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An investigation about the Black Nazarene procession last September 14, Feast of the Exultation of the Cross, is being held as it was put under scrutiny by the Philippine National Police for violation of the quarantine protocols.

According to Rev. Fr. Douglas Badong, Parochial Vicar of Quiapo Church, the Church is ready to take responsibility if any violations are proven with regards to the procession of the Black Nazarene.

“Haharapin namin at makikipagtulungan kami sa imbestigasyon na gagawin nila at handa kaming akuin ang buong responsibilidad kung sakaling mayron kaming nilabag sa quarantine protocols,” said Fr. Badong during an interview with Radio Veritas.

Procession of the replica of the Black Nazarene on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14, 2020. | Photo Credit: Quiapo Church Facebook Page


In an article posted on the website of Radio Veritas, the priest said that there might have been some devotees who, intentionally or unintentionally, were not able to follow strictly the health protocols during the procession, which lasted for 3 hours.

Quiapo Church explained that they have actually fulfilled the required procedure before they conducted the event. They informed and secured the permission of the local government of Manila and that they also requested assistance from the Quiapo Police for the implementation of strict physical distancing and other health protocols.

Brig. Gen. Rolando Miranda, Manila Police Department Director, had already issued an order to the Quiapo Police Station to meet with the head of Quiapo Church to discuss about the issue.

The Basilica assures to cooperate with the Joint Task Force COVID Shield concerning the investigation. (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)

 


Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila exhorted the faithful to practice once more the reception of the Sacrament of Confession even in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

In his Sunday Mass last September 13 in Kambal na Krus Chapel (St Joseph the Worker Parish) in Tondo, Manila, Bishop Pabillo reminded the faithful that the Sacrament of Confession is an essential component for spiritual growth.



"Sa panahon ng pandemic na ito, maraming mga religious services ang hindi natin nagawa sa loob ng anim na buwan. Isa sa mga ito ay ang pagkukumpisal. Kaya hinihikayat muli ang lahat na bumalik na sa pagkukumpisal. Mahalaga ang pagkukumpisal kasi dito natin nararanasan na pinatawad tayo ng Diyos. This is the Sacrament of the encounter with the mercy of God," he said.

Beyond the many difficulties being experienced during the pandemic, the bishop described the relief imparted by the Sacrament of Reconciliation which becomes the avenue to God's mercy.  And as the penitents receive mercy and compassion from God in the sacrament, it also enables them to become compassionate and become sensitive to the needs of others.

"Hopefully, because we have experienced God’s mercy, we can also become more patient and more merciful to others. Dahil sa mahabang pagkakulong sa bahay at sa walang kasiguraduhan sa kinabukasan, marami sa atin ay madaling mawalan ng pasensiya. Nagiging magagalitin at bugnutin sa iba. We need to be more merciful to one another," he added.

The Apostolic Administrator noted that as the sacrament aims to bring inner peace, it also makes the faithful reflect on their shortcomings and distressing situations in life, particularly the emotional burden which needs to be lifted.

"The Sacrament of Confession helps us in being merciful after we ourselves experience the mercy of God. Hindi ba gumagaan ang loob natin kapag tayo’y nakapagkumpisal? Dahil sa magaan na ang loob natin, madali ng pasanin ang mga pabigat sa buhay natin," he said.

The Bishop explained that those who have received forgiveness through the Sacrament, they are also able to build rapport with one other.

"Dahil sa napatawad tayo, madali na rin magpatawad sa iba. Dahil sa inunawa tayo, magdali na ring mag-unawa sa iba. At kung tayo ay nagpapatawad sa iba, madali rin tayong pagbigyan ng patawad ng Diyos," the bishop added. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

 


Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Kalookan and acting president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), calls on Diocesan Bishops in the country to check on and extend moral support to their priests during this pandemic.

“I am also calling on my brother Bishops na alalayan din natin ang mga pari natin lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” said Bishop David said in an interview with Radio Veritas.

Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Caloocan and Acting President of CBCP | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

 

His statement was after some reports in the media of alleged suicide cases among the clergy.

