News & Events

Lord What Must We Do? (Mark 10:17)
 

Brothers and sisters in Christ:

 

In the midst of the pandemic agitating us to restlessness and fear, we greet

you “Peace be with you”.

 

We are going on a stormy journey and our boat seems too fragile for the strong

winds.

 

Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him,

“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the

wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was

great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have

faith?” (Mark 4:38-40)

 

It is His peace, His assurance, His power that we need right now. In you our

students and seminarians, we can read the questions of your heart “What

must we do?”

 

STRUCK DOWN BUT NOT DESTROYED

 

As a people, we have all suffered a lot from almost five months of lockdowns.

Fear of illness and death surround us. Our basic freedoms have mostly

vanished. Over two million of us have lost our jobs and over 93,000 businesses

have closed down or severely restructured. Our economy plunged 16.5%,

losing P1.5 trillion a month, and is in technical recession, the first since 1991.

We have an epidemic of depressions and increasing reports of suicides. We are

being asked to allow all these as the “new normal”.

 

We need to discern the truth behind the appearances of seeming unstoppable

increasing infections. We must make appropriate decisions on the basis of this

truth. We shall then be free from the massive ills that are gnawing at our

nation, our collective soul and affecting our faith in God.

 

What is the Lord telling us? We grope for meaning. The search for meaning

and purpose is the great need of our time. Our hope is in the Lord but we need

clarity of purpose and certainty of direction from our leaders in this stormy

journey. We deplore the marginalization of religious values in the programs to

fight this pandemic. The Covid19 program must be rooted in ethics, an ethics

which is people-centered.

 

"The exclusion of religion from the public square hinders...collaboration for the

progress of humanity. Public life is sapped of its motivation and politics takes on

a domineering and aggressive character." (Caritas in Veritate, 56).

 

MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE

 

We are making these Gospel appeals to you as shepherds so that we may

respond to this pandemic with the eyes of faith, with the heart of charity and

with the armor of truth.

 

Our first call is to ourselves. God has given us a very powerful defense system

within our bodies to deal will all kinds of pathogens including viruses. This

defense capability is called the natural immune system with its innate and

adaptive capacities. It is our responsibility to ensure that we nurture and

make full use of our God-given immune system. With Pope Francis, we can

declare that I am vaccinated by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. No virus can

touch me.

 

We call for circles of study and discernment within our faith communities. We

need to be critical and discerning against the many false narratives prevalent

in media and the many unscientific unreasonable public policies. Once you

understand the issues better, find creative ways to be active in bringing a

solution in the light of the Gospel. This is our Christian social responsibility.

We also call on Catholic colleges and universities and their research offices to

make sure that scientific studies about COVID-19 are widely shared in the

general public using reason, science and Catholic social teachings. Although

medicine is not our expertise in seminaries, let us drink from the well of

Catholic social teachings how to face this worldwide pandemic. These will give

our countrymen an access to the truth that will free them from baseless fears

and unnecessary anxieties.

 

We encourage our Catholic communications networks to disseminate a holistic

perspective about the epidemic and encourage responsible and reasonable

voices to be heard, even if these are contrary to the prevailing narrative. We

must hold on to and protect our freedoms of thought, movement, speech, and

assembly.

 

CALL TO PRAYER

 

We also invite all to a collective prayer action to lift the lockdowns and help

heal the nation. God always listens and nothing is impossible with Him. Pope

Francis said in March “We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we flounder: we

need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into

the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer

them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be

no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that

happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because

with God life never dies”.

 

We appeal for a massive and nationwide campaign for TEN HAIL MARY’S

DAILY, in our schools and seminaries, parishes and communities, starting

August 15 the Solemnity of the Assumption until September 15, the feast of

Our Lady of Sorrows to be prayed at 12:00 noon wherever you may be.

 

TO THE NATION AND TO SOCIETY

 

To all our brethren who share our concern for the nation and the world even if

we do not share a common Christian faith, we also make these appeals.

We plead with our friends in media to balance their coverage of the COVID-19

crisis. The science and facts have evolved away from the original narrative that

caused and surrounded the lockdowns. Be truly independent and fearless.

Follow the truth wherever it may lead.

 

We call on government officials to be more open to the new scientific insights

and global experiences around COVID-19, even if these may challenge one’s

belief systems and preferred approaches to managing the epidemic. Let us

learn from the success stories of our ASEAN neighbors with political humility

and collective honesty. We appeal to the IATF for a more participatory

approach that is open to the wisdom and experience of various professionals,

scientists and physicians as well as genuine and constructive representatives

of business, civil society, and local government units.

