, Catholic schools have continued to suffer from declining enrolment. Msgr. Gerardo Santos, President of both the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and Manila Archdiocesan Parochial Schools Association said the decline was anchored on the economic difficulties suffered by Filipino families. Whenever Catholic schools increase their tuition fees, a significant number of parents would opt to transfer their children to public schools, Santos said. He also said Catholic schools noted an increase in their dropout rates until last year. The school executive hoped the decline in enrolment would be arrested soon as the government plans to increase its funds for its servicecontracting scheme. Santos said Catholic schools suffer from teachers exodus to public schools due to higher-paying and lighter routines. Hardest hit by decline in enrolment are parochial and mission schools. He defined parochial schools as those operated by the parishes under the supervision of its respective directors and the local ordinaries (bishops and archbishops) while mission schools are the ones operated and supervised by religious congregations in remote areas. There are a few Catholic schools experiencing an increase in enrolment due to their location and parents capacity to support their childrens Catholic education, he added. Educational Service Contracting He said there are parochial and mission schools surviving on the government-sponsored Educational Service Contracting (ESC) scheme which provides financial support to poor but deserving students in far-flung areas. We are optimistic President Benigno Aquino will fulfill his campaign promise to increase the ESC scheme while phasing out the Educational Voucher System, he explained. He said the Educational Service Contracting scheme provides public schools some breathing space by sending beneficiaries to Catholic schools instead of enrolling them in already crowdedPoor / A6

CBCP-ECFL chairman and San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto (2nd from right) is joined by (from L-R) Human Life InternationalAsia/Oceania director Dr. Ligaya Acosta, CBCP lawyer Jo Imbong, and Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias in exposing some inappropriate contents of the sex education modules being promoted by the Department of Education, June 21, 2010.

Bishop, poll watchdog call for independent probe of May 10 polls

Residents file class suit vs 3 mining firms, DENRIllustration by Bladimer Usi

Archbishop Cruz asks Aquino to abolish PagcorARCHBISHOP Oscar Cruz urged President-elect Aquino to abolish the staterun gambling firm Philippine Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) for bringing havoc to the country. Cruz, a known anti-gambling crusader, said Pagcors so-called social objective only breeds corruption whenever it rakes in millions from private citizens and public officials. He said the gambling firm failed and does not enrich the nation or generate wealth for the country. Instead, Cruz claimed, it simply impoverishes its own so-called patrons, clients, or customers. On bended knees I would want to ask the incoming administration to get rid of Pagcor especially as a government corporation because all the money that Pagcor earns are taken from the pocket of people and gambling capitalists never loses because the odds are always against the gamblers, hePagcor / A6ENVIRONMENTAL CLASS SUIT VS. MINING. Hundreds of streamer-bearing residents of Barangay Anislagan, Placer, Surigao del Norte trooped to the Hall of Justice to file a class suit for mandamus against three mining firms and the DENR-Caraga for violating local ordinances banning mining in the barangay and town, which has been identified as a protected watershed area.(Photo supplied by LRC-KSK/FoE)

SIMPLE barangay folks, mostly farmers who derived livelihood from the land, have filed an environmental class suit against three mining companies and the Environment department for violation of a local ordinance that ban mineral exploration in their locality in Surigao del Norte. Hundreds of residents of Barangay Anislagan in the municipality of Placer, Surigao del Norte who belonged to the Anislagan Bantay Kalikasan Task Force, Inc. (ABAKATAF) stormed the Hall of Justice

Tuesday and filed an injunction for mandamus against Manila Mining Corp. (MMC), Kalayaan Copper Gold Resources (KCGR) and Silangan Mindanao Mining, Inc. (SMMC). Also included in the charge sheet were some top officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Caraga Region, said Ma. Zherwinah B. Mosqueda, team leader of the Cagayan de Oro City office of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center- Kasama sa Kalikasan/Friends of the EarthPhilippines ( LRC-KsK/FoE-Phils). In their 14-page complaint,

ABAKATAF said the DENRCaraga issued exploration permits (EPs) to the three mining companies despite the communitys strong opposition. ABAKATAF, which has been in the forefront in the struggle against all forms of mining in their area for more than a decade, feared that mining activities will affect their farms and will have adverse impact on Anislagans forest areas and water sources. Mosqueda, in a statement, said that ABAKATAF includedResidents / A6

A CATHOLIC bishop has joined calls for the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee to form an independent body to assess the just-concluded automated elections. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo along with other conveners of the Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch) made the appeal in a letter sent to the House committee. The panel (should) be constituted with competent individuals of established probity and mandated with proper and adequate support to conduct a thorough review and evaluation of the technical, procedural, and other aspects of the automated election system used in May 2010, part of the letter read. Aside from Bishop Pabillo, AESWatchs letter was signed by conveners Alfredo Pascual, president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association; CenPEG vice-chair Dr. Temario Rivera; and Dr. Rachel Roxas, dean of the De La Salle University College of Computer Studies. Pabillo chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action- Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). AES Watch expressed concern over the many technical and procedural glitches which tend to put into question the overall validity of COMELECs claim that its system worked perfectly and that the poll automation glitches were due mostly to human intervention resulting in procedural errors. The broad, multi-sectoral poll watchdog said the May 10 voter turnout is way below Comelecs forecast of 85 percent, and could be the lowest compared with previous presidential elections. The group added the technical and procedural problems resulted in long queues and inconveniences that discouraged many voters from voting. The magnitude of voter disenfranchisement could be bigger if the significant number of rejected ballots is considered, it said. It asserted that the important question to answer is if and how the AES enhanced the exercise of voters rights and whether it provided fair, transparent, and credible elections. Prudence, the AES Watch signatories

Bishop / A6

Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media


World News

CBCP MonitorJune 21 - July 4, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 13

Pope: Candidates for priesthood do not think of security in life or social positionsVATICAN NEWS, June 20, 2010The priesthood can never be a way to achieve security in life or to gain a position in society. This was Benedict XVIs stern warning to priests as he conferred the sacrament of Holy Orders on 14 deacons from the diocese of Rome today in St Peters basilica. The concept is not new to the Popes teaching, and was repeated later, before the Angelus prayer, after which he also appealed that peace and security will soon be restored in southern Kyrgyzstan and recalled the World Refugee Day celebrated today. The real way to be priest was thus indicated by Benedict XVI, inspired by the Gospel episode of St Peters confession from that you are the Christ of God, which made Simon the first of the apostles. Commenting on Jesus reply, that being a disciple means losing oneself, but only to fully rediscover oneself (cf. Lk 9.22-24), Benedict warns that the man who aspires to the priesthood to enhance his personal prestige and power has misunderstood the meaning at the root of this ministry. The man who wants above all to achieve a personal ambition, achieve personal success, will always be a slave to himself and public opinion. In order to be considered, he will have to flatter; to say what people want to hear, he will have to adjust to changing fashions and opinions and thus deprive himself of the vital relationship with the truth, reducing himself to condemning tomorrow what he would praise today. A man who plans his life like this, a priest who sees his ministry in these terms, does not truly love God and others, only himself and, paradoxically, ends up losing himself. The priesthoodlet us always rememberrests on the courage to say yes to another will, in the awareness, to be nurtured every day, that our compliance with the will of God, our immersion in this will, does not cancel our originality, rather on the contrary, it helps us enter deeper into the truth of our being and our ministry. We too, he said later, after the celebration, before the Angelus, addressing the 20 thousand people present in St. Peters Square, can know God through faith in his Word and Sacraments, Jesus invites us to follow Him every day and also reminds us that to be his disciples we must take upon ourselves the power of his Cross, the culmination of our goods and the crown of our hope. First, addressing the newly ordained, Benedict XVI stressed that the central one task of the priest is the celebration of the Eucharist.You are entrusted the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, you are entrusted his body given his bloodshed. We pray to the Lord to give you an ever vigilant and enthusiastic consciousness of this gift, which is at the centre of your being priests! So that he may give you the grace to be able to experience in depth all the beauty and strength of this and at the same time your priestly service, the grace to live this ministry with consistency and generosity every day. Even in our days, he said later during the Angelus there are many Christians in the world, inspired by love for God, who take up the cross every day, the cross of daily trials, and the cross procured by human barbarity, which sometimes requires the courage of the ultimate sacrifice. Extending his gaze to the tragedies of todays world, the Pope, after the Angelus, launched an urgent call for peace and security to be restored soon in southern Kyrgyzstan. To the relatives of victims and those suffering from this tragedy he continued - I express my heartfelt closeness and assure you of my prayers. I also invite all ethnic communities in the country to renounce violence or any provocation and ask the international community to work so that humanitarian aid quickly reaches the affected populations. Finally todays celebration of the UN World Refugee Day was also remembered, to draw attention to the problems of those who have been forced to leave their land families, and customs arriving in environments that are often very different . The refugees want to find acceptance and be recognized in their dignity and their fundamental rights, at the same time, they want to offer their contribution to the society that welcomes them. Let us pray - he concluded so that in a just reciprocity, we may respond adequately to this expectation and that they may show the respect they nurture for the identity of the communities that receive them. (AsiaNews)