The Bishop explained that priests are not exempted in suffering for they are also human beings. They are also victims of mental health issues like anxiety, trauma, and depression during this pandemic. This is mainly because they cannot perform their pastoral duties as priests due to the strict rules being implemented by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Many of them are also very vulnerable; I know some of them feel depressed and very guilty dahil hindi sila makalabas and they cannot attend to their pastoral duties,” the Bishop added.

Radio Veritas priest-anchor, Rev. Fr. Victor Sadaya, CMF, which is the Executive Director of Porta Coeli Center for Psycho-trauma Management, has called for the initiation of mental health programs for priests.

Bishop David also encouraged the minsters of the Church to use the new technology and new means of communications especially through the internet and social media to reach their parishioners in creative ways.

Rev. Fr. Dan Cancino, the Executive Secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Health Care, emphasized that mental health should also be an important concern during this pandemic. According to the data of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), there were 33 suicide-related calls from January to March this year, but the number soared and went up to 115 calls this July.

Also, the Social Weather Station released a survey last July wherein 84 percent of the Filipinos are experiencing stress due to this COVID-19 pandemic.  (Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC)


The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception or Manila Cathedral reopens its door to the public on September 16, 2020, with the guidelines set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for religious activities.

After 6 months of being closed, Fr. Reginal Malicdem, Rector of The Manila Cathedral, said that The Manila Cathedral, also known as the Mother Church in the Philippines, is open for those who wish to attend Mass and come for private prayers.


The faithful are reminded to wear face masks and face shields when entering the Cathedral.

“We assure you that safety measures are in place and we request for the cooperation of everyone. We know that now more than ever we need to strengthen our faith in God in order to survive these difficult times. We also entrust ourselves to our Blessed Mother Mary. We are excited to welcome you back home,” Fr. Malicdem told the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications.

Following the guidelines set by the IATF for religious activities, the Cathedral can accommodate only 80 persons inside for each Mass, on a first-come-first-served basis. Those, however, who cannot be accommodated inside the Cathedral on Sundays, may go to Plaza Roma, the park in front of the church,  where communion will also be distributed.

The schedule of the Manila Cathedral is as follows:

Masses
Monday to Friday: 7:30 am and 12:10 pm
Saturday: 7:30 am
Sunday: 8:00 am, 10:00 am and 6:00 pm

Private Prayers
8:00 am – 11:30 am and 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

All Masses will continue to be streamed live on the Facebook Page and YouTube channel of The Manila Cathedral.

The public celebration of Masses at the Cathedral has been suspended since March after the government declared the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as effect of the outbreak of the coronavirus in NCR. But on September 8, 2020, Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother Mary, the Cathedral opened for a day for the said celebration in honor of its patron. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)


Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Kalookan and acting president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), commended Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila for its initiative to create a cooperative intended for jeepney drivers.

Photo Credit: Caritas Manila Facebook Page

Bishop Ambo pointed out how livelihood is so vital and challenges pertaining to it must be addressed immediately to support the transports sector who are among the worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Itong pangkabuhayan dapat iprioritize talaga natin; ang ganda ng kanyang panukalang kooperatiba para sa mga jeepney drivers palagay ko malayong malayo ang mararating nun,” said the Bishop during an interview with Radio Veritas.

Meanwhile, Caritas Manila assisted 300 jeepney drivers in Caloocan, Navotas, and Malabon last September 11, 2020, as an aid to show care  continuation to care to the transportation sector who lost their income.

Bishop David also expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the initiative of Caritas Manila to also help the children of the jeepney drivers to study through its Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program or YSLEP. Although donations are badly needed, educations still must be given more importance for a long term and sustained support to the families of the drivers.

Bishop David also encouraged the the recipient of the aid to strengthen their faith and not to forget to often pray for the end to the pandemic that all may revert to what is normal.