 

The nation understood that the government had no choice five months ago but

to roll out extreme measures of quarantine to protect the lives of its citizens

from a little-understood threat. Continued endless lockdown is unnecessary

given the declining and comparatively insignificant death rates and faulty

tests. A cure for COVID-19 is already available. Dozens of countries around

the world have lifted their lockdowns and schools have opened.

 

We appeal for the upgrade of the capacity of hospitals and rationalize the use

of limited hospital spaces. Be more precise in targeting who should receive

priority in hospital care. Focus our strategy in protecting the most vulnerable

sectors of society including the senior citizens and people threatened with

other morbidities. More than anyone else, we bow in homage and gratitude to

our medical front liners who have laid down their lives that others may live.

 

We plead to parents and teachers to attend to the special needs of our children

under these extraordinary times. Our children will be children only for a few

years. Let us insure their balanced growth and formation of the mind, body

and soul. They need sufficient physical activities, enough sleep and right

nutrition. Their neural, mental, emotional, and social development are

primary. There is a bigger and brighter world beyond the virtual world that our

children have been accustomed to during the lockdowns.

 

RESIST THE CULTURE OF DEATH

 

The long shadows of death have fallen upon our country. The summary

execution of the defenseless poor, the violence against women and children at

home and in public life, the reckless tampering of our nation’s ecological

balance, the puzzling unabated increase of illegal drugs, the unsolved plunder

of public funds, the glorification of contraception and abortion, the growing

number of jobless and hungry families, the erosion of basic courtesy and

respect and the numbness to the vulgar —the long shadow of death is cast

upon our land. This is a regime of death and darkness seems to be enjoying its

fine hour.

 

Refuse to get discouraged. Rise up to hope in the Lord. With firm faith we

declare “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will

fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.”

 

 

Sincerely yours,

 

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
Chairman, Episcopal Commission on Seminaries

+ROBERTO C. MALLARI
Bishop of San Jose de Nueva Ecija
Chairman, Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education

 

Endorsed by:
+PABLO VIRGILIO S. DAVID
Bishop of Kalookan
Acting President, CBCP

 

14 August 2020, Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe

 


The Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)
 will hold its first-ever online recollection prayer concert on August 15, 2020, the feast of the Assumption, at 8 p.m. as a response to the widespread impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our physical activities have undeniably taken a toll due to the restraints caused by the pandemic, but our mission for faith and evangelization must continue. We have shifted our ways in order to adapt. We also consider social media as the easiest channel to reach the faithful, in a manner that is also convenient for them,” Jonathan Luciano, National Director of ACN-Philippines told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.


The online recollection prayer concert will be hosted by Filipino performance artist Cris Villonco together with ACN Philippine President Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan. The event will also be graced by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

With the theme Hoping, Healing, Helping: One Church Against COVID-19, the event according to Mr. Luciano is “a way of encouraging our brethren into navigating back and realigning our compass of faith back to Jesus Christ.”

“It is time to pause and reflect; time to pause and reevaluate our relationship with God. This is our way of encouraging our brethren into navigating back and realigning our compass of faith back to Jesus Christ,” he said.

“It is our collective prayer, partnered with songs and hymns sung from our hearts that will lead us into positively hoping, healing, and ultimately, helping - especially to those who remain vulnerable, those who remain in need,” he added.

Mr. Luciano said that the concert is a reminder that God is with us especially during these times where the people are struggling to fight the pandemic.

“At some point, we all hope. But we must hope with Jesus Christ. Some are healing, and we must heal with Jesus Christ. Some are fortunate to help, and if we all are, too, then we must help with Jesus Christ,” he said.

The C5 Singers, The Levites from the Diocese of Malolos, Fr. Giuseppe Pietro Arsciwals, OP, priests from the San Carlos Seminary and priests from the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan will be among the guest performers. Cris Villonco and renowned inspirational singer, Jamie Rivera will render special songs during the concert.

The event will be aired live via ACN’s official Facebook page and through Archdiocese of Manila’s Social Communications Ministry (SOCOM) platforms: TV Maria, Radio Veritas and Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications Facebook page.

According to the website of ACN, “they will be allotting 5 Million Euros for parishes and communities struck by the pandemic’s adverse effects around the globe.”

Hoping, Healing, Helping: One Church Against COVID-19 is a fundraising concert dedicated to this cause (DSWD-SB-SP-00105-2020). (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)


Show love and compassion and not fear to those people who suffered from coronavirus during this time of pandemic.