Cuban bishops working to secure papal visit in 2012HAVANA, Cuba, June 18, 2010The Catholic bishops of Cuba have expressed their hope that Pope Benedict will visit the island nation in 2012. Bishop of Holguin Emilio Aranguren commented, its our hope, our interest, that the Pope come to Cuba in the year 2012 Its up to the Holy See. The bishop spoke at a briefing on the activities of Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vaticans secretary for Relations with States, who is in Havana to mark Catholic Social Week. According to the Associated Press, Bishop Aranguren said the visit had nothing to do with a possible papal visit. In 1998 Pope John Paul II made the first papal visit to Cuba. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, visited in 2008. The year 2012 marks the 400th anniversary of the discovery of a small wooden statue of the Virgin Mary which has become an object of veneration on the island, the Associated Press reports. In 1612 three men from the eastern copper mining town of El Cobre found the statue floating off the coast. It was labeled I am the Virgin of Charity. Under the title Our Lady of Charity, St. Mary was declared patron saint of Cuba in 1916. Cuban political dissidents have hoped that Archbishop Mambertis visit could lead to freedom for more political prisoners or more prison transfers for those held far from their families. Bishop Aranguren said that the archbishop will likely meet with President Raul Castro before he leaves on Sunday but has no plans to meet with dissidents. (CNA)

Asian bishops conference laments exploitation of womenHONG KONG, June 17, 2010The East Asia Bishops Institute on Lay Apostolate is highlighting the need for more help for victims of sexual harassment and human trafficking, as well as more awareness of how society exploits the womans sexuality. The recommendations come at the end of the institutes May conference on the woman, co-organized by the Office of Laity and Family of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences and Taiwans episcopal conference. The conference, which took place in the Diocese of Hsinchu, Taiwan, had as its theme Mary, Truly A Woman of Our Times. The meeting drew over 100 participants from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau and Taiwan, the organizers reported, and included laypeople, religious, bishops and priests. A final statement from the meeting said the gathering took place to encourage the Church to look at Mary as a woman who lived through many of the trying situations that women experience today, and to encourage them to draw strength and inspiration from her as Mary has a universal message for all Christian disciples today. The discussions brought participants to a deeper sensitivity of womens plight and an urgent need for all men and women to follow Marys model of femininity (recovering the femininity of God), virginity (filled with the Spirit closely following Gods Word), and maternity (nurturing life through work for peace and justice). In the statement, the institute lamented the impact of the modern-day work culture on peoplecausing stress and conflict in families; resulting in the destruction of the family system, where young women do not want to marry and start a family, and in the neglect of human dignity seen in the commoditization of the human person in mistreatment of migrant workers, exploitation of womens sexuality in the entertainment and advertising industry, abortion, and human trafficking. The participants suggested that Asian churches should support victims of sexual harassment as well as create awareness on sexuality in the Church for both men and women; help to restore the sacredness of womens bodies and sexuality from its devaluation in popular culture; and to raise awareness and consciousness of womens issues through the small Christian communities. (Zenit)

Yahoo! News

US bishops encourage diocesan relief effort for gulf oil spill victimsWASHINGTON D.C., June 20, 2010 In response to the recent catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has ravaged wildlife and decimated seafaring jobs for many in the area, the U.S. bishops have started diocesan wide network relief efforts and encouraged Catholics to respond. Bishop J. Kevin Boland of Savannah, Georgia, who serves as bishop promoter of the Apostleship of the Seawhich provides spiritual assistance for seafarersurged Catholics to participate in the efforts already underway by the Church to address the disaster. The prelate announced that the Apostleship of the Sea is setting up a network of diocesan relief efforts along the Gulf Coast and recommended Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese and New Orleans as a starting place for the faithful to get involved. It is Gods creation, Bishop Boland said, speaking of the environment. He has given it to us to take care of it. We must do all that we can, both as individuals and as a Church and as a community to restore to its proper dimensions and its proper beauty what God has given to us. Bishop Boland also offered and encouraged prayers for the victims of the oil rig explosion and their families and for all individuals whose livelihoods have been threatened by the spill. He also urged Catholic to pray for the success of relief and clean up efforts. (CNA)

Illegal Vietnamese priest becomes bishopHANOI, June 18, 2010Father John Mary Vu Tat, who was originally made a priest without government approval, has now been ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Hung Hoa diocese. His ordination was celebrated at the Our Lady Immaculate Cathedral in Son Tay on June 15. It was attended by 24 archbishops and bishops, 200 priests and a congregation of 10,000. John Mary Vu Tat started studying for the priesthood in his youth, but the government closed his seminary in 1966. After that, he dug ditches, grew crops, worked as a carpenter, gave basic education to local farmers and served as village secretary for 24 years. At the same time, he secretly studied philosophy and theology, cycling 60 kilometers to his teachers house and returning home each night. He was ordained a priestwithout government permissionby Bishop Tung of Bac Ninh in April 1987. He obtained a bachelor degree in canon law at the Pontifical University Urbaniana, Rome, in 1997. He served as vice rector of Saint Joseph Major Seminary in Hanoi until his appointment as auxiliary bishop was announced in March. Hung Hoa is northern Vietnams largest diocese in terms of territory. It has 63 priests and 202 nuns serving 223,000 Catholics. (UCAN)

Australias newest Catholic university to host youth conference

Auxiliary Bishop John Mary Vu Tat blesses parishioners after his ordination

Faith leaders urge aid for starving North KoreansSEOUL, June 18, 2010South Korean religious leaders are urging their government to allow humanitarian aid to reach starving people in the North. North Koreans are starving to death through economic hardship and food shortage, said 507 religious leaders in a statement released during a press conference in Seoul on June 17. We need to reach out to North Koreans by giving humanitarian aid urgently. It will help to bring about reconciliation and a peaceful reunification of the two Koreas, said the Buddhist, Catholic, Cheondo-gyo, Protestant and Won Buddhist leaders. Cheondo-gyo and Won Buddhism are religions founded in Korea. The religious leaders, members of the Religious Solidarity for Reconciliation and Peace of Korea, urged their government to suspend its policy of non-cooperation and withholding food aid to the North. Since Lee Myung-bak became South Korean president in 2008, his government has forbidden civil groups, including religious institutions, from sending food to the North. All forms of exchange stopped after the South Korean government blamed the North for sinking the Cheonan warship on March 26. In return, North Korea has threatened war with South Korea. The religious leaders called for a summit between the leaders of both nations to break the current impasse. The leaders need to discuss further measures for peace on the peninsular including humanitarian aid, they said. Meanwhile, the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) held a prayer meeting in Seoul on June 17 in which they issued the declaration of South Korean Churches for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. (UCAN)

Religious leaders are asking the government to allow humanitarian aid to North Korea

SYDNEY, Australia, June 19, 2010For the third year running, Convivio, a Catholic youth conference which has been held annually around the world since 1977, will take place in Australia. Initiated the by the Christian Life Movement which was founded in Peru, Convivio is a congress for Catholic youth which seeks to help them deepen their relationship with the Lord Jesus, with themselves, and with others. June 25 -27 conference, which has the theme, What are you searching for? will be held at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney and will play host to hundreds of young people seeking to deepen their faith. Over the course of the weekend, 10th 12th graders will be able to reflect on issues impacting todays world through talks, discussion groups, Mass, reconciliation, theater, films and games. Conference organizers explain that Convivio aims to produce leaders who are committed evangelizing society and building a civilization of love. It is their hope that participants will eave the congress knowing that God is their source of reference for all that they do. (CNA)