“Huwag kayong mag atubili na lumapit sa Simbahan, nandito kami para sa inyo. Magdasal tayo na itong krisis na ito ay matapos na. Gusto kong maramdaman ninyo [jeepney drivers] na hindi kayo nag iisa, kasama ninyo ang Simbahan, kasama ninyo ang Panginoon at kasama natin ang isa’t isa,” the bishop added.

Caritas Manila is targeting to assist 10,000 jeepney drivers in Metro Manila. (Fatima Llanza)

 

 


Nakikiisa po ako dito po sa Kambal na Krus sa pagdiriwang nila ng pasasalamat ng pagtatagpo ng kanilang krus. Kahit na ito’y isang maliit na chapel lamang, matagal nap o ang kasaysayan nito. Kaya ito’y ika-98th year ng pagdiriwang nila ng kanilang chapel.

At tamang tama naman na ang pagdiriwang na ito ay kaugnay sa piyesta natin bukas sa simbahan, the “Triumph of the Cross”, ang “Tagumpay ng Krus ni Hesus”. Sa pamamagitan ng krus, tayo’y naliligtas. Sa pamamagitan ng krus, naranasan natin ang awa ng Diyos.
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Malupit po ang mundo natin. Puno ng galit at puno ng paghihiganti. Ganun na lang ang galit ng tao na handa siyang magpasabog ng kanyang sarili at mandamay sa ibang mga inosenteng tao. Kaya mayroon tayong mga suicide bombers na ngayon ay pumasok na sa Pilipinas.

Ganun na lang ang galit na nasa tao na handa silang pumatay at magpasakit ng milyong mga tao. Nangyari yan sa Europa sa extermination ng mga Armenians noong World War I at mga hudyo ng World War II.

Nangyari yan sa Africa sa patayan ng mga Tutsi at mga Hutu sa Rwanda.

Nangyari sa Cambodia sa pagpatay ng mga Khmer Rouge.

Nangyayari yan gnayon sa Tsina sa pagpapatay at pagsisira ng kultura at relihiyon ng mga Tibetans at ng mga Uyghurs.  Nangyayari yan sa Middle East sa pagpapatayan ng mga C-Aids at mga Suits.

Nangyayari yan sa Pilipinas sa mga...na nangyayari at sa pagpapatay ng mga drug addicts at mga tinaguriang rebelde without any judicial process.

Puno ng galit at paghihiganti ang mundo. Kaya sa panahong ito ang mensahe ng Diyos ay mercy, habag, awa. Kaya sa simbahan, nandiyan yung debosyon at popular na debosyon ng Sacred Heart of Jesus, debosyon ng Divine Mercy.

Hence, the calls of the popes. St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict, Pope Francis on mercy and compassion. This is what we need now. God’s response to human sinfulness is mercy. Kaya sinabi sa atin ni San Juan, “For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world may be saved through Him.”

There is enough reason for God to punish the world. But no, He does not punish. He does not take vengeance. Instead, Jesus the Son of God was pierced for our sins, crushed by our inequity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole. By His wounds, we were healed. Yet, all gone astray like sheep, all following our own way. But the Lord laid upon Him, the gift of us all. God is indeed merciful.

Sa ating gospel, napatawad ng hari ang servant na may utang sa kanya ng sampung milyong piso. Imagine, sampung milyong piso. Hindi lang siya binigyan ng panahon. Ayon sa kanyang hinihingi, bigyan mo ako ng panahon ay babayaran ko ang lahat. Ngunit pinatawad siya, wala ng utang. Deleted na ang sampung milyon na dapat bayaran niya.

Pinatawad ang sampung milyon dahil sa naawa sa kanya ang hari. Kaya galit nag alit ang hari sa kanya na wala siyang awa sa kanyang kapwa alipin. Sabi sa kanya ng hari, “Napakasama mo. Pinatawad kita sa utang mo sapagkat nagmakaawa ka sa akin. Nahabag ako sayo. Hindi ba dapat ka ring mahabag sa kapwa mo?”

Ang pinatawad ng sampung milyon ay hindi makapagpatawad ng limang daang piso. Talagang napakasama niya. Ganyan ang pagpapatawad ng Diyos….dahil sa awa ng Diyos pinatatawad tayong lagi. Ito ang dahilan bakit palagi tayong magpatawad.

