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Pangasinan bishop makes 11th-hour appeal vs RH bill

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Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas (cbcpforlife.com photo)

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas warned lawmakers that they would unleash “irreparable harm” on the new generation of Filipinos if they approve the controversial Reproductive Health bill in its present form.

In a pastoral letter posted on the archdiocese’s website on Friday, Villegas said: “As I have said in the past, a contraceptive mentality is the mother of an abortion mentality. The wide and free accessibility of contraceptives, even to the youth, will result in the destruction of family life and in greater violence against women.”

His pastoral letter will be read in all Masses in Catholic Churches under the archdiocese on Sunday (December 16).

On Monday, the Senate is expected to vote on its version of the RH bill, following the passing on second reading of the bill last week by the House of Representatives.

The goal, Villegas said, was to rush the passage of the bill before the start of the congressional Christmas break. “The same [agenda] seems to be the goal of our senators,” he said.

He said: “Those who mislead the young invoke divine punishment on themselves. Let us leave to the young a legacy of decency and morality, not promiscuity and moral corruption.”

He commended Pangasinan Representatives Gina de Venecia, Rachel Arenas and Leopoldo Bataoil for voting against the RH bill.

“We commend them for their courageous conviction and encourage you, my dear Catholic faithful, to support them with your prayers and make known to them your appreciation for their fidelity to our cherished Filipino Catholic values,” Villegas said.

“They are our heroic and exemplary representatives in Congress. They voted to stand up for life. They voted to stand up for morality and decency. They voted as God loving government officials.”


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Tags: Archbishop Socrates Villegas , Catholic , Government , Legislation , News , Politics , Regions , Religion , reproductive health , RH bill


  • Aris Kalayaan

    The CBCP’s continued criticism against RH Bill only alienate them to the people they vow to serve.  It also exposes their inability to take real action to help those who are in need.  Taking care of the spiritual needs of the faithful is not enough if you have the capability to help others physically.  Although there are parishes serving the needs of the poor in the community, most bishops stay comfortably in their palaces.  That’s why they don’t know what’s the real situation in their communities.  What happens to their priestly vow of poverty?  The late Archbishop Oscar Romero was quoted saying “We must not seek the child Jesus in the pretty figures of our Christmas cribs.  We must seek him among the undernourished children who have gone to bed at night with nothing to eat, among the poor newsboys who will sleep covered with newspapers in doorways.”

  • quirinomayer

    “Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas warned lawmakers that they
    would unleash “irreparable harm” on the new generation of Filipinos if
    they approve the controversial Reproductive Health bill in its present
    form.”

    In their treasonous and desperate attempt to derail the Rizal Bill in 1956, the Damasos then also aired similar dire consequences if the bill was passed into but they were proven wrong as none of their fears took place when the bill was passed and implemented.

    DAMASO VILLEGAS, SHUT YOUR FANATICAL MOUTH!  DO NOT  RILE THE SECULAR PROCESS OF LEGISLATION ANY FURTHER, DAMASO. YOU ARE NOT FOR THE GOOD OF THE FILIPINO NATION BUT JUST FOR THE PERPETUATION OF THE DOMINATION OF YOUR CHURCH OVER THIS COUNTRY.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FKE56ZWNI2XKEVVLZQGRWG7WBI BURADOR—Phil. Voice

    RH bill is on GOD side and NOT on Catholic side—–
    PALUHOD man PO kayong MAG-APPEAL wala PONG MAKIKINIG sa INYO——

    • gilrene

      Yan ang pananaw mo at dapat respetuhin at respetuhin mo rin ang pananaw ng iba.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    CBCP BISHOPS DAMASO IS A LIER MEDICAL SCIENCE IS A SULUTION” FOR FAMILY PLANING KAYA WAG KA NG MAG PA CHAMBA CHAMBA”’ AKALA MO DI KA BUNTIS YUN PLA BUO NA!!!! UNWANTED BABY TINATAPON SA HARAP NG SIMBAHAN KATOLIKO”’ FETUS UPAULAM MO KAY BISHOPS”

    • xrisp

      Baka atakihin ka sa puso sa galit mo ha!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

        ikaw ang aatakihin kasi sinungaling ka” kampon ka ni carnival tagle”’ sinungaling”’

      • xrisp

        Ay naku ako lang pala ang makakapgpasagot sa iyo sa dami dami ng posts mo rito brod. Bumalik ka na sa pagiging Katoliko mo at naliligaw ka lang ng landas diyan sa sinalihan mo.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    TYPE MO SA YOUTUBE MAYOR ATIENZA ABORZIONIST JAN MO MAKIKITA DEMONYO ANG SIMBAHAN KATOLIKO NASAN NABA A.K47 KO AT RARATRATIN KO ANG MGA DAMASO””

    • xrisp

      Ano ba kulto mo at mukhang napaka banal mo?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

        dating katoliko bakit” di ako sinungaling ehh nag sasabi ako ng totoo”

      • gilrene

        Dating Katoliko ka pala at dati sumusunod ka sa pari. May isip ka naman hindi pari ang susundin mo ngunit yong righteous teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. PEACE!