CBCP MonitorVol. 14 No. 13June 21 - July 4, 2010

Benedict XVI calls for more profound knowledge of the EucharistVATICAN CITY, June 16, 2010Yesterday evening, Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the diocesan congress of Rome in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The congress, which is being held June 15 to17, has as its theme this year, Their eyes were opened, they recognized Him and announced Him: The Sunday Eucharist and the witness of charity. The faith, said the Pope, can never be taken for granted, because each generation needs to receive this gift through announcement of the Gospel and knowledge of the truth that Christ revealed to us. Thus the Church constantly strives to present the heritage of the faith to everyone. This also includes the doctrine on the Eucharist. Unfortunately, he continued, this doctrine is insufficiently understood in its profound significance and in the relevance it has for believers lives. It is important, therefore, for people to have a more profound knowledge of the mystery of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Speaking about the Mass, the Pontiff explained that when it is celebrated with respect for liturgical norms, and with adequate attention for the importance of signs and gestures, it favors and promotes the growth of Eucharistic faith. He encouraged the faithful to rediscover the fruitfulness of Eucharistic adoration, ... and to ensure that our apostolic activity is not reduced to sterile activism; rather, that it be a testament to the love of God. Drawing nourishment from Him, we free ourselves from the bonds of individualism. And through our communion with Him, we ourselves become, all together, a single unit, His mystical Body, said the Pope. Thus we overcome the differences due to profession, social class or nationality because we discover that we are all members of one large family, that of the children of God in which each individual is blessed with a specific grace for the common good. When we receive Christ, the Holy Father explained, the love of God expands inside us, radically modifying our hearts and making us capable of gestures which, by the contagious power of goodness, can transform the lives of people around us. For the disciples of Jesus, he continued, witness of charity is not some passing sentiment; quite the contrary, it shapes their lives in all circumstances. The Pope invited those in attendance to show commitment in the delicate and vital area of education in charity, as a permanent dimension of individual and community life. Our city of Rome, he added, calls Christs disciples to a renewed announcement of the Gospel and to a clearer witness of charity. He also expressed his gratitude to the people who work in various charitable structures, for the dedication and generosity with which they serve the poor and marginalized. The Eucharist requires us to become, and at the same time makes us capable of becoming, the bread broken for our brothers and sisters, meeting their needs and giving of ourselves. For this reason, a Eucharist celebration that does not lead us towards men and women where they live, work and suffer, to bring them the love of God, fails to express the truth it contains. In the present economic and social crisis, let us show solidarity with those who live in poverty, offering everyone the hope of a better tomorrow worthy of mankind, the Pope concluded. Finally, he encouraged young people not to be afraid to chose love as the supreme rule of life,.. to love Christ in the priesthood, ... to create Christian families that live a faithful and indissoluble love, open to life. (CNA/EWTN News)

News Features

A3Eco groups hit Palawan mining midnight dealMANILA, June 10, 2010Environmentalists have demanded transparency from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) even as they accused the government agency of entering into a midnight deal with a mining company. Green groups have charged DENR of fast tracking a mining contract in Palawan in favor of MBMI Resources, a mining company that has a stake on a wide area of forested lands in the province that is rich in biodiversity. They claimed the alleged contract is contained in a Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) which combines other contracts separately awarded to Narra Nickel Mining and Development Inc. (NNMDC), Tesoro Mining and Development Inc. (TMDI), and McArthur Mining, Inc. (MMI). The smaller mining contracts cover four mining projects located in the municipalities of Rizal, Bataraza and Narra, all in Palawan. Alarmed Fr. Edu Gariguez, Executive Director of the National Secretariat of Social Action of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-NASSA), has expressed alarm on the alleged awarding of contract. The granting of this latest FTAA in Palawan, if true, goes against the Catholic social teaching of stewardship of the Earth and preferential treatment of the poor, he said, adding that given the fragile ecology of Palawan and the opposition of local communities, especially IPs, the mining contract should be rescinded as soon as possible. The influential Catholic Church in the Philippines has consistently been vocal in its opposition against large-scale mining because of its destructive impact on ecology and livelihood of the people. For his part, Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, an alliance of mining-affected communities and support groups, dared DENR to be transparent and urged it to release documents for perusal. It is unacceptable that affected communities and the rest of the Filipino people learn about this midnight mining contract from international sources and the mining company, and yet the DENR itself is mum about it, Garganera said. The groups believed that the FTAA approval will allow MBMI and its Philippine partners to expand in its exploration activities in the province. At least more than 3,200 hectares forested lands rich in biodiversity along Mt. Bulanjao range in southern Palawan will be impacted by mining if pushed through, not to mention the six major rivers that provide water supply to the population. It is the highest form of irony and hypocrisy that a destructive midnight mining deal was fast-tracked in Palawan, a province that is considered as a global biodiversity hotspot, and host to one of the wonders of the modern world the St. Paul Subterranean River System, Garganera lamented. Worst activity Artiso Mandawa, spokesperson for ALDAW/NATRIPAL (Ancestral Land and Domain Watch-Nagkakaisang Tribo ng Palawan), also decried the DENRs alleged sneaky decision. He lamented that mining has so far brought conflict among the people as it destroys not only the environment but also the cultural values of the people. Mining is the worst activity of man because it destroys our mother earth; it destroys our livelihood and our Life, Mandawa said. (CBCPNews)

Pope apologizes for abuse, says priests called to bring God to the worldVATICAN CITY, June 11, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI said the Year for Priests might have been ruined by the clerical sex abuse scandal, but instead became a summons to purification in the church. Concelebrating Mass June 11 with some 15,000 priests, the pope said that the enemy, Satan, wants to drive God out of the world and opposes those who work to ensure that God is at the side of every man and woman, especially in times of trouble. And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light -- particularly the abuse of the little ones, in which the priesthood, whose task is to manifest Gods concern for our good, turns into its very opposite, the pope said in his homily at the Mass concluding the Year for Priests. The priests, 80 cardinals and 350 bishops and archbishops, who were sitting under the hot sun in St. Peters Square, signaled their agreement with the popes statement by applauding. The Vatican said that with so many priests vested for Mass and reciting together the key words of the eucharistic prayer with their hands extended toward the altar, the liturgy marked the largest concelebration ever held at the Vatican. Addressing the abuse scandal in his homily, Pope Benedict said the Catholic Church begs forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again. In admitting men to the seminary and priesthood, he said, we will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey, so that the Lord will protect them and watch over them in troubled situations and amid lifes dangers. The priests and bishops, who turned St. Peters Square into a sea of white albs and stoles, were well aware of the scandal and of the shadow of doubt it cast over the Catholic priesthood. But, the pope said, the scandal should make priests grow in gratitude for Gods gift, a gift concealed in earthen vessels which, ever anew, even amid human weakness, makes his love concretely present in this world. Let us look upon all that happened as a summons to purification, the pope said. He then led the priests in the solemn renewal of their priestly promises to be faithful ministers of Christ, working not for their own interests, but for the good of all men and women. Father Paul Daly, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Heywood, England, said, I think the pope was spot on in saying the Year for Priests was about thanksgiving and renewal, not shouting the glories of the priesthood. It wasnt a triumphalistic celebration, but was calm and reflective, he said. As for the pope using the Mass to apologize for abuse, Father Daly said, He says and continues to say from the heart that he is shocked and sorry. The pope would have been pilloried if he hadnt said anything, but he also needed to apologize for the past and renew the churchs commitment to making the church safe for children. In his homily, the pope said, God wants us, as priests in one tiny moment of history, to share his concern about people. Called to be shepherds, imitating Christ the Good Shepherd, he said, we are not fumbling in the dark. God has shown us the way and how to walk aright. When priests, like anyone else, walk through the dark valleys of temptation, discouragement and trial, they must remember that God is there, he said. God personally looks after me, after us, after all mankind. I am not abandoned, adrift in the universe and in a society that leaves me ever more lost and bewildered, he said. Continuing the work of the Good Shepherd, the pope said, the church, too, must use the shepherds rod, the rod with which he protects the faith against those who falsify it, against currents which lead the flock astray. The rod and the staff help the church exercise its love for people and for their true good, he said. Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love when conduct unworthy of the priestly life is tolerated, he said. Nor does it have to do with love if heresy is allowed to spread and the faith (is) twisted and chipped away, as if it were something that we ourselves had invented, the Pope said. The Year for Priests coincided with the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests. During the liturgy, Pope Benedict used a chalice that belonged to the saint and was brought to Rome from his former parish in Ars, France.(CNS)

