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CBCP Chief: ‘Be humble, respect democracy’

Posted on Jul 15 , 2014 in Archdiocese of Manila News

CBCP Chief: ‘Be humble, respect democracy’
Reacting to the televised address of President Aquino on Monday, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged government leaders to practice humility and respect democratic principles so as not to compromise the common good.
 
“The CBCP prays that our nation will tread the path of peace, and that our national leaders may truly be humble and respectful of our democratic institutions so that our most sacred freedoms and liberties are always upheld,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a statement issued hours after the president’s televised speech on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) .
 
Villegas called on Filipinos to “hold fast to the basic tenets of the democratic way of life enshrined in our Constitution” and to be always reminded of the Judiciary’s mandate “to interpret the law with definitiveness in the process of resolving justiciable issues.”
 
He also stressed the need to respect the third branch of government, the Judiciary, saying if indeed the Supreme Court had erred in its ruling on the DAP, there must be “humble admission and immediate rectification.”
 
In defending the DAP against critics, Aquino reiterated Section 39 of the 1987 Administrative Code as the legal basis for its creation:
 
“Except as otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act, any savings in the regular appropriations authorized in the General Appropriations Act for programs and projects of any department, office or agency, may, with the approval of
the President, be used to cover a deficit in any other item of the regular appropriations….”
 
Amid controversies surrounding the DAP, Villegas called on the public to respect President Aquino’s opinion on the matter.
 
“The President has expressed himself on the Supreme Court’s decision in respect to DAP. The President’s views are important and his right to express himself must be respected,” he said.
 
With a vote of 13-1-0, the Supreme Court declared parts of the DAP as unconstitutional on July 1.
 
The high court noted that the DAP violated the constitution by withdrawing unobligated allotments and declaring them—together with unreleased appropriations—as savings; allowing cross-border transfers of the savings of the Executive department to other offices; and funding projects, activities, and programs that were not covered by the GAA.
 
The CBCP president reminded the public that the rule of law must always be safeguarded for it is a “fundamental requirement” and an “objective condition” of the common good.
 
“That the Rule of Law is at all times safeguarded is therefore a moral concern. When the Rule of Law is compromised, the common good becomes its victim,” Villegas said. (cbcpnews.com)

 

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Pastoral Guidance on the Implementation of the Reproductive Health Law

Posted on Jul 08 , 2014 in Archdiocese of Manila News

Pastoral Guidance on the Implementation of the Reproductive Health Law

Our dear brother priests, Catholic physicians and health care workers, government officials and employees, educators and fellow Church workers:

While we would have wanted the Supreme Court to nullify the RH Law (Republic Act No. 10354), we must now contend with the fact that it has ruled rather to strike down important provisions of the law in deciding Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. 204819 (April 8, 2014) and companion cases.

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CBCP consecrates June to ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’

Posted on Jun 18 , 2014 in Archdiocese of Manila News

CBCP consecrates June to ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Pentecost Sunday consecrated the month of June this Year of the Laity to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, focusing on the renewal of the lay faithful’s devotion to the Divine Mercy.

“Urged by the example of Pope Francis, as well as by the recent canonization of Saint John Paul II, who created the Divine Mercy feast, we would like to focus this month of renewed Sacred Heart devotion to the Divine Mercy—as incarnated, embodied, symbolized in the Pierced Heart of Jesus, the crucified and risen Lord,” the CBCP said in a statement signed by its president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

 

Echoing Pope Francis

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John Paul II Relic Tour Kicks Off Last April 1, 2014

Posted on Apr 17 , 2014 in Archdiocese of Manila News

John Paul II Relic Tour Kicks Off Last April 1, 2014
Weeks before his much-awaited canonization, relics of the late pontiff and “saint-to-be” John Paul II are currently on display at the Radio Veritas Chapel in West Avenue, marking the first day of the months-long tour of his relics.
 
Relics curator Rey Isabelo said, they at Radyo Veritas are “humbled and proud” to be the first stop of the historic visit of the Blessed Pope John Paul II relics as part of the “Totus Tuus Tour” in the Philippines.
 
Among the first-class relics displayed are hair strands and blood stains of the Pope. The rest, which are second-class relics, are his skullcap; a large piece of his cassock; a rosary; a purificator used during the beatification of San Lorenzo Ruíz; a Missal; a papal medal; a piece of a chasuble; and a piece of the bed sheet on which the Pope died.
 
“These sacred relics are the closest we could get to Pope John Paul, since many of us here could never afford a plane ticket to Rome,” said Gene Suarez, a retired grade-school teacher from Iloilo, who is a frequent visitor to the Veritas Chapel.
 
Suarez could not contain her emotions upon viewing up-close the personal effects of whom she called her “beloved Pope”.
 
“I learned about this event only yesterday and I was almost literally flying from my house in Valenzuela just to get here before it gets too crowded,” she explained.
 
A widowed mother of four, the 67 year-old Suarez shared that she asked the Pope’s intercession that she may be given better health.
 
“When he was still alive, I was only able to see him on TV. His relics here make me feel as if the Pope is just here with us. I could not be any happier,” she added.
 
Totus Tuus Tour events chairman Dave Ceasar Dela Cruz said the tour aims to deepen Filipinos’ devotion to the late pontiff.
 
He recalled that Filipinos have a special place in Pope John Paul II’s heart and this love had been reciprocated many times, especially during the pontiff’s second and last visit to the country where millions came to see him at the Quirino Grandstand for the 1995 World Youth Day.
 
This papal crowd, which Guinness acknowledges as the biggest gathering of Christians on record, gave rise to the now famous concept of the “Filipino Phenomenon” which the pope himself noted.
 
Dela Cruz added, the relics mean to bring Filipinos closer to the late pope, particularly those too young to remember him.
 
But Radio Veritas news consultant Fr. Nick Lalog warned that the veneration of relics would be useless if the wonderful experience of them is not shared to others.
 
“If properly internalized, relics must lead us to God. They must show us the way to Christian living. If these conditions are not met, there is something amiss,” he explained.
 
In response to non-Catholics who accuse Catholics of “idolatry” because of the veneration of relics, Lalog said this is never the case.
 
He explained, “Catholics do not worship relics. Catholics’ attachment to relics can be likened to a golf enthusiast, who for some reason, has found Tiger Woods’ favorite golf club and decides to keep it to remind him of the legendary golfer. If we even treasure a handkerchief of our boyfriend or girlfriend, how much more of a person who has lived a life of holiness?” (Cbcpnews.com)
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Lent Is Time For Deeper Faith, Not Vacations

Posted on Apr 07 , 2014 in Archdiocese of Manila News

Lent Is Time For Deeper Faith, Not Vacations

While many people perceive the Holy Week as the perfect timing for much-awaited summer vacations, a Catholic bishop on Saturday called on the faithful to remember the essence of this church celebration as a time to deepen their faith.

“The Season of Lent is here so we may rekindle our faith in the Lord. It is our call to every Filipino, especially the Catholic ones, that they may participate in the church activities we have so they may become closer with Jesus Christ, our savior,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in Filipino.

According to Pabillo, the Holy Week is not a time for vacation. He called it “saddening” that secularism could have such effects on the faith, making Filipinos forget the “sacredness of this season.”