This was the message of Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo in an interview at Radio Veritas. The Prelate recalled and shared his experience as he underwent quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Tayo naman na malakas, tulungan natin yung mga nagkakasakit. Alam ninyo, malaking tulong ‘yung pagtetext sa kanila, malaking tulong rin ‘yung pagpapaalala sa kanila. Minsan ‘yung pagbibigay ng mga prutas at mga pagkain ay nakakapagpagaan ng loob sa mga taong may sakit. Sa panahong ito, kailangan nila ng contact hindi man physical contact, ngunit contact ng pag-aalaga at pagmamalasakit,” Bishop Pabillo said.


On July 13, Bishop Pabillo announced to the Clergy of Manila that he was infected by the virus after he was tested positive for COVID-19.

During his quarantine period, he recounted how he took care of himself while he battled with the virus in his body.

“Nung lumabas ang swab test result, ako ay isolated na sa aking kwarto at ‘yan po ay tumagal ng mga halos dalawang linggo. Pagkatapos po noon ay nagpaswab test ulit ako at lumabas na negative na pero nanatili pa ako sa kwarto ng mga isang linggo bago ako makapagmisa. Wala naman akong nararamdaman sa aking sarili. Araw-araw kinukuha ko ‘yung temperature ko, pinagmamasdan ang aking sarili at sa awa ng Diyos wala naman akong nararamdaman. Alam ko lang na may sakit ako dahil sinabi lang ng test,” he said.

The Bishop also shared how he was able to keep himself busy and pre-occupied using social media. According to him, the technology helped him to continue his work as Apostolic Administrator of Manila even though he was under quarantine.

Bishop Pabillo celebrated his first Mass after his quarantine period at Radio Veritas on August 9, at 6 a.m. He offered the Mass as a thanksgiving to the Lord and to the people who prayed for his recovery as well as for those who are sick.

 “Ako po’y nagpapasalamat sa inyong lahat sa inyong panalangin nung ako ay nagkasakit at salamat sa Diyos na napagtagumpayan ko itong sakit na ito, kaya inaalay ko po ang Banal na Misa bilang pasasalamat at kasama na rin sa lahat ng inyong mga intensyon at patuloy pa natin ipagdarasal ang mga nahihirapan, ang mga may sakit at ang ating mga frontliners,” he said. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

 


Ang Panginoong Diyos ay Panginoon ng kasaysayan. He is Lord of history. Ang ibig sabihin nito, ay ang Diyos ay bahagi ng kasaysayan. He is not only up there but he is here with us. He walks with us in our story and He guides our story. May patutunguhan ang mga pangyayari sa ating buhay at sa ating kasaysayan because He is leading us toward salvation. Kaya hinahanap natin ang kanyang presensiya sa mga nangyayari sa atin.


Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila
Photo Credit: San Felipe Neri Parish Facebook Page 

Ganun ang nangyari kay propeta Elias noong siya ay hanapin ni Reyna Dyesebel upang ipapatay. Naglakbay ang propeta ng apat napung araw papunta sa Bundok ng Horeb na siya ring Bundok ng Sinai. Gusto niyang makatagpo ang Diyos doon. Ang Diyos na nakipagtagpo kay Moses, mga limang daan taon na ang nakaraan.

Noong bumaba ang Diyos sa Bundok ng Sinai noong panahon ni Moses, dumating siya sa gitna ng mga kulog, ng kidlat, ng malakas na lindol, ng malakas na hangin. Pinadama niya ang kanyang kapangyarihan at natakot ang mga Israelita kaya sinabi nila kay Moses, “Ikaw na lang ang makipagtagpo sa Diyos sa itaas ng bundok. Sabihin mo na lang sa amin ang mensahe niya. Takot kaming makaharap siya.”

Pero ngayon sa kaso ni Propeta Elias, ang Diyos ay wala sa malakas na hangin ni sa malakas na apoy, ni sa lindol. Natagpuan ang Diyos sa mahinahon na ihip ng hangin. Kakaibang paraan pero nakipagtagpo ang Diyos.

Ganun din sa ating ebanghelyo, dumating si Hesus sa mga alagad na binabayo ng malakas na alon at hangin. Dumating siya sa paraan na hindi inaasahan. Lumalakad sa tubig kaya napasigaw sila ng, “Multo! Multo!” Oo, dumarating ang Diyos pero handa ba tayong tagpuin siya sa paraan na hindi natin inaasahan?

Sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, pinakita sa atin ni San Pablo ang kanyang pagmamahal sa kanyang mga kalahi, sa kanyang mga kababayan. Sa mga sulat ni San Pablo, dinidiin niya na tayo ay maliligtas hindi dahil sa ating pagsunod sa batas ni Moses. Hindi lang ang mga Hudyo ang maliligtas pati na rin ang mga Hentil, ang mga hindi Hudyo kasi maliligtas tayo not through circumcision but through faith in Christ Jesus. It is not belonging to one race that is important. We should belong to Christ in faith in Baptism.

Kaya tuloy maaaring masasabi ng iba na si San Pablo ay walang pagmamahal sa kanyang kapwa Hudyo. That is not true. St. Paul recognized the privilege position of the people of Israel. To them belongs the covenant. They are the chosen people. From them would come the Messiah in the flesh. Oo, si Hesus mismo ay isang Hudyo.

Ganun na lamang kamahal ni San Pablo ang kanyang bayan na handa siyang mapahamak basta lamang maligtas ang Israel. St. Paul had a great love for his people.

Ngayon po nasasaksihan natin ang mga masasamang pangyayari sa ating bansa. Tayo na ang nauuna sa Asya sa bilang ng coronavirus cases. Nakakahiya ito at nakakabahala. Ang ibig sabihin matatagalan tayo bago magkaroon ng maaayos ng economic recovery. Patuloy ang matamlay o naghihingalong ekonomiya.

Nakakalungkot pa walang pinapakitang kpanipaniwalang paraan ang ating gobyerno para sugpuin ang health at economic issues na ito. Sa halip, inaaarangkada pa sa kongreso at sa senado ang pagpasa ng death penalty. Sinisisi pa ng ibang tao ng pamahalaan ang mga health care workers natin na hindi daw maayos ang trabaho o naglalayon lang daw sila na pabagsakin ang pamahalaan. Nakakahiya ang ating bayan ngayon.

Ano ba ang attitude natin sa bayan sa ganitong kalagayan? Marami ay walang kibo. Hayaan mo na sila diyan sa pamahalaan basta ang mahalaga ay maka-survive kami. Sana naman mabahala tayo dahil sa mahal natin ang ating bayan.

Sa ganitong kagipitan dapat lumabas ang pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit sa bayan. Yan ang ginawa ng mga doctors, nurses at health care workers sa kanilang open letter na lumabas nong nakaraang Sabado. They wrote because they cared. They cared that seemingly our response to this health crisis is not enough. They called for a time out not just to rest but to evaluate better our approaches. They do not want that we become like New York where people just die in their homes and in the streets because hospitals could not accept them anymore.

Hinahanap natin ang Diyos. Nandito siya pero dumadating siya sa paraan na kakaiba na hindi natin inaasahan. Maaari kayang matatagpuan natin siya sa ating pagmamahal sa bayan?

We are told in the letter of John, “Where love is, there is God because God is love.” So, St. John wrote, “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever remains in love, remains in God and God in him.”

When we think of love, we often think of personal love, the one on one love or the love in a small group as in our families and among our friends. But love also has a macro aspect, a social aspect. Love of country is also love. And when there is love of country, God is there. But do we have this love of country in us? Love for our kababayans?

There are so many people who suffer. Many are sick. Many have no jobs. Many are hungry. This is not just because people are pasaway. There is something wrong in the governance. May mali sa pagpapalakad ng pamahalaan kaya tayo ganito. Hindi ba tayo mababahala? Magwawalang kibo na lang ba tayo?

Handa si San Pablo na mapahamak ang sarili niya basta lang maligtas ang kanyang kababayan. Bakit tayo umiiwas na magsalita? Umiiwas na kumilos. Takot tayong mapagbintangan ng mga trolls? Mabagbintangan na mga rebelde? Takot baa ng dapat magpakilos sa atin o pag-ibig? Pag-ibig sa bayan. Kasama din sa pag-ibig sa bayan ay ang pagsikap na tayo mismo ay hindi makahawa ng sakit kaya nga may mga protocols tulad ng wastong paggamit ng facemask, na hindi lalabas labas ng walang dahilan, na magkaroon ng physical distancing, na malimit maghugas ng kamay. Mga maliliit na bagay pero kung gagawin ng lahat, ng lahat tayo, malaki ang maitutulong para sa bayan.