Council of Churches affirms solidarity with RP human rights workersMANILA, June 11, 2010The Filipino Human rights workers who attended the 14th Session of the UN Human Rights Council have been invited to speak at the World Council of Churches, also in Geneva. The World Council of Churches (WCC) through its Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA-WCC) has asked the Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights in the Philippines (EVPHRP) to speak on the countrys human rights situation. WCC is one of the international organizations that issued a statement calling for the release of the 43 health workers arrested on February 6 in Morong, Rizal. The EVPHRP group has gone to Geneva to attend the session of the UNs Human Rights Council and to formally file their complaint against the Philippine government and military on the illegal arrest and detention of Morong 43. Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, director of CCIA-WCC welcomed the delegation of RP human rights workers led by Fr. Rex Reyes, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of human rights watchdog KARAPATAN. Thanking WCC for its unwavering support to the churches in the Philippines, Reyes said it is essential to speak up in defense of human rights especially in countries where it seems not to exist emphasizing the importance to affirm the churchs self-understanding as being for and with people. We do our best to preserve human dignity in that part of the world, conscious of the fact that we are your representatives there. It is an ecumenical task, Reyes told WCC. The group presented to the council the situation of the detained health workers also known as Morong 43, highlighting their illegal arrest by the military, torture and continuing detention. Atty. Edre Olalia, acting Secretary General of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) and a legal counsel of the Morong 43 discussed the various human rights violations the health workers have experienced which he said afforded solid grounds for citing the arrest and detention as illegal. Jigs Clamor, a member of the delegation, and husband of one of the detained health workers recounted the sufferings his family has undergone and still going through while his wife is under detention. He described how the military

The panel of speakers in a round table discussion with members of the World Council of Churches. (Contributed photo)

threatened his wife of reprisals to her family unless she admits her groups association with New Peoples Army. This is the same story with the families of the other detainees, Clamor said. The health workers who have been illegally detained at Camp Capinpin since their arrest on February 6 have since been transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa, in Manila. Five of the detainees have turned state wit-

ness amid alleged torture and harassment from military. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, for its part, has also issued a statement expressing grave concern on the continued detention of health workers while calling the illegal arrest as a seeming lack of regard of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for human rights and the rule of law. Citing the importance of international pressure, Enriquez

said, the number of human rights victims in the Philippines shoot up each time nobody is watching. The delegation also called on WCC general secretary Dr. Olav Fykes Tveit who also reiterated the WCCs continuing support and interest on the case of Morong 43. The 14th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council began May 31 and ended June 18, 2010. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)


OpinionSexualization of children

CBCP MonitorJune 21 - July 4, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 13

AT press time the Secretary of the Department of Education seem to have stepped back from implementing the sex education curriculum saying we have decided to hold sex education module in abeyance until a final decision is made on the consulting process. At first blush that seems to be a happy development. But this is no cause for jubilation for the parents who went out of their way to sue the Education Department. Because, if there is going to be any consultation process it will merely be, as perhaps before, a rubber stamp of an aggressive implementation of a curriculum that will allow neither concession nor compromisedespite media statements of the Department to the contrary. The reason why this curriculum is immutable is, it is crafted or, better still, dictated, by foreign sponsors that have bundled both content and logistics in one well-funded program. This present sex education curriculum that was supposed to be piloted, or in fact, already implemented in several schools this year carries the content of a sexed curriculum model issued by UNESCO in which five year olds would be literally taught about the pleasures of masturbation. The cover of the sex-ed manual carries the logo of both DepEd and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. There should be an overarching agenda why this seeming obsessive-compulsive behavior of international grand planners seems too overt. They are the same planners that met in Cairo in September 1994 on Population and Development; in Beijing in 1995 on the 4th World Conference on Women; in Davos Switzerland on Climate Change and Tourism UNWTO in 2007 and elsewhere. Whatever the grand plan is, it is troubling to finally realize that these supposedly technocrats stand on a theory that childrens innocence is a myth. Their psychological premise is that children younger than five already know about sex and are sexual agentshence, the logic and necessity of teaching them about sex. This, of course, is not true no matter what modern theorists saysunless, of course, they have already changed human nature in the same fashion that George Soros is famed for changing a financial scenario by mere currency speculation. It is not therefore far-fetched to say that this sex education proposed by the education department will certainly disrupt the natural development of sexual awareness of children by deliberately feeding them more advanced knowledge which is still beyond their realm. This indeed is a form of sexualizing the children which in itself is already a form of sexual abuse that may progressively prepare them for physical abuse should any occasion arise.

Abp. Angel N. Lagdameo, DD

In and Out of SeasonAFTER a whole night of unsuccessful fishing, during the daytime, at Jesus command, Simon Peter lowered his nets into the sea and hauled in a colossal catch of fish. Humbled, astonished and frightened by the unexpected event, Simon Peter fell on his knees in repentance. But Jesus said: Do not be afraid; henceforth, you will be catching men (Lk. 5/10). In his biblical context we situate the beginning, development, growth and spread of Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD) from eight dreamful couples led by the late Sonny de los Reyes with Fr. Pascual Adorable, S.J. to several thousands of committed and prospective disciples. Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men. As the Father has sent me, so I send you (Jn. 20/21). Go, and make disciples of all the nations (Mt. 28/19). The date, twenty-five years ago, when Bukas Loob sa Diyos saw the light of day, was April 16, 1985. There was no stopping the momentum that was started. Within the BLD there developed the institution of its leadership: the Executive Council of Servant Leaders (ECSL), the district Council of Stewards (DCS), the District Servant Leaders (DSL), the formation of Tricords, Shepherds, Teachers, Homesteads and Households, the fruitful holdings of Encounters, Seminars and Word Sharing. We are witnesses to the dedication and unselfish functioning of the fivepronged apostolate: Management, Pastoral, Evangelization, Formation and Mission. In faith we see the hand of God guiding

Bukas Loob sa Diyosevery step in every level of BLD, simply because BLD is open inwardly to God. Today the total number of BLD Districts worldwide is 51, made up of Full-Term Districts, 19 Full-Fledged Districts and 23 Districts in Process. They make an average total of almost 5,000 active covenanted and committed disciples and almost 5,000 regular members. To which District do you belong? What specific responsibility or apostolate are you in charge of a member of? As in the human body, as in the mystical Body of Christ, everyone is an important member. What stories of BLD, about BLD, or in BLD do you treasure or remember, which are worth sharing with others? A celebration like this is not complete without thanking God and one another for the stories and experiences of the past in BLD. This are what have made the present BLD. Present also means gift. The present BLD is the gift of the historic past of BLD. A celebration like this is also not complete without entrusting the future of BLD. To God as we have expressed in our Vision and Mission Statements. On this occasion, let us remind ourselves of BLD VISION: that we are a communion of reconciled, encountered and renewed individuals, couples and families, each blessed with spiritual, natural, innate or acquired gifts and talents which we freely and fully surrender and offer to God for the building of His Kingdom here on earth.In and Out / A6

A renewed churchPCP II invites us to renewal in our Church. It is calling us to join in that springtime in the universal Church that the 3rd Millennium will usher. This is the intuition and prayer of the Holy Father. Joyfully, we make that our own. On what will the hope for renewal rest? On the growing awareness by the family of its nature: by Gods design to be the Church in microcosm, that like the Church, itself Evangelizer. And so, the Holy Father points, evangelizing the family is at the heart of evangelization. Evangelization, in fact, necessarily passes through the family. The family itself proclaims the gospel. And what in the gospel does it specifically proclaim? It proclaims the very core of the entire gospel: that GOD IS LOVE. We can more readily accept his prediction that as we look on the now imminent 3rd Millennium, the evangelization of families in the Dioceses will intensify. This is what we now see happening. Now God will no longer be thought of as only found in sacred places, such as the chapels and churches. He will now also be found closer to all persons meaningfully in the churches of the homes, in the families, and in the daily realities of their lives. And wherever, too, they extend themselvestheir workplaces, markets etc. There will no longer be purely secular realities. All earthly realities will have a religious meaning, and offer opportunities for experiencing of the sovereignty of Gods love. To find God in all thingsHis presence and His workings. To experience His covenant with His people in the dayto-day life. That is the gospel which the Church of the home is called upon to proclaim. It is the entirety of the Church in the entirety of Life that is being opened to the invasion of the Holy Spirit.-- Save the Family and Live, 1993

Breast cancer linked to abortionUP to a third of breast cancer can be avoided. This was the title of an article that appeared in a leading daily newspaper a few weeks ago. The information is indeed welcome news to us women, especially those of us who have experience of taking care of our mothers, sisters and friends who suffered or are now suffering from breast cancer. Some of them have passed awaya tragedy lingering in our memories and filling us with anxiety that we might be the next victim. Teens now are being taught how to detect lumps and other signs that could point to breast cancer and to go to a physician as soon as possible. Women who smoke, who are overweight, who live on high-fat diet or have history of breast cancer in their family are advised to go for annual check-ups. Experts believe that exercise, even among slim women, is highly advisable in order to burn fat that stores estrogenthe hormone responsible for triggering all those lumps and cysts and cancer cells in the breast.