Ang tanong ni Pedro, “Ilang beses ko bang patatawarin ang kapatid kong paulit ulit na nagkakasala sa akin?” Akala niya generous na siya kapag nagpatawad siya ng pitong beses. Hindi lang pito. Seventy times pa dito. Ibig sabihin walang sawa, walang hangganan kasi ganyan din tayo pinatatawad ng Diyos at higit pa.

Sa panahon ng pandemic na ito, maraming mga religious services ang hindi natin nagawa sa loob ng anim na buwan. Isa sa mga ito ay ang pagkukumpisal. Kaya hinihikat muli ang lahat na bumalik na sa pagkukumpisal. Mahalaga ang pagkukumpisal kasi dito natin nararanasan na pinatawad tayo ng Diyos. This is the Sacrament of the encounter with the mercy of God.

Hopefully, because we have experienced God’s mercy, we can also become more patient and more merciful to others. Dahil sa mahabang pagkakulong sa bahay at sa walang kasiguraduhan sa kinabukasan, marami sa atin ay madaling mawalan ng pasensiya. Nagiging magagalitin at bugnutin sa iba. We need to be more merciful to one another.

The Sacrament of Confession helps us in being merciful after we ourselves experience the mercy of God. Hindi ba gumagaan ang loob natin kapag tayo’y nakapagkumpisal? Dahil sa magaan na ang loob natin, madali ng pasanin ang mga pabigat sa buhay natin.

Dahil sa napatawad tayo, madali na rin magpatawad sa iba. Dahil sa inunawa tayo, magdali na ring mag-unawa sa iba. At kung tayo ay nagpapatawad sa iba, madali rin tayong pagbigyan ng patawad ng Diyos.

Ito naman ang narinig natin kay Ben Sirach sa ating Unang Pagbasa, “Patawarin mo ang kapwa sa kanyang pagkukulang. At pag ikaw ay dumalangin sa Diyos, patatawarin ka rin naman. Ang nagtatanim ng galit sa kanyang kapwa, pag tumawag sa Diyos, walang makakamtang awa.”

When we pray the Our Father we say, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us.” Of all the seven petitions of the Our Father, Jesus gave a commentary only on this petition. He said, “If you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither with your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Kaya makikita natin na may mahigpit na kaugnayan ang habag ng Diyos sa atin at ang habag natin sa kapwa. Dahil mahabagin tayo sa kapwa, kahahabagan tayo ng Diyos dahil sa malaki ang awa sa atin ng Diyos, kaya maging maawain din tayo sa ating kapwa.

Ito ang message ng devotion to the Sacred Heart and devotion to the Divine Mercy – God is so merciful, let us also be merciful. Kaya sinabi ni Jesus, “Be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate.

Sa ating panahon ngayon, maraming mga taong nananawagan ng katarungan. We call for justice. Pero maging maingat tayo. Para sa marami, ang panawagan ng katarungan ay tutungo sa totoo lang panawagan ng paghihiganti.

Katarungan. Pasakitan sila kasi pinasakitan niya kami. Patayin sila kasi pinahirapan kami. Is this real justice? Then we go back to the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth – a practice that the Lord Jesus has rejected. Kaya kung naniniwala pa tayo sa paghihiganti, hindi tayo Kristiyano. Hindi tayo tagasunod ni Kristo.

Hindi maka-Kristiyano ang manawagan ng death penalty. Kapag pinatay mo na hindi mo na siya bingyan ng pagkakataon na magbago. For the follower of Christ, justice is always tempered with mercy. Hindi dapat mawawala ang awa sa katarungan. Pero maraming nananawagan ng death penalty is just because of vengeance. Dapat patayin kasi nakagawa ng masama.

Noong May 13, 1981, binaril ni Mehmet Ali Agca si John Paul II sa St. Peter’s Square sa Roma. Malapit ng mamatay noon ang Santo Papa, apat na bala ang pumasok sa kanyang katawan.