Mga kapatid, hanapin natin ang Diyos. Bahagi siya ng ating kasaysayan. Nakikilakbay siya sa atin. Tinatagpo niya tayo pero marahil sa mga paraang hindi tulad ng dati tulad ng pakikipagtagpo niya kay Propeta Elias sa Bundok ng Horeb. Kakaiba sa pagpapakita niya kay Moses tulad ng paglalakad ni Hesus sa tubig na pinagkamalan siyang multo. Pinapakita sa atin ni San Pablo na kahit na tinutuligsa tayo, tinutuligsa siya ng kanyang kapwa Hudyo, malaki ang pagmamahal niya sa kanyang bayan.

Sa ating pagmamahal sa ating bayang Pilipinas dito rin matatagpuan natin ang Diyos. Huwag tayong magwalang bahala sa mga nangyayari sa atin. Huwag nating hayaan ang ating mga senador at kongresista na gumawa ng batas na immoral, ng batas na pumapatay. Sabihin natin sa kanila, pansinin ninyo, sagutin ninyo ang daing ng mamaayan na naghahanap ng trabaho, ng pagkain, ng sapat na gamot. Yan dapat ang pagkakaabalahan ninyo.

Baka ito na ang Diyos na lumalapit sa atin. Diyos na nagpaparamdam sa atin sa pamamagitan ng kawawang kalagayan ng ating bayan. Pasakayin natin siya sa ating bangka. Mahalin natin ang bayan. Yakapin natin ang Diyos ng kasaysayan. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)


"Last Tuesday’s catastrophe calls everyone, beginning with the Lebanese people, to work together for the common good of this beloved country." 

These were the words Pope Francis said when he appealed to the international community for their support and assistance for Lebanon after the catastrophic explosion in Beirut on August 4. The message was delivered at the Sunday noontime Angelus of August 9.




Addressing the Church in Lebanon, the Supreme Pontiff encouraged them to bring compassion to their people.

"To be close to the people on their Calvary, as she has been doing in these days, with solidarity and compassion, with heart and hands open to sharing," he added.

He also urged the priests, and the religious men and women to be more rooted in evangelical poverty especially when their people have suffered enough in every crisis.

According to Vatican News, the Pope described Lebanon as a country that has its own 'particular identity' which evolved as a model of living together. He, however, acknowledged the country's vulnerability during this difficult time.

He gave an assurance to Lebanon and its people of the whole Church's prayers and solidarity of entrusting them to God. The Pope prays that Lebanon "may be reborn free and strong." (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)


Nagpapasalamat ako sa inyo sa inyong patuloy na dasal para sa akin. Damang dama ko ang inyong mga dasal. Wala naman akong nararamdaman na sintonas at sa awa ng Diyos ngayon ay COVID free na ako ayon sa second SWAB test ko this week. Your prayers are really powerful. Sa susunod na Linggo, magsasama-sama na tayong muli sa M
 

Ngayong Linggo ay St. John Marie Vianney Sunday. It is the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. John Marie Vianney which is August 4. He is the patron saint of parish priests. 

Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila
Photo from Facebook Page of Bishop Pabillo

Today, we pray for our priests that they may strive to holiness according to the example of St. John Marie Vianney. Let us not be contented to have only good priests, we want to have holy priests. So, let us also contribute for the ongoing formation and renewal of our priests.

Ang Mabuting Balita sa atin ngayong Linggo aya ng alok ng Panginoon sa pamamagitan ni Propeta Isaias, “Ang mga walang salapi ay kumuha rito at bumili ng pagkain. Bumili kayo ngunit walang bayad.” Ang alok na ito ay tinupad ni Hesus sa ating ebanghelyo. Ibig ng pauwiin ng mga kasama ni Hesus ang mga tao kasi maggagabi na. At upang sila ay magkanya kanya nang maghanap ng makakainan. Ang utos ni Hesus ay maliwanag, “Kayo ang magbigay sa kanila ng pagkain.”

Because of big problems and lack of means, the usual solution is magkanya kanya na. And we may be tempted to do the same these days. We are faced with big problems – the rising infections and deaths because of COVID-19, the joblessness of the people, the lack of food.

According to a survey conducted by SWS from July 3 -6, an estimated 5.2 million families suffered involuntary hunger at least once in the last three months that is 20.9 percent of our population going back to the 2014 level of hunger in our land.

The big temptation is kanya kanya na lang tayo. Bahala na ang bawat isa na maghanap ng makakain. No. We hear the clear call of Jesus, “Give them something to eat.”