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

Love Lifetaglandins hormone in the breasts until they develop into cysts and lumps years later. Nature knows what to do and we cannot fool nature. In a miscarriage, the situation is different. When the baby dies in the womb due to some abnormality and not due to a forced abortion, the mammary glands know that the task of preparing for breastfeeding is over, so it clears itself up. This information on the link between abortion and breast cancer has been published in many medical journals but media is not inclined to publish it because of their prevailing pro-abortion orientation. If only girls and women were given the hard truth, many will not even dare to have an abortion. This is not to say that all the women who had/have breast cancer underwent abortion. But it is sad that the article did not mention abortion as one of the preventable means under the womans control. Here is a Resolution from the CatholicLove life / A6

The article quotes Dr. Michelle Holmes of Harvard University who has studied cancer and lifestyle factors. She refutes the people who think their chances of getting cancer depend more on their genes than their lifestyle. Lifestyle then has a lot to do in so many of women getting breast cancer these days. With so many women choosing abortion as a way out of pregnancy, abortion has become part of the modern womans sexual lifestyle. It is no longer surprising to hear of some having two or three or four abortion what with casual sex getting so common among college students, young professionals, sales girls, not to mention those involved in prostitution. They could have an abortion today but ten or fifteen years from now, the mammary glands that began to process production of breast milk as soon as pregnancy occurred is blocked suddenly by the abortion, confusing the developing cells and locking up the pros-

Fr. Melvin P. [email protected]

Speaking of MaryROME (Italy). It was such a sunny and very hot day. The day was Friday, 11th of June, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Closing of the Year of Priests. We were told, there were 15,000 priests in attendance. By far, the largest Mass ever concelebrated. We were already in line at left side of the colonnades facing the facade of St. Peters Basilica as early as 8:15 in the morning. Ive never seen so many priests, save for the Philippine National Congress of the Clergy last January. I didnt know anybody except for the priests that I saw days earlier. But in that line, I just felt very happy and very much at Rome. Were in Rome and were in the company of priests, bishops, Cardinals, and the Holy Father. It was family and it was home! The security check was not waived. At 8:45 a.m., the bells were tolling. And we were still in line. 9:15 a.m. passed. Finally, were made to enter near the Aula Paulo VI. We were told to leave behind our bags. Our bags! Then, all had to take out their bottles of water, digital cameras, and everything that could fit in the pockets. The entire Aula was filled with bags. I just thought it would take a miracle of St. Anthony if I were to find my bag after the Mass. As we enter the Piazza di San Pietro, the sun was smiling. Nay, the sun was laughing! It was just too hot. I kept on praying that Ill make it throughout the Mass without fainting or having

The Year that was, and the Years that are to comemy blood pressure shoot up. Anyway, I thought, I took all my medicines that morning. Its the Closing of the Year of Priests, and it is just a small sacrifice. Bottles were being handed out as we passed. Oh, one last bottle I saw. I had it in my right hand. Yehey! My trophy. Then there was another hand. Non ce piu? An elderly religious nun. Obviously, there was no more at that moment. Oh sister, I just closed my eyes, and gave it to the nun. And I just didnt look back. No more water... Then I saw two Filipino priests. We were literally running to the available seats. Lets take the seats near the aisle, I exhorted them. The Holy Father will pass by here, and so I hoped. And yes, seminarians came in and they were bringing along the much-needed bottles of water. In front of me was a Filipino priest, at his side was a Peruvian and two Chinese priests. At my side were Italian priests. And at my back were Polish priests. That is how universal the Church is. But the Chinese came more prepared than us. They had a blue umbrella with them. The Italian priest at my side was preparing for the long sunny morning. He poured water into his cloth hat and placed it in his head. I thought it was good. But I was saving my bottle of water to drink. Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See, H.E. Mercedes Tuason texted me then. Bring out your blue umbrella so I could see you.Speaking of / A5

Pedro C. QuitorioEditor-in-Chief

Kris P. BayosFeatures Editor

Pinky Barrientos, FSPAssociate Editor

Gloria FernandoMarketing Supervisor

Melo M. AcuaManaging Editor

Ernani M. RamosCirculation Manager

Roy Q. LagardeNews Editor

Marcelita DominguezComptroller

The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Communications Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and business offices at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612.; ISSN 1908-2940

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

CBCP MonitorVol. 14 No. 13June 21 - July 4, 2010

OpinionKung walang corrupt, walang mahirapNo Philippine President has ever made a serious dent on corruption. Each presidential regime has its own anecdotal illustrations of corruption incidence, even if only two suffered legal consequences, sequestration of alleged ill-gotten wealth for one and conviction of plunder for the other. For others, various alleged scams were subjected to grandstanding investigations in aid of legislation but for this very reason there has been no conviction. We are a society that in fact turns a blind eye to past grievous lapses of corruption. A quick scan of election winners will reveal how short our memories are and how easily we put aside moral judgments. Given the nature of corruption as a personal sin and as a structure of sin and given our own propensity to disregard moral judgments, it is clear that corruption is not going to go away easily. The President-elect needs all the help he can get to make good on his slogan. He would need a miracle to get rid of corruption in his six years of office. Good intention and good example are not enough. We have the example of the Cory Aquino regime to demonstrate this. Will her son have the same experience? He should have people around him who are incorrupt and who can personify his slogan: Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap. The first question then is: who will serve as his cabinet members, his closest advisers? Do they pass the test of integrity? Of course we believe that with God everything is possible. That is our faith. In Church language, we need contemplation and solidarity, prayer and cooperation. Solidarity would dictate that in the battle against corruption, all of us have to be united, striving to be persons of integrity in our areas of responsibility and refusing to connive with others in acts of corruption. In solidarity we need to denounce what we see are corrupt systems in public and private life that ensnare and trap people into corruption. In solidarity we need to work with our leaders who want to establish structures of integrity and justice. If we believe that with God all things are possible, then prayer for wisdom, guidance, and courage and integrity would be necessary. Through solidarity and prayer miracles do happen.

A5CommentaryVincenzina Santoro

Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I.

PerspectivesPRESIDENT-ELECT Noynoy Aquino ran his campaign with this catchy slogan. Like all slogans, it has both an element of truth and an element of oversimplification. Corruption indeed is a cause of poverty. But it is not true that if there is no corruption, there would be no poverty. Poverty may also be due to misguided economic philosophies and development programs. Poverty may also be due to some extent to some cultural factors. Imbalances in the political sphere can also cause poverty. Destruction of the environment causes poverty. Thus the campaign slogan is only partly true. As such it is unrealistic. It offers false hopes for a long suffering people. Why is corruption so difficult to eradicate? Corruption is a sinful attitude of the heart. It is the surrender of the heart to the temptation of power and wealth. Once the heart succumbs to a first temptation and gains access to some amount of money without being punished, it is easier to surrender to the next temptation. This is even more so when the gains in wealth and power are incredibly huge. The repeated acts of sin become an attitude of the heart. God is sacrificed on the altar of mammon. But corruption is also embedded in social, economic, political structures. It is a social sin, a structural injustice, built up by repeated personal sins. The many personal sins of corruption build a structure within the economic, social, and political structures, embed corruption in it, and facilitate continuing corruption. The structure of corruption is also built up by imbalances in economic and political power. While powerless people can be easily convicted and jailed, this is not true for the powerful. Bribery, threats to life, and extortion are bedfellows in the structure of corruption. Because it is both a sinful attitude of the heart as well as an unjust social structure, corruption in the Philippines, as elsewhere in many Asian countries, is firmly entrenched. It is also endemic in private and public life. It infects the whole social ladder, from top to bottom or from bottom to the top. Even elections for kabataang barangay positions are now afflicted by extravagant spending because of the promise of more money gained through ones position.