Noong December 27, 1983, two yers and ahlaf later, binisita ni John Paul II si Mehmet Ali Agca sa bilangguan at doon pinakita ang kanyang habag sa kanya at pagmamahal sa kanya. Walang galit sa kanya si John Paul II.

Nilapitan ng Santo Papa ang nagtangkang pumatay sa kanya at pinadama sa kanya ang kanyang pagmamahal. Pero hindi pinalaya si Mehmet Ali Agca. Binuo niya ang kanyang pagkabilanggo sa Italy at sa Turkey. Nakalaya siya sa bilangguan noong 2010. Halos thirty years siyang nabilanggo. Noong siya’y nakalabas ng bilagguan, pumunta siya sa libingan ni John Paul II at nagdasal doon.

Noong buhay pa si John Paul II, napalapit siya sa pamilya ni Agca. Nakatagpo niya ang kanyang nanay at ang kanyang kapatid at madalas silang nagkaroon ng contact. Iyan ang halimbawa ng restorative justice. Justice that restores relationships that brings harmony.

Sa ating panahon ngayon, pinag-uusapan ang absolute pardon na binigay ng presidente kay Joseph Scott Pemberton, ang pumatay kay Jennifer Laude. Maraming mga pag-uusap kung tama ba ang pagpapatawad kay Pemberton. May nagsasabi na hindi pa nga niya nabuo ang six to ten years na sentence sa kanya noong 2015 at special pa ang kanyang kulungan sa Camp Aguinaldo at hindi sa bilibid.

Ang presidente ng bansa ay mayroon ngang karapatan at kapangyarihan na magbigay ng absolute pardon. He exercise this power to Pemberton and also to other prisoners as well. Pero ang daming mga Pilipino sa mga bilangguan natin na natutulog ang mga kaso nila. Bakit hindi gamitin ang prerogative na ito na magpatawad para mabigyan ng pag-asa ang mga nabilanggo at ma-decongest ang ating mga bilangguan na umaapaw na higit na limang beses sa kanyang capacity ang laman ng mga bilangguan natin. Maraming napapabayaan sa mga bilangguan na matatanda na at may sakit pa.

Should not pity be shown to them? If really there is such a virtue as forgiveness in our government, why not exercise this for so many who are languishing in our jails?

So, as we see, ang usapin ng pagpapatawad ay hindi lang usapin ng relasyon natin sa Diyos at ng relasyon natin sa ating kapwa. Ito’y usapin din sa kalagayan sa lipunan. Forgiveness comes out of pity and compassion. May we never lose the sense of pity in our society. We Christians who claim to have experienced God’s mercy, may we also be merciful in our dealings with each other in society.

Let us pray for this grace in this Holy Mass. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)


May mga taong naguguluhan bakit pa nagsasalita ang simbahan sa mga issues ng panahon natin ngayon. May iba pa nga na parang nanunumbat, bakit nakikialam ang simbahan sa mga usapin ng lipunan?

Ang misyon ng simbahan ay ipagpatuloy ang misyon ni Hesukristo. Si Hesus na anak ng Diyos ay pinadala ng Ama upang ipadama ang pag-ibig ng Diyos at upang manawagan sa lahat na ibigin ang Diyos at ibigin ang kapwa.



Love is the core of the message of Jesus. But love is not just a sweet feeling, an emotion. Jesus is very clear, if we love God we keep His commandments. So, there is a clear relationship between love and the law.

The Commandments have been given to us not to limit our freedom but to show us the way to love. And the laws are given to be fulfilled. Kaya maganda ang sinabi ni San Pablo na narinig natin sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, “Huwag kayong magkaroon ng anumang sagutin maliban na magmahal sa isa’t isa.” You should have no obligation, no debt except to love one another.

This tells us that love is an obligation that we have to do. It is not something optional. In fact, the whole of the Bible is summarized by Jesus into two commands: love of God and love of neighbour.