Ano ang maibibigay natin? Tayo nga ay hirap na. Ang mga business ay nalulugo na. We may repeat the words of the disciples, “We have nothing but five fish and two loaves of bread. What is this for so many?” Because we have little, we equate them to nothing? They are nothing compared to so great a need. Pero para sa Diyos, walang maliit, walang kakaunti. Ilagay natin ang kakaunti sa kamay ng Diyos at mararanasan natin ang milagro. Precisely, miracles….because we put our trust in God who can do more that we can imagine. Nothing is impossible with God.

Sa totoo lang, hindi naman talaga wala na tayo, hindi lang natin inilalagay sa wastong paggamit ang mayroon tayo. Kaya nga ang tanong ni propeta Isaias ay, “Bakit ginigugol ang salapi sa mga bagay na hindi nakakabusog? Bakit inuubos ang pera sa mga bagay na walang halaga?”

Ngayong panahon ng kahirapan, inaanyayahan tayo na huwag gumastos ng hindi nag-iisp. Gamitin ng maayos kung ano ang mayron tayo. Ang paggamit ng maayos ay hindi iyung para lang sa atin. Kapag tumutulong tayo, ginagamit natin ng maayos ang mayroon tayo.

In the kingdom of God, what is given multiplies. What is given returns to us. Yes, there is concrete hunger for material food, we cannot deny this. However, whereas 5.2 million families have experienced hunger these days, many more millions which are not caught by any survey suffer hunger for…and right direction in life.

Mas marami ang naguguluhan. Saan pa pupunta ang lahat ng nararanasan natin? Matatapos pa ba itong pandemic? Makakabalik pa ba kami sa trabaho? Sa pag-aaral? Yung namatayan lalo na sa virus, paano na ang buhay nila ngayon na nawala na ang naghanap buhay.

Kaya si Hesus bago nagbigay ng tinapay at isda ay nangaral muna sa mga tao. Jesus is known more as a teacher than as a provider for bread. He multiplied food a number of times but always he was going around to teach. Kaya narinig natin sa Unang Pagbasa, “Makinig kayo sa akin at sundin ang utos ko at matitikman ninyo ang pinakamasarap na pagkain. Pumarito kayo, kayo ay lumapit at ako ay pakinggan. Makinig sa akin ng kayo ay mabuhay.”

Hindi ba sinabi din ni Hesus, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” In fact, Jesus suffered voluntary hunger. He fasted so that he may be true to the Word of God.

Kaya ngayong panahon ng pandemya, habang kailangan ng marami ang pagkain, ang bigas, kailangan nating lahat ang Salita ng Diyos. Kaya patuloy na nangagaral ang simbahan, maging katanggap tanggap man sa mga tao o hindi, kailangang ipahayag ang Salita ng Diyos. Ito ang magbibigay ng tunay na buhay sa bawat isa sa atin at sa bayan.

Noong Lunes, nakinig ang marami sa ating SONA, sa State of the Nation Address. Marami ang sinabi doon at hindi naman natin ito i-a-analyze dito sa homiliya. Isang bagay lang ang ibig kong punahin sapagkat may kinalaman ito sa katuruan ng Diyos.

Sa panahon na ang mga tao ay nagsisikap na mabuhay na hindi sila mahawahan ng virus na nakamamatay, na sila ay makapag hanap buhay, ang isinusulong ng Pangulo ay kamatayan – death penalty. Iyan ba ang kailangan ng bayan ngayon? Parang sintunado sa hinahanap ng tao. Wala siyang maliwanag na paraan para sugpuin ang kumakalat na virus. Wala siyang klarong programa para sa kawalan ng trabaho kundi gumamit naman ng slogan na sa halip na build, build, build na bigo naman kaya nga ang slogan naman ay plant, plant, plant. Paano ito gagawin? Walang programa kasi sloganeering lang.

Pero sa death penalty nandiyan yung plano. Within the same week, the senators are busy filing bills on death penalty. And now. There are eight such bills in the Senate and this will be another thing that will be fast-tracked.

Alam na sa mga pag-aaral na ang death penalty ay hindi nakakasugpo ng krimen. Ang mga bansa na may death penalty ay patuloy pa rin ang pagbitay kasi hindi naman natatakot ang mga tao sa parusang kamatayan. Kaya taun taon may mga tao na binibitay sa Tsina, sa Pakistan, sa Saudi Arabia, sa USA, sa Iran.