Population and philanthropyEVERY year in the waning days of springtime the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has a ceremony to bestow its Population Award on a person and an organization that has met its criteria for population control. The afternoon of June 3rd, as storm clouds gathered over New York, a very tall, elderly gentleman made his way with other dignitaries to the podium of a vast conference room. He was William H. Gates, Sr, father of the more famous Bill, accepting the 2010 United Nations Population Award on behalf of his travelling son (who was in Spain) and travelling daughter-in-law Melinda (who was in Mexico). The thought crossed my mind that perhaps the UNFPA award was to offset the scathing article written earlier this year by the hand of this author [A Geek with Cheek MercatorNet, 9 February 2010] but quickly moved on. Each year the multibillionaire uses funds from his multibillion dollar foundation, the worlds largest private foundation, operating in over 100 countries, to provide a number of charities and nonprofits with the wherewithal for the tools of the population control trade under the wide umbrella of family planning. The UNFPA has undoubtedly been the beneficiary of the Gates largesse for its global scale works. The citation read at the ceremony by UNFPA executive director Thoraya Obaid stated in part that the Gates Foundation was a leader in the fields of global health and global development, particularly in promoting excellence in population assistance, including through the design of innovative, integrated solutions in the areas of reproductive health, family planning, and maternal and neonatal health. No doubt with so much money and a great need to alleviate much misery Gates monies go to many worthy charities. But promoting excellence in population assistance does not exactly inspire confidence in light of activities covered under family planning. Mr. Gates Senior read his acceptance statementwhich to trained ears that have been present at more than one of these awardssounded as though it could have been written for him by the UNFPA itself. Here is a key quote: The United Nations helped pioneer the field of family planning. You are recognizing Bill and Melinda today because they followed your lead. After expressing regrets for the Bill and Melinda absence, he went on to convey that this honor is especially meaningful, because family planning first sparked their interest in global health 15 years ago. The occasion of this ceremony has given them the opportunity to reflect on why they started the Gates Foundation in the first place, and how much progress they have seen since then. The rest of his statement contained all the phrases, facts and figures that are routinely bandied about at any and all panels, conferences and presentations by the UNFPA on the wide ranging benefits of family planning and that there are 215 million women that the UNFPA has determined want to use contraceptives but dont have that optionif only their UNFPA-determined desire were to be fulfilled, why this would prevent millions of abortions that occur because women were not able to access contraception. In his closing remarks Mr. Gates pledged the Gates Foundation support in the effort to meet the unmet need for family planning. and that Bill and Melinda would continue to be your partner in this essential work. It is worth recalling that William H. Gates Sr. was once head of Planned Parenthood in the US and that International Planned Parenthood Federation won the population award in the institutional category in 1985. He must have felt very much at home. The population award carries with it a medal, a citation and a monetary award. Given that the last is of no consequence to anyone in the Gates family, Mr. Gates said the foundation would match the prize money for this award and make a grant for the total amount to the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Developmentthe institutional category recipient for the 2010 population award. This organization, founded in 1981, advances the agenda set out at the UNs Cairo population conference by promoting parliamentary action on population and development issues according to the citation read at the ceremony. This group has become a worldwide model that spawned similar associations in other regions of the world, particularly in Europe and Africa. One wonders if there was any whiff of influence on the recent approval of the health care legislation in the United States which seems to contain some population control elements. True to their word, a few days after the UN award the Gates foundation pledged a considerable sum to support the UN led initiative called The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health which is hosted and administered by the World Health Organization and includes approximately 300 NGOs such as Planned Parenthood and organizations like the UN Population Fund. The announcement was made by Melinda Gates at a Women Deliver conference in Washington, DC on June 7th, where the partnership organizations had gathered to support the maternal/child causeas they see it. The foundation is to invest $1.5 billion from 2010 through 2014 to support innovative projects addressing family planning; health care for pregnant women, newborns, and children; and nutrition. While maternal and child welfare are noble and worthy goals, it is worth noting that family planningwith all of its life prevention implicationswas listed first as the Gates Foundation continues to hold fast to its original inspiration: population control. At UN insistence, the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative is being added to the agenda of the G8/G20 summit of world economic powers, to be held June 26-27 in Canada, with the purpose of generating even more money. Matching funds anyone? (Vincenzina Santoro is an international economist. She represents the American Family Association of New York at the United Nations. This article is reprinted on special arrangement with MercatorNet.)

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

Views and PointsWITH the glaring fact that the country is so down under in socio-economic development as well as in politico-cultural integrity offers no consolation to anybody in anyway. Yet this same lamentable national situation nevertheless strongly implies that the incoming administration has no other way of governing and leading the Filipino people but up: Up in examples of honesty and probity. Up in the degree of their trust and respect. Up in terms of industrial progress and employment. Up in the matters of finances, health and education. It could be difficult and possibly even messy. There would be resistance on the part of experts in graft and corruption. Those accustomed to the use of questionable power held and untenable wealth accumulated might urge and pay certain individuals or groups to oppose what is right and just.

No way but upwrong deeds have already been done and well done before. In the same way, these post-Hello Garci period has done anything vicious and everything odious possible. It would then be quite hard for the now named P-Noy to still do wrong, to still go astrayas all these have been already very successfully done by his depreciated and disdained soon to be predecessor. Alone, it is certain that the incoming leadership cannot do much. But with the honest and upright, competent and trusted collaboration of his carefully chosen lieutenants, he is on! Again: anything bad and everything wrong have already been done before by someone becoming bad historyvery soon. With firm right intention and consequent virtuous decisive option, the incoming successor cannot go wrongpractically speaking. Hence: Go, man, go!

But most Filipinos, the uneducated ones included, feel and know what is good or evil, what is virtuous or vicious. This is called intuition, and this is what the poor, the helpless and the ignorant mostly have. The at long last existing inglorious reign boasted of so many things done! But at what cost to the peoplethe still unborn included? The billions upon billions from foreign and local debts incurred, plus all the direct and indirect taxes spent, are too big to have too little to show. It is said that the going, going, gone Chief of all chiefs simply loved doing public works. But lo and behold, it is no secret that it is precisely in public works that practically half of the money spent goes to SOPs. How intriguing! How revolting! These are like the post-Martial Law days. Then, the succeeding administration could practically do nothing wrong whereas all

Unrepentant or opportunistic?THIS is in reaction to Time Magazines cover story of June 7, 2010, with the banner title: Why being Pope means never having to say youre sorry: the sex abuse scandal and the limits of atonement. Thats, of course, a reprise of a late 60s movie, Love Story, whose famous line precisely was Love means never having to say youre sorry. This new version, however, has nothing of the sweet elements that characterized that romantic movie. Its rather full of attacks, missiles, torpedoes and carpet bombing aimed at the Pope and the Church. It spent a lot of precious ink trying to prove that Benedict XVIs papacy is permanently damaged, and that the Church now needs a radical reformation, again trying to repeat an unfortunate event in the Churchs tumultuous history. Reformation here means nothing less than changing the Churchs nature and from there whatever may come as consequences. The piece proudly concludes, from a logic mostly emotion-driven, that the Church has to be democratized. The Church, it pleads, has to beSpeaking of / A4