When we love our neighbour we fulfill the other commandments of God. If we truly love, we do not steal, we do not lie, we do not say bad words, we do not kill, we do not kill adultery. Ikanga, ang pag-ibig ay kabuuan ng kautusan.

Our Gospel reading today tells us another manifestation of love. If we love, we correct our neighbour. We cannot just stand by and see our neighbour doing wrong thus, harming himself and harming the community.

May isang grupo ng mga bata na naglalaro, nagsisigawan, nagsisitakbuhan at nagmumurahan. Napadaan ang isang nanay at nung makita niya ang anak niya ay naroon, kinuha niya ang bata at pinagalitan.

Sabi ng bata, “Nanay, bakit naman ako ang iyong pinagalitan? Tignan mo ang mga kasama ko sila rin ay nagmumura at malulutong pa nga ang mga salita nila.” Paliwanag ng nanay, “Pinagagalitan kita kasi anak kita.” Tinutuwid natin ang mga mahal natin. Mahirap ito na aspeto ng pag-ibig. Correcting is not easy.

Tayong mga Pilipino may likas tayong kaugalian. Nasanay tayo sa SIR – Smooth Interpersonal Relationship. Ayaw nating magusot ang ating relationship. Ayaw natin na magkasamaan ng loob. Iniiwasan natin ang anumang conflict. We do not confront. Dahil dito, pikit mata na lang tayo kapag nakakita tayo ng masamang ginagawa ng iba. Baka magalit pa sila na sila’y pinapansin. Baka sabihin pakialamero pa ako. Tatahimik na lang tayo. Hayaan na lang ang kasamaan.

Dahil dito, lumalaganap ang kasamaan. Hindi dahil sa marami ang masama. Sa totoo lang, marami ang mga taong matuwid, iilan lang naman ang masasama. Pero ang karamihan na matutuwid ay hinahayaan nalang ang masasama. Mas matapang ang masasama na gumawa ng masama kesa mga matutuwid na ituwid ang masasama. Evil spreads because the majority who are good do nothing to stop the few who are bad. Kaya mahalaga ang pagtutuwid.

May proseso si Hesus paano gawin ang pagtutuwid. Una, personal na sabihan ang gumagawa ng masama. Pangalawa, kumuha ng dalawa o tatlong tao para may patunay na tama ang puna sa kanya. Kung hindi pa makuha, isumbong na sa kapulungan ng simbahan. At kung ayaw pa talaga, i-deadma na siya. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng ituring siyang hentil o makasalanan. Have nothing to do with him anymore.

Mahirap sa atin na mga Pilipino ang prosesong ito. Dahil nga sa ayaw nating magusot ang ating relationships, smooth interpersonal relationships, ayaw natin na komprontahin ang kapwa. Iniiwasan natin ang one on one na pag-uusap kaya mas madali sa atin na iwasan agad ang gumagawa ng masama, i-deadma na siya. Kaya madalas nagtataka na lang tao na iniiwasan siya. O kaya i-tsitsismis na lang natin sa iba. Marami na ang pinagsabihan at malalaman na lang ng tao ang bintang sa kanya mula sa iba o mula sa Facebook.

Last week, we heard Jesus said that we have to die to ourselves if we want to follow Him. If we truly love, we are ready to face the wrong doer at the risk of losing face. In the first place, he may not be a wrong doer after all. He may have not done what is imputed to him. Or there may be an aggravating circumstance why he did it. Kailangan natin ang pagtutuwid upang maging maayos ang ating mga samahan.

Anumang samahan yan, barkada man kaya o pamilya o isang grupo sa simbahan o sa simbahan mismo o sa pamahalaan. Kailangan natin ang correction because no one of us is perfect. We all make mistakes so we help one another to overcome our shortcomings. We help one another grow that’s why correcting is loving.

Correcting, yes, is a manifestation of love. Ganun din sa lipunan kaya ang tanong natin sa simula, bakit nagsasalita ang simbahan? Bakit pumupuna ang simbahan? Ito ay dahil sa pagmamahal. Mahal natin ang bayan. Ayaw natin na ito ay malugmok sa kasamaan kaya pinupunan natin ang mga katiwalian na makasasama sa bayan.