      • xrisp

        Eh sinong kulto ba ang nakahikayat sa iyo?  Di ka siguro nag aral ng dating faith mo. Nakipagusap ka ba man lamang sa isang pari natin kahit minsan?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    SA SWITZERLAND AT NEWZEALAND MAS MARAMI BAKA SA TAO KAYA SAWA SA STEAK SA PILIPINAS MAS MARAMI BATANG HUBO SA BAKA KAYA MARAMING ISNATCHER DESPERADO”

    • xrisp

      Dapat sa Switzerland o New Zealand ka na lang pumunta.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/VCOZDCJRKOL6AN5BONY73WU72Q Albatimansalsalman

      dre galit ka na naman,,ginalit ka ni xrisp ?

  • http://twitter.com/Sizzle75Ian ian martinez

    All advanced countries have had this for many years, Italy home of the RC church has had it for many years, conservative forces hold people back and are part of the establishment elite controllng people.

    • xrisp

      Tama ka, sa advanced countries mo makikita lahat ng kinasusuklaman ng Dios – abortion, divorce, same sex marriage, etc,  etc. Pinagtatawanan na lang ang issue sa morality. Sa susunod isa ka din sa mga susuporta para lahat din yan mangyaring legal sa Pilipinas!

      • pej1972

        E bakit ndi doon makialam ang mga Vatican Bishop mo?

      • observer_din

        Eh brod, paano naman ang ITALY, andon na mismo nakatira si POPE, bakit di sila maingay noong panahong ginagawa ang katulad na batas doon? Ibig mo bang sabihin mas me moral ascendeny ang mga obispo dito kesa ke santo papa? Mas matalino ang mga obispo dito kesa sa mga taga doon sa roma? O gusto lang talaga makialam sa pulitika ng mga obispo para ipakita na malakas sila, or simply POWER TRIPPING lang?

      • litobetita

        Parang mali yata ang pagkaka-intindi ko. Vatican City which is the home of the Pope is a separate state . Hindi ito sakop ng Italy. 

      • observer_din

        hindi nga pare, pero ang ROME andon mismo sa ITALY. tama ba pagkakaintindi ko?

      • litobetita

        Pare, kung location ang pag-uusapan tama ka. But political wise, eh hindi sakop ng Italian Government ang Vatican City. Vatican City is an Independent State within Rome and is headed by the Pope while Italy is headed by the Prime Minister and Rome is the capital city. Vatican has only 1,000 citizen or population as of 2001 estimate. Vatican is the smallest country in the world which was established in 1929 under the terms of Lateran Treaty. Recognized ito ng ibat-ibang bansa na maraming Roman Catholic na citizen maliban sa China kasi ang nire-recognize ng Vatican is Taiwan instead of China. Mayroon din itong mga “embassy” na kung tawagin ay Papal Nuncio, yung embassy nya sa Pilipinas ay nasa Taft Avenue, Malapit sa De La  Salle University. Kaya mali yung notion na como ang pope ay nasa Italy ay may ang influence sya dito. Ito yung isa sa mga maling pagkaka-alam ng marami….sa Roman Catholic religion. Pag nag comments against the church eh very strong, yun pala mali ang pagkakaintindi nila….tulad na lang nitong pagkakaiba ng Vatican at Rome.  The Pope is not a citizen of Italy but of the Vatican City. The Priest and Bishops in our country are citizens of the Philippines and just like us they are entitled for the right to speak…for themselves and for the church. Kagaya ng mga ama natin, they have the right to speak to the government in behalf of his family. And like the family, the church is not a democracy because of faith. Once you don’t follow the rules of the church that we belong, then it is tantamount to losing our faith.      

      • wawangpenoy

        observer_din, i’m impressed with the way you handled this moron. yan ang tama. wag nang pansinin. anyway, parang ako na lang ang sagot.

        litobetita’s logic and mentality is a reflection of our lawmakers’. they’re more interested in grandstanding their knowledge of the subject rather than stick to the issue kaya walang nagyayari sa kongreso. soooooo moronic.