Ang mas kinatatakutan ng mga tao ay ang kapulisan na mabisa at hindi nabibili at ang justice system na malinis at mabilis. Hanggang hindi maaayos ang ating kapulisan at ang ating justice system, pagtatawanan lang tayo ng mga big drug lords sa death penalty. Kung mahina naman ang pulis, mababayaran naman ang judge, sa bandang huli ang mabibitay lang ay ang mga mahihirap na walang pera na pambayad sa abogado at pangsuhol sa pulis. Salungat sa utos ng Diyos ang death penalty sa panahon natin ngayon. God clearly said, “Though shall not kill.”

Sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, narinig natin ang sinabi ni San Pablo, “Walang makapaghihiwalay sa atin sa pag-ibig ng Diyos.” Kahit na paghihirap, kahit na espada, kahit na nga kasalanan pa natin, hindi tayo nito mahihiwalay sa Diyos na nagmamahal sa atin. Kahit na ano mang kasalanan natin, hindi natin masasabi na hindi tayo mahal ng Diyos. Mas malaki ang kasalanan, mas mahal tayo ng Diyos. Kapag sinabi ni Hesus na naparito siya hindi para sa mga matuwid kundi para sa mga makasalan. He came not to judge and not punish but to save.

Who are we then to judge that a person can no longer be saved? And when we have killed him, so we can save him? We fight against any bill promoting death penalty because it is promoting something that is morally wrong. Gusto ba natin ng buhay? Magtulungan tayo upang ang lahat ay mabigyan ng pagkain.

Nag-aalok ang Diyos ng pagkain para sa lahat. Masagana ang mundo ng nilikha ng Diyos. Kahit ngayong panahon ng pandemic may pagkain para sa lahat. Magbahaginan lang tayo. Gusto ba natin ng buhay? Sundin natin ang mga utos ng Diyos. Huwag tayo magsulong ng mga patakaran at mga batas na nagdadala ng kamatayan. Death is never a solution… (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)


‘’For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone.’’
(Ezekiel 18: 32)

Archdiocese of Manila’s Clergy Statement against the Re-imposition of Death Penalty

 



The country is once again in the throes of dealing with the specter of death penalty as both the House of Representatives and the Senate are now preparing for its immediate reimposition as a State policy.

We, the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Manila, are both alarmed and disturbed at the ease with which our lawmakers responded to the call for its re-imposition and to the dangers such penalty poses to life and society.

While we agree that it is the duty of Legislators to enact laws and State policies, we condemn the lack of independence and imprudence of some of them who decided to immediately bow to the wishes of President Rodrigo Duterte by filing death penalty bills while we are still mired in this seemingly insurmountable crisis brought by COVID-19.

We see such acts as betrayal of the people’s interests and an implicit support to the creeping authoritarian tendencies exuded by this administration.

We agree that crime deserves punishment. We agree, further, that the State has authority to administer appropriate punishment to those judged guilty of crimes.

HOWEVER, based on our faith conviction, moral belief and socio-cultural and political understanding of the impacts of death penalty, we object to its re-imposition on the following grounds:

 

1.) International Law prohibits the Philippines from withdrawing its 2007 ratification of the United Nations Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights (ICCPR) which aims to abolish death penalty. Doing so will weaken our moral and legal standing in other International Bodies or Treatises. Our assertion of victory in the West Philippine Sea will be the height of hypocrisy if we cannot even honor this commitment with the UN ICCPR.

 

2.) Death Penalty does not effectively deter crime. What deters crime is the certainty of conviction and the imposition of punishment. What the country needs, therefore, is a reform of the criminal justice system with the eradication of crooked, corrupt and unprincipled practices in law enforcement agencies, judiciary and penal systems. To reimpose death penalty in the face of these monstrous problems in our criminal justice system is a violation of the fundamental rights. Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it  is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2267).

 

3.) Death Penalty is biased and unfair. Much like the dreaded war on drugs that victimizes mostly the poor, death penalty unfortunately legalizes simply the extermination of the marginalized in our society. Fairness, above all, requires competent counsel for the defendant. But studies suggest that wrongful convictions of poor defendants are high because they cannot afford to hire the best counsel, thereby, settling merely with inept and underfunded defense both during trial and appeal.

 

4.) Death Penalty is an unjustified form of retribution. We believe that only God has the right to take life away from us. Hence, we condemn criminals who took the lives of their victims and they must be punished for it. Punishment, however, should not anymore include death because there are other means already available to punish criminals and to protect society from them (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 1995). Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2266).