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speakingcultures. Still, there were glaring loopholes, foremost among which is the matter of perspective. In short, we have to choose between looking at the issue within the framework of faith and reason as they impact on human realities, or the viewpoint of reason alone with its full complement of human sciences like history, sociology, etc. In this particular case, the lens used had hardly anything to do with faith, but rather more with pure reason, a reason unguided by faith but highly affected by emotions. The scandals are ugly enough, and the Pope has apologized already a number of times for these unfortunate incidents and has promised to do all to resolve them in their different aspects and levels. Those accusations of systematic cover-ups by bishops and even the Pope are unfair in the sense that unless legal actions are initiated and pursued, the Church authorities obviously will try their best to keep the cases away from public attention while pursuing the appropriate actions to mete justice to all parties concerned. This behavior is universal. It can be seen in families, governments, corporations, organizations and groups. That is why we have a legal system of justice, with its laws and rules, so as to attain greater objectivity in the pursuit of justice for all. What we should try to avoid is to be rash in judging the actuations of these human social bodies. Of course, we can look into them, probe them, and if there are valid grounds to think some unfair practices have been committed, then lets prosecute them according to our legal system. But this procedure has nothing to do with the nature of the Church. That nature is God-given as revealed by Christ. It is not ours to change and to shape according to our designs. It is for us to follow it and live it as best as we can. Of course, we are notorious for our infidelities and sins. Still all these do not add up to the need to change the nature of the Church. What we need to do instead is to try our best, up to our last breath, to be faithful. For this, we have to help one another. Are the Pope and the bishops really unrepentant, or are there groups who are taking advantage of these unfortunate events to push their own agenda?

taken away from aging ecclesiastics helplessly lost in their theologies and traditions and brought back to the people. The subtext seems to be that the present Church has become obsolete. Im always suspicious of this kind of contrasts. There will always be distinctions of roles in any organization. But these differentiations are not meant to divide the parties involved, but rather to distribute the work to be done and to foster greater unity. This is part of our human condition. As soon as this idea came into view while reading the article, I immediately asked myself: whom should I believethe authors of this article or the Pope and the whole teaching of the Church from the beginning? Its a crazy proposition that tempted me to drop the magazine immediately. But I had to read it in toto just to get its whole thrust. It would not be fair to comment on it without reading it entirely. I might be addressing myself to phantoms of my mind. Certainly, the story had many good points. It was well-researched. It exposed ugly details that had accumulated through the years in both Church and world

She was, of course, seated along the diplomats sopra delle Collonade. Oh, the umbrella that she lent to me earlier on was left inside the bag that was now in the Aula and that which I did not if ever I would find it again. The Swiss guards then came to their assigned positions. The Holy Mass was about to start. Then, the very beautiful Litany of the Saints. And the Holy Father started the Entrance Procession. He was in the Pope Mobile, but without the bullet proof glasses. He seemed very happy seeing the thousands of priests. Viva il Papa! One group shouted. Another group shouting Benedetto! Fol-

lowed by five rhythmic claps. There we were the Catholic priests, in the midst of the scandals engulfing us, we have chosen not be engulfed by this worlds madness and utter sense of discouragement. It was not a celebration of priests, it was a celebration of the Priesthood! On the facade of St. Peters was the tapestry bearing the image of St. John Marie Vianney, very serious looking. As if beckoning to us priests that we take our priesthood more seriously and with more dedication. The Holy Mass has begun, it was not the usual Penitential Rite, instead there was the Asperges. The sprinkling of the

Holy Water calling to mind that from the wounded side of Christ gushed forth blood and water, the fountain of sacramental life. After the Homily of the Holy Father, we renewed our priestly vows. It was such a wonderful scene and an unforgettable experience, the thousands of priests responding three times to the three different tasks of the priesthood, and all were in unison. Volo! I do. At the end of the Holy Mass, the Holy Father was kneeling before an icon of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani, Salvation of the Roman People. He led in

the Consecration and Entrustment to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Once the Mass was ended, riding the Pope Mobile, he went around the Piazza. And thankfully, he passed in front of us. And no, I failed to take pictures, I was just elated to see him pass by just in front of me. And off we went to the Aula Paulo VI, would I find my bag? I really didnt care then, I was just happy to have attended the Holy Mass marking the closure of the Year of Priests. I went to the spot where I thought I laid my bag on that particular part of the floor. And it was not there.

The Year of Priests might have ended but the coming years are to stay in and be in love with the Priesthood of Christ that we simply share in continues on. My bag was no longer at the pavimento. Somebody probably took pity on the bag that was just being kicked around and trampled on. He placed it on top of one of the seats. And there I found it, with nothing missing at all. I thought I lost it for good, but it was there. I thought it is also like the priesthood. We, His priests, and the Priesthood itself, may be kicked around and trampled on, but Christ will elevate it all the more. Its His, after all.


Local NewsA FAKE priest was formally excommunicated after serving at the Diocese of Cubao for over a year. The excommunication of Xavier Eubra de Borja was issued last May 30 but made public only recently. According to Cubao chancellor Fr. Fredrick Edward Simon, Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said the decision came because de Borja disguised as a priest. De Borja was a homegrown resident of St. Ignatius village and was a parishioner of Christ the King Parish at Greenmeadows where he served as altar boy during his school days. He allegedly left the country and entered a seminary in Russia and went back for vacation in 2009 identifying himself as ordained priest and went around the parish in black cassock. The man had clerical robes and documents that he is a member of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine based in France. Sources said de Borjas family being parishioners and upon the recommendation of several parishioners, he was accepted as guest priest while on vacation prior to his return to his current assignment in Russia. A check, however, with Vladivostokbased Mary Mother of God Mission Society website revealed no Filipino priest has ever been assigned there. It was learned he celebrated the Eucharist, heard confessions and conducted retreats and recollections. He reportedly attracted parishioners with his celebration of the Mass described as reminiscent of all the reverence andGMA / A1

CBCP MonitorJune 21 - July 4, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 13

Fake priest in Cubao excommunicatedstrict compliance with the movements and rituals whenever traditional Latin Masses are celebrated. The fake priest was also reported to have delivered good homily during Mass and knows how to say the Holy Mass in Latin and Traditional (Tridentine) Latin Mass. It was also learned he heard confessions and accepted invitations to conduct retreats and recollections for various parish-based organizations. Being excommunicated, De Borja is now banned from participating in Mass, Communion or other religious ceremonies even as a participant. Meanwhile, the Diocese of Paranaque warned Catholics about certain Joseph Sorongon posing as Deacon. The diocesan chancellor Fr. Benjamin D. Molina,

Xavier Eubra de Borja

Jr., in a circular dated June 16, 2010 said Joseph Sorongon introduces himself as a Deacon from the Order of St. Benedict of the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Fr. Molina said Sorongon is a fraud and impostor. The Chancery, after careful research and investigation, found out that Mr. Joseph Sorongon is not a deacon nor is he a member of the Order of St. Benedict, as confirmed by Fr. Savio Ma. Siccuan, OSB, Prior of the Monastery of the Transfiguration, Fr. Molina wrote. He cautioned the faithful to ask for a celebret or certificate of ordination to the diaconate issued by their chancery of their diocese or religious congregation and duly signed by the bishop or religious superior. (Melo M. Acua)

Bisbop Soc / A1

inevitable negative social and moral consequences. Villegas was joined by six other bishops from Pangasinan, La Union and Nueva Ecija comprising the Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocese in appealing to Aquino to reject gambling. The bishops particularly rebuffed a government plan for the introduction of casinos in two towns within the archdiocese, adding that it destroys families and corrupts people. Now that we are at the dawn of a new beginning for our nation, with hopes high and patriotic fervor at its best, make a unified stand to oppose the plan to open a casino in Urdaneta City, and San Leonardo, Nueva, the statement read. If it is not legally possible to close all casinos immeDepEd / A1

diately, we plead with the government not to open new ones, it said. The bishops said what is not being acknowledged is that the harm will reach far beyond the individual gamblers by affecting their families and the community in which they live. Opening another casino, the bishops added, will open more doors for corruption and pave the way for the impoverishment of the families of the gamblers. Where the casinos operate now, we see the ill effects on the socio-moral fiber of the citizenrythe rise of criminality, the spread of prostitution and the shameless corruption of those engaged in the business, they said. The church leaders said they are counting on Aquinos battle cry during the campaign

period of ending the problem of poverty and corruption. We appeal to the government to aggressively fight corruption and diminish poverty. One of the first steps the government must take is to stop the opening of more casinos, the prelates further said. The right step is values education for the children and livelihood opportunities for the poor. Opening another casinoin Urdaneta and San Leonardo or in any other placeis a step deviating from our vision, they said. Other signatories of the pastoral letter are Bishops Jacinto Jose of Urdaneta, Mylo Hubert Vergara of San Jose, Artemio Rillera of San Fernando, Marlo Peralta of Alaminos, Sofronio Bancud of Cabanatuan and Renato Mayugba, auxiliary bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan. (Roy Lagarde)