      • litobetita

        Wawangpenoy, Tamang-tama yung pangalan mo sa iyo. Nag explain lang ako ng tama based on facts na ang vatican eh separate state from Italy eh tinira mo na ako at naging Moron pa sa paningin mo? Mali bang mag korek ng maling pagkakaintindi? Hindi mo ba napansin yung question mark sa blog ni “observer_din” which signifies a question? ikaw yata ang moron eh. Ano ang mali sa logic ko ha? Explain mo nga ng maayos at hindi yung kung anu-ano sinasabi mo eh hindi ko naman maintindihan position mo sa issue. Di ko maintindihan kung bakit ka nagagalit ganong sinasabi ko lang naman ang position ko. Alangan naman na umayon ako sa alam kong mali…..tingnan mo sa wikipedia o sa encarta at makikita mo pagkakaiba ng vatican at rome. Yung sagot ko is well related sa topic. Heto yung blog sinabi nila…copy paste ko para makita mo na nasa topic yung binaggit ko…..  ” Eh brod, paano naman ang ITALY, andon na mismo nakatira si POPE, bakit di sila maingay noong panahong ginagawa ang katulad na batas doon? Ibig mo bang sabihin mas me moral ascendeny ang mga obispo dito kesa ke santo papa? Mas matalino ang mga obispo dito kesa sa mga taga doon sa roma? O gusto lang talaga makialam sa pulitika ng mga obispo para ipakita na malakas sila, or simply POWER TRIPPING lang?…..ayan oh, nakita mo ba? 

      • litobetita

        Saka paano ka na-impress wawang penoy eh hindi naman kami nagkaroon ng discussion ni observer_din. Sinabi ko sa kanya na iba pagkakaintindi ko at parang may mali yata about rome and vatican ayun sa sinabi nya. Nagtanong sya at sinagot ko. So paano ka na-impress dun? Ang ayos ng sagutan namin eh bigla ka namang sumagot ng ganyan. Matuto kang magbigay ng respeto sa standing ng iba about that issue. Hindi yung nang-i-insulto ka pa. Di ka naman nagsabi ng stand mo o bakit, pero naka insulto ka agad? Very aggressive ka ha. 

      • Shutter

        but my point sir is this, ROME is already in ITALY at sigurado ako na maraming catolico doon, at andon na mismo ang PAPA, bakit hindi sila ganito kaingay gaya ng sa Pilipinas, I know na magkahiwalay ng gobyerno ang ROMA at ITALY pero my point is why they didnt insist na mali ang batas na kagaya ng RH BILL? Regardless kung magkahiwalay ng gobyerno, ROME is within ITALY so close why they not make so much noise like here in the PHL. I sound like im repeating my point, hope you understand.

      • litobetita

        They simply cannot do that there in Italy dahil separate country nga ang Vatican City at Italy. Magkaiba sila ng batas. kahit nga police, magkaiba sila eh…swiss guard ang nasa Vatican instead of Italian Police which means 100 percent separation. Ang naging dahilan ng paghihiwalay nila eh yun ngang pakiki-alam ng Italy sa Religion and Vice Versa so naghiwalay sila. Kaya ngayon, di sila pwedeng magpaki-alaman lalo na sa mga batas. Gaya nga ng sinabi ko, di citizen ng italy ang Pope. I believe na meron ding nakiki-alam na RC sa mga batas ng Italy but those are not from vatican but from Italy itself. Sa atin naman ang guidance is under the Vatican at mouthpiece lang ang mga bishops and priest. I worked for Italian company for years at alam ko ang style nila…may mga liberal at die hard catholics din na talagang sumusunod sa patakaran ng simbahan.

      • litobetita

        Ang stand naman kasi ng RC sa buong mundo is against sa contraceptives….yan yung teachings ng catholic church eversince. So hindi talaga mababago yang position na yan. Iba ang belief ng RC at saka madaming procedures bago mabago ang isang teaching ng  RC church, kasi napakalaki ng nasasakupan at ng magiging effect nito.

      • Shutter

        simple lang ang point boss, ang POPE ang head ng RCC, why he is not issuing any statement to condemn such laws in any country like the philippines.The only thing i pointed out VATICAN and ROME is because of ROME being in VATICAN, im aware of VATICAN being independent.

      • Shutter

        correction pala, ROME BEING IN ITALY.