 

5.) The fallibility and imperfection of our justice system is enough reason to reject death penalty. There are many indicators suggesting that miscarriage of justice is unavoidable: erroneous or perjured testimony, defective police work or operation, forced confessions, faulty evidences, corrupt judges, community pressure and the defendant’s previous criminal record or status. When the State approves, orders and carries out the execution of a criminal under these circumstances, it lends support to the destructive side of a flawed system.

 

As pastors, we recognize the heartache, distress and anguish experienced by victims of violent crimes, and we deeply empathize with them. We feel the anger and despair of victims’ families who are ignored by the criminal justice system and even at times by the Church. We preside over the funeral rites for victims. We comforted their bereaved families and even assist them in their needs. Indeed, they deserve our compassion, understanding, love and support. We want to help them in their search for justice.  However, our support for victims and their families does not oblige us to push for the re-imposition of the penalty of death. Instead, we call the attention of our leaders and lawmakers to make every effort to establish a system of justice that brings restoration and harmony and not death.

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die” (2 Samuel 12:13).

 

 

Signed:

CLERGY OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA
4 August 2020
Feast of St. John Marie Vianney
Patron of Priests


 

 


Pope Francis describes the contemporary time within the perspective of utilitarianism wherein it is motivated by self-serving interests which results to many abuses against human rights.

In an online seminar focused on the exploitation of human dignity, the Pope delivered his message in the conference to commemorate the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.



The Pontiff said that the exploitation of the human person has become the modern-day slavery. It, hence, destroys the human dignity of each person, "This selfish point-of-view, keeps others from experiencing the fullness of their unique and unrepeatable humanity."

According to Vatican News, the Pope expressed his support for "efforts to assist survivors and collaborate decisively in building paths that lead to the common good and the full realization of human life."

The online conference was hosted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Argentina with 600 participants from the various sectors such as Church representatives, politicians, humanitarian workers, and officials from Argentina’s judiciary. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)


Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila, is now fully recovered from COVID-19.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa inyo sa inyong patuloy na dasal para sa akin. Damang dama ko ang inyong mga dasal. Wala naman akong nararamdaman na sintomas at sa awa ng Diyos, ngayon ay COVID free na ako ayon sa second swab test ko this week.”

Photo from Bishop Broderick Pabillo’s Facebook Page


Bishop Pabillo made the announcement in the homily he prepared delivered by Fr. Carmelo Jek Arada, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Peñafrancia Parish during the online Sunday Mass last August 2, 2020, at 10 a.m.

Bishop Pabillo expressed his gratitude to the Lord as well as to all the people who prayed for him while he was healing from the virus.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat na nagdasal sa akin. Naramdaman ko na mabisa ang inyong mga dasal,” Bishop Pabillo said on Radio Veritas.

He also urged the faithful to include Kalookan Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iniguez in their prayers for the bishop’s speedy recovery who also tested positive for COVID-19.

“Ngayon isama natin sa ating dasal si Bishop Deogracias Iniquez na ngayon ay may sakit din,” he said.

According to him, after he completed his fourteen-day quarantine period, he will return to his normal activities, like his regular on-air and online Sunday Masses.

On July 23, 2020, Bishop Pabillo announced to the Clergy of Manila that he was infected by the coronavirus after he was tested positive for COVID-19. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)


Masayang sinalubong ng pamayanan ng Kambal na Krus ang Motorcade ng orihinal na imahe ng Sto. Nino de Tondo bilang paggunita sa ika-48 taong anibersaryo ng Pagkakabalik ng Imahe ng Sto Nino sa Simbahan ng Tondo.


Sa unang pagkakataon ay naisama ang Raxabago Street sa ruta ng Motorcade. Ang Kapilya ng Kambal na Krus na nasa ilalim ng pangangalaga ng St. Joseph Parish Gagalangin ay nasa ilalim noon ng pag-iingat ng Sto Nino de Tondo Parish bago maitalaga ang St Joseph Parish Gagalangin noong 1905.


Taos-pusong nagpapasalamat ang Pamunuan ng Kambal na Krus Chapel Community at ang Kura-Paroko ng Parokya ng St. Joseph Parish Gagalangin, Rev. Fr. Joselino B. Tuazon sa Pamunuan ng Archdiocesan Shrine of Sto Nino de Tondo, sa pamumuno ng kanilang Rektor at Kura Paroko, Rev. Fr. Estelito E. Villegas sa biyayang ito na nagdulot ng pag-asa at Liwanag sa puso ng mga mananampalataya. (Eijay Valerio de Paz/SOCOM/Kambal na Krus Chapel) 

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