Party, lost the senatorial race on May 10. She claimed that teaching sex education in schools violates the 1987 Constitution. She said the restriction is provided by Section 12, Article II of the Charter, which states that, The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the government. Imbong also described the program as a form of contraceptive imperialism, not only because it is funded by UNFPA but it attacks moral sensibilities and values of the children and encourages sexual promiscuity. Based on their studies of the sex education modules being used by DepEd, Imbong said theyve found out that it promotes family planning, reproductive health and demographic development. It is specifically designed to transform the attitudes, behavior and social norms of young people based on a foreign model, Imbong said in a press conference. The lawyer said sex education was being implemented in the basic education curriculum 12 years ago, and the education department only updates the modules. Imbong also vowed to put together a nationwide mechanism for parents and parent associations so that DepEd defers to us, not we to them.Poor / A1

Scrap sex education San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto urged Presidentelect Benigno Aquino III to immediately stop the governments sex education program being taught in primary and high schools students. Aniceto, chairman of the CBCPs Commission on Family and Life, said scrapping the program is the best thing Aquino could do as soon as he assumes his post this month. In the same press conference, he said: Aquino should devote to the importance of the (sex education) project of the DepEd because he is responsible for the spiritual, mental and physical advancement of the people. Aniceto added that being a Christian, Aquino should do what is according to moral law, according to the dignity and rights of every Filipino. The church official reiterated that the parents have the sole responsibility of teaching their children about human sexuality. Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias said they will continue to mobilize their faithful to be on the lookout for sex education modules being taught in government-run schools. He said they are concerned of the manner sex education is being taught to intermediate elementary pupils and high school students.

Behavior modification Human Life International-Asia executive director Dr. Ligaya Acosta criticized the government for insisting that children need a course of instruction in sex education. For Acosta, sex education is actually a course in systematic behavior modification, designed to change the childs entire belief system. She claimed that there is a rapid escalating rate of teen pregnancy and an exploding AIDS epidemic in nations where there is sex education and aggressive contraceptive use. The glaring truth is that researches around the world substantiate the fact that the more contraceptive programs are aimed at the young, the more pregnancies, abortions, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer of the cervix results, Acosta said. From pilot testing, the sex education program will later be expanded nationwide in a bid to limit unwanted teenage pregnancies and stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. Granting that there is now an increased incidence of premarital sex and teenage pregnancies, we dont solve a wrong by another wrong worse than the problem. What we need is a massive moral and spiritual regeneration, Acosta said.

tive reforms that allowed detention prisoners to vote last May 10 during the countrys national and local elections. Some 24,000 detention prisoners have registered and participated in the recent elections, an elated Diamante told CBCPNews. He said the Commission on Elections ordered their staff to visit various detention facilities to allow inmates to register few months before the campaign season. Since there were no Precinct Counting Optical Scan machines brought to the detention centers, the inmates manually filled the ballots which were later taken to the polling precincts for counting. The Commission on Human Rights and the Ateneo School of Governance are currently conducting studies on the conduct of elections in detention centers. The next step is to revise the existing Omnibus Election Code to allow convicts to vote in the coming elections, Diamante said. He explained voting is not just a privilege but a matter of individual right. He added one doesnt takeBishop / A1

away anothers rights because of detention and convicted prisoners should learn the importance of citizenship. Asked if he sees detention and convicted prisoners getting elected into office, Diamante said prisoners would know what is best for them and probably institute reforms in the countrys judicial system. Prisoners participating in elections would assure them of restorative justice and depart from the usual punitive justice. Reforms happen inside jails whenever celebrities, including politicians serve terms, Diamante added. He also underscored the need for conversion among detention and convicted prisoners and their victims families as well. Diamante said his office will celebrate the 4th anniversary of the death penaltys abolition at Ateneo de Manila University with Quezon Representative and Human Rights advocate Erin Tanada as guest of honor and speaker. Asked where the MacapagalArroyo administration failed to deliver, Diamante said theResidents / A1

granting of executive clemency was limited to influential politicians and personalities and not the lowly convicts. There were no jails constructed though the prisoners numbers nearly doubled during the past nine years, Diamante added. However, Diamante also lauded the enactment of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 authored by Senator Francis Pangilinan and Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara enacted into law as Republic Act # 9344. He said the Philippines was left behind by other countries in looking after the welfare of minors in conflict with the law. He added minor offenders in South Africa and other poor African countries dont go to jail but to facilities run by government to assure them of rehabilitation. Yes, minors have been involved in criminal activities but the main reason behind is economics. When the young get hungry, in their will to survive, they resort to criminal activities, Diamante said. (CBCPNews)

said, dictates that the AES and its management be looked into to determine the accuracy and integrity of the election results. Weeks before the elections, AESWatch rated Comelec preparations for the May 10 polls as being deep into the danger zone given the absence of minimum internal safeguards and the imperfect certification of the AES operation issued by the Comelecs Technical Evaluation Committee. An appraisal of the recent automated elections is also needed in aid of whatever legislative action shall be taken to review RA 9369 (amended Automated Elections Law) and other election-related laws; and to resolve tensions between opposing views, achieve closure on various issues and questions, pinpoint accountabilities for lapses and misdeeds, and learn lessons that can inform the use of automated systems in future elections, said AESWatch. The poll watchdog stressed that its experts are available to support the work of the proposed panel. (CBCPNews)Pagcor/ A1

the DENR-Caraga officials in the case because of their patent and clear disregard and violation of a barangay ordinance that disallowed mining or even mineral exploration in Anislagan to protect the area since it has been identified as a watershed area. The Municipal Council of Placer also passed an ordinance protecting the watershed and communal forest in the whole municipality. But despite this, DENR-Caraga officials still issued 13 permits to MMC to explore the mineral-rich Anislagan town without consulting the barangays residents. MMC, a subsidiary of the Lepanto Group of Companies, was issued two exploration permits (EPs; XIII-014 and XIII014A) by the DENR-Caraga, which also granted an EP to KCGR and Silangan Mining. KCGR is a joint venture of MMC and Anglo American, a British mining company. According to Mosqueda, the class suit will put to test the newly-promulgated environmental case proceedings (environment courts) by the Supreme Court and how it will properly address

this kind of cases. ABAKATAF expressed hopes that their case against the three mining companies will finally put a stop on all mining activities in their area. Last January 11, 2010, hundreds of Anislagan barangay residents formed a human barricade to prevent the entry of a 6-vehicle convoy of the Philex Mining, the countrys largest mining company. Anislagan is an area very rich in natural resources. It has been identified by the government as priority area in mining because of its rich mineral resources. It has firstclass nickel and gold minerals. Lakes, rivers and springs also surround it. Anislagan provides potable water to the entire town of Placer. Anislagan also provides irrigation to rice fields in the village and to adjacent villages. A barangay resident and member of the ABAKATAF said: The Barangay Council (of Anislagan) already filed a resolution as early as 2002 not to allow any mining activities in our village. They should respect it! (Bong D. Fabe)

public schools. Effects on students Santos warned that students fleeing the private system to state schools may hurt the students psychological and emotional side. Shifting to other schools is really hard especially when a student is used to cultures in private schools. Shifting to a state college and university is a bit difficult, he said. Some 23.43 million students trooped back to public and private elementary and secondaryIn and Out / A4

schools on June 15 for the start of the school year 2010-2011. As parents feel the economic crunch enrollments in public schools have risen this year with education officials claiming a large proportion of the increase was due to students fleeing the private system. Even Santos admitted Catholic schools continue to experience a downtrend of enrollment each year. Told that there are some students who would rather stop temporarily than be forced to transfer to public schools, the

priest said this should not be the case. As much as possible, they should not stop in their studies, stressed Santos. The education department figures show that there are some 20.17 million or 86 percent of the students enrolled in public schools, while the other 3.26 million or 14 percent are enrolled in private schools. The agency however has no figures yet on how many transferred from private to public schools for this school year. (CBCPNews)

told reporters. Cruz is