Pero may isa pang dahilan. Sa Unang Pagbasa, si Propeta Ezekiel ay binigyan ng Diyos ng tungkulin na maging bantay ng bayan. As a watchman, he should sound the alarm to the wicked not to condemn the wicked but to warn him that he may change his ways. Sabihin sa masama na siya ay mamamatay. Not to wish him dead but to warn him to change. If he does not listen, he will indeed die. But the prophet will save himself. Pero kung ikaw ay natakot o nagwalang kibo, at hindi mo sinabi na siya ay mamamtay, talagang mamamatay siya dahil sa kanyang kasamaan. Pero mananagot ka sa kanyang kamatayan.

As Church, I mean I say Church, it’s not only the priests, the bishops but all the baptized, we have to speak out. And to speak out loud and clear in order to bring people to repentance. If we keep silence, pananagutin tayo ng Diyos sa kapahamakan ng masasama at sa kapahamakan ng bayan.

Huwag lang sana masamain ng mga tinatamaan ng puna, dapat huwag magpersonalan. Listen to reason, look for the common good. And those in public office should not be onion skinned. Sila ay public figures and they should serve the people and the people see them. And because they are in office because of the vote and the money of the people, the people have the right and the duty to make their views known to those who represent them. The people more than those who govern them know what is good for them. Kaya huwag maging balat sibuyas kung may mga puna laban sa kanila at sa kanilang ginagawa.

Ngayong buwan, ay nasa Season of Creation tayo. Hinihikayat tayo na alagaan at bantayan ang ating kaisa-isang tahanan – ang mundong ito. Kaya obligasyon natin na magsalita kung ito ay sinisira. Bahay yata natin ang sinisira. Obligasyon din natin ito sa ating mga anak at sa mga inapo.

Should we not speak when there are short-sighted projects that are just done for the sake of money? And short term solutions to current problems that should have long term consequences to the earth, our common home?

Maaari ba tayong manahimik sa mga coal powered plants na bumubuga ng carbon dioxide na nagdadala ng global warming? All these talks about clean coal energy is a big lie.

Mananahimik ba tayo sa paggawa ng Kaliwa Dam sa Quezon Province na papatay sa ilang ektaryang gubat? Sisisira sa bio-diversity ng Sierra Madre? Lalamunin ang ancestral domain ng mga katutubo doon na may alternative water sources naman na hindi gaano magastos at hindi destructive?

Do we keep silent when our mountains are being stripped because of large scale mining? The promise of prosperity due to mining is a myth. Look at the places that have been heavily mined like Benguet, Rapo Rapo in Bicol, Marinduque, Surigao just to name a few. Where is development in these places? They are made poorer because of mining.

Tayo ay bantay ng bayan. Alamin natin ang nangyayari sa bayan at punahin natin ang mga katiwalian na nangyayari dito. Silence is not an option. This is true for the church. This is true for everyone who loves – who loves nature, loves the country, loves the poor and the next generation. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)


More than 300 hundred jeepney drivers in the Diocese of Caloocan received aid from Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila in partnership with Caritas Caloocan.

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, who is also the acting President of the Catholic Bishops’ of the Philippines (CBCP), expressed his gratitude for the assistance Caritas Manila has provided to the transport sector which was among the most affected by the pandemic.

"Huwag kayong mag atubili na lumapit sa Simbahan, nandito kami para sa inyo. Magdasal tayo na itong krisis na ito ay matapos na. Gusto kong maramdaman ninyo [jeepney drivers] na hindi kayo nag iisa, kasama ninyo ang Simbahan, kasama ninyo ang Panginoon at kasama natin ang isa't isa," Bishop David to Radio Veritas on a Facebook post.

 Photo Credit: Radio Veritas Facebook Page


Fr. Moises Ciego of Caritas Manila and Fr. Marcelo Andamon Jr. of Caritas Caloocan led the distribution of goods to the jeepney drivers held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace Parish, 11th Avenue Caloocan City.
 