      • litobetita

        Di naman pwede ma condemn kasi di pa naman batas. At saka lahat ng action ng mga bishops at pare eh base sa directives ng Pope at of course ng catholic “dogma” yata yun…di ko sure tawag eh. So the bishops and priest being the mouthpiece of the church eh sya ang nagsasalita. Yung iba naman mga message sa governement eh pinapadaan sa official channel or “papal nuncio” at bihirang malathala. Yung mga directives ng pope ay madalas binabasa during mass pero hindi nasusulat sa dyaryo kasi address yun sa mga “faithful”.     

      • litobetita

        Okey observer_din. Di na ako maka reply sa latest mo. Anyway, this is a very healthy discussion. Thanks to you.

      • Shutter

        ( cannot reply to your comment below)
        I know seperate ang VATICAN(ROME) at ITALY, pero marami ding BISHOPS sa ITALY. And ROME being in ITALY at andon si POPE, will surely make a big impact pag siya na ang nagsabi, pero bakit walang ganitong ingay during those times. that’s my point.

      • litobetita

        Saka ang alam ko kasi may family planning na tayong pinapa implement eh. Nung nasa college pa ako way back in 1986 eh kasama pa yan sa curriculum namin. Katunayan pa nga nyan eh available naman ang mga contraceptives sa mga Rural Health Centers….ginagawa pang lobo ng mga bata ang mga condoms na yan eh. Tapos ung ikasal kami sa church, requirement yan para makasal so ibig sabihin sumusunod ang RC sa patakaran ng government. Ang ayaw lang ng church eh yung mga pills at condoms…yung natural tulad ng “calendar” method eh ang alam ko walang say dun ang church. Di ko alam kung bakit kailangan pa magkaroon ng bagong batas samantalang existing na ang family planning …parang redundant na din. Maganda experience ko dyan kasi di naman kami mayaman din kaya nga nag-asawa ako at the age of 34 na…para sure ako na responsible parent na talaga ako at may sapat na kakayahan na para magpamilya. At ngayon, 2 lang anak namin…di naman kami gumagamit ng contraceptives na yan. So ibig sabihin, kayang gawin withuot that RH Bill…nasa disiplina lang ng tao yan pare.      

      • Shutter

        dati yun pre pero hindi siya talaga nai-implement sa lahat ng lugar,kagaya sa manila noong panahon ni atienza hindi pwede contraceptive sa mga health centers.
        (Reply ko din sa baba,kasi di na naman ako maka-reply)
        My point is the POPE should be more VOCAL being the head of RCC, im sure pag sa kanya na nanggaling mas maraming maniniwala kesa sa mga OBISPO, lalo na dito sa atin na alam naman natin na wala ng moral ang mga OBISPO dito dahil nga sa mga ginawa nila noong panahon ni GLORIA. I myself could become anti if it directly came from the POPE.

      • xrisp

        Sa tingin mo brod hindi umaapela ang simbahang Katoliko sa mga ibat ibang gobyerno hanggat hindi nagiging batas ang mga pinagsasabi nyo? Kaya yung sinasabi mong nakikialam ang Simbahan sa politika, maunawaan nyo kung hanggang saan ang parte na ipinapakita ng simbahan. Nakita mo bang naglulupasay o nanghihikayat ng gulo ang simbahan ngayon na batas na sila sa ibang bansa?  Ipagdadasal na lang kayo ng simbahan at patuloy na lang itong maninindigan sa tama at mapaunawa na immoral ang mga kinakatigan nyo.

  • pej1972

    Killjoy talaga simbahan, they will spoil the Simbang Gabi with their political agenda.

  • http://twitter.com/erncastillo ern

    I have planned to attend the simbang gabi…. But I am not going. Baka RH Bill lang ang isermon dun..,. it will surely destroy my day…God forgive me!

    • pej1972

      For sure, kasi doon walang kokontra sa kanila.

      • observer_din

        TAMA!!! sayang lang pagpupuyat natin

  • observer_din

    The RCC church is deteriorating these days, they are losing moral ascendency, the church is tainted with corruption and anomalies within their ranks.Many people doesnt believe in what they say anymore… gone were the days

    • http://twitter.com/Sizzle75Ian ian martinez

      Yes and people are less naive, more educated, independent too. LIKE

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VCOZDCJRKOL6AN5BONY73WU72Q Albatimansalsalman

    nasanay kase itong mga hinayupak na paring ito nung panahon ni  Gloriang Magnanakaw…binusog sila kaya nanahimik sila kahit kaliwa at kanan ang lumalabas na anomalya..ngayon sobra ingay nila sarap pagbabatukan….