In the past weeks, Caritas Manila was able to distribute manna bags and other in-kind donations to jeepney drivers in Santa Cruz, Manila, Makati, Taguig and Pandacan.

Aside from the jeepney drivers, Caritas Manila also extended its support and assistance to some employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) and the San Juan City Male Dorm. Both received hygiene kits and manna bags from the Caritas.

Caritas Manila continues to collaborate with different organizations and institutions to help those affected by the lockdown, most especially the poor people to help them cope up with the struggle brought about by loss of livelihood as effect of the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

 


Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of People has tested positive for the coronavirus after his arrival in the Philippines.

In a post published on the Vatican News, Matteo Bruni, Director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed on Friday, September 11, that Cardinal Tagle has tested positive for COVID-19 after a swab test.

"Cardinal Tagle actually tested positive for Covid-19 with a pharyngeal swab carried out yesterday on his arrival in Manila,” Bruni said in a brief statement.

His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle | File Photo: RCAM-AOC

 

Cardinal Tagle, former Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Manila and President of Caritas Internationalis becomes the first head of the Vatican dicastery infected by the coronavirus’.

According to Bruni, Cardinal Tagle “does not have any symptoms and will remain in mandatory self-quarantine in the Philippines, where he is located”.  He added that “necessary checks are being carried out among those who have come into contact with His Eminence in recent days.” 

Bruni said that Cardinal Tagle “had undergone a swab test in Rome on September 7, which turned out negative.”

In a statement released by Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Acting President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), he said that Cardinal Tagle came to Manila to have a late summer break and might have picked up the virus at the airport or in the plane.

“In all likelihood, he may have picked up COVID 19 right in the airport or in the plane. He probably could not avoid being greeted by people, especially OFWs, who recognized him at the airport or inside the plane,” he said.

Bishop David added that Cardinal Tagle, who is asymptomatic, also came home to visit his elderly parents in Imus, Cavite, and is now in isolation in the next 14 days. He asked his brother priests and the faithful for the Cardinal’s recovery.

“May I ask you to please have him included in all your daily Mass intentions until he recovers fully from COVID19 so that he can resume his important ministry for the universal church?” he said.

On September 8, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he led an online recollection called “Kaunting Pahinga,” organized by Caritas Philippines and the Dilaab Foundation. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)


Parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila will open its doors again to allow the faithful to receive God’s mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

In a Pastoral Instruction entitled, “Have mercy on me, Lord, have mercy” released on Tuesday, September 8, Nativity of the Blessed Mother Mary, Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila encouraged the faithful to receive the grace of forgiveness amidst the fear to be infected by the coronavirus.

“Because of the continuing threat of the Corona Virus there are still people who are hesitant to come to church, much more to come to confession. But we should not allow fear to dictate on our actions. We always have to take necessary precautions, but there are important matters of our life that we have to attend to even with the presence of Covid 19, and confession is one of them,” he said.


According to the Bishop, “parishes are instructed to set aside time for confession and to make provisions for places for confessions that are hygienically safe for both the priest and the penitent.”

He also added that the faithful can make an appointment in the parish office if they would like to receive the sacrament.

“Each one may also make an appointment in the parish office for confession and the priests will readily accommodate you. Confession cannot be done online. It has to be done personally. So I invite all to take time to receive this sacrament in the coming weeks,” he said.

The Bishop at the end of his pastoral instruction reminded the faithful of the need to make a sincere act of repentance to allow the pouring of God’s grace and generosity.

“But let us take away the blocks that can hinder the flow of God’s love to us. This block is sin, and sin can be taken away by turning away from it through sincere repentance. The ordinary way of exercising repentance is the sacrament of confession. Let us go to confession that the grace of God’s love and his assistance may rush into our lives and our families,” the Bishop said.

At the start of the quarantine period, religious activities were suspended and online masses were held as substitutes for masses held in churches with the congregation.

Last week, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) allowed religious activities at 10 percent of the church’s seating capacity under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ). (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

 

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