  • 0pinion8Ted

    In a pastoral letter posted on the archdiocese’s website on Friday, Villegas said: “As I have said in the past, a contraceptive mentality is the mother of an abortion mentality…[sic]

    According to Merriam Webster Dictionary Online:

    CONTRACEPTIVE: is deliberate prevention of conception or impregnation.

    ABORTION: the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus: as
    a : spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation — compare miscarriage
    b : induced expulsion of a human fetus

    What a big difference, can’t they see that an apple is different from an orange! Please stop confusing the less educated Filipinos.

    Those that opposes and sells the teachings of Jesus for money, it will crumble alright, in God’s time.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VCOZDCJRKOL6AN5BONY73WU72Q Albatimansalsalman

    SA SAMBAYANANG PILIP[INO..KUNG SINO MAN PO ANG NAKAKAALALA NUNG PANGALAN NG OBISPO NA HUMINGI NG SUV PARA REGALO SA KANYA NI GLORIANG  MAGNANAKAW PAKIPAALALA LANG PO ..NAKALIMUTAN KO NA PO KASE,,MALAPIT NA PO YATA ANG BERTDEY NI BISHOP…HWAG NATING KALIMUTAN NA BATIIN…HAPI BERTDEY BISHOP…SUV..SUV…SUV…

    • andrew lim

      Bishop Pueblos, from Butuan.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

        bishop pueblos from butuan terrorist extremist”DAMASO”’

  • andrew lim

    In Jest: KUNG WALANG BISHOP, WALANG MAHIRAP!

    A response of pro-RH bill laity to the CBCP pastoral letter on the latest decision on the Reproductive Health Bill, December 15, 2012

    Once again, Archbishop Soc Villegas expands the definition of corruption to include contraception. He already did this earlier this year, in an anti-RH rally in Ortigas. It’s a neat move, since he is unable to pin down the President on financial corruption. Interestingly, the CBCP did not castigate his predecessor, Gloria Arroyo, on charges of financial corruption and electoral cheating. Why did the CBCP keep quiet on Gloria’s corruption and then invent a new definition of it for Pnoy?

    Our point by point rebuttal to his letter:

    “Contraception corrupts the soul. The RH Bill is being gift wrapped to look like a gift for maternal health care. It is not so. It will lead to greater crimes against women.”

    Ignorance corrupts the mind. The RH Bill is explicit in what it provides and what it bans if you only care to read it. What greater crimes against women are you referring to? Can an all- male hierarchy sworn to celibacy claim to speak authoritatively on issues concerning women?

    “The youth are being made to believe that sex before marriage is acceptable provided you know how to avoid pregnancy. “

    Get real. Teenagers are already having sex -even the ones who study in Catholic schools. So who’s failing in their responsibility? Why not educate and equip them to avoid potential complications?
    I challenge you to ask around and see how many of those getting married today are virgins on their wedding day.

    We congratulate the one hundred and thirteen (113) congressmen and women who voted YES to the RH Bill. You have voted courageously, despite the intimidation from the clergy, to stand up for what you believe in. The people will remember you as the heroes of our nation, those who care for the true welfare of the people, especially the poor. May you continue to be steadfast and not waiver in your stand against ignorance and poverty.

    We plead with the sixty four (64) congressmen who have not voted, to be enlightened like the intellectuals during the Age of Enlightenment, using reason and not superstition to reform society, and keeping sober and not hysterical.

    Do not allow the hierarchy to blatantly violate the separation of church and state and intrude into fiscal policy, economics, budgets, etc. It is not their field of expertise.

    In jest: KUNG WALANG BISHOP, WALANG MAHIRAP!

    (Take a look at the list of the top economic performers for the past 50 years and the least corrupt countries (Transparency International rankings).Virtually none of them are dominated by Catholic hierarchies. Then take a look at the list of countries colonized by Spain, and see how they lag behind in both categories of economic development and corruption levels.) Spain, Italy and France were colonizers, so they are in a different category.

  • Hey_Dudes

    For those who might had forgotten .  This is the same bishop during the siege of EDSA by throngs of Erap supporters dubbed then as EDSA III, who ordered PNP to disallow the protesters access to the Edsa shrine calling them ‘unwashed, toothless, poor’ etc.

    The same bishop who forced then NBI assistant director who has seek protection inside the seminary together with then ISAFP intelligence man out and risking their lives all because of Villegas closeness to GMA.

    Such nerves these people have.

    • indiosbravos2002

      Give him credit. The folks who went to EDSA3 were really unwashed, toothless, poor and “nahakot”. They belong to the tondo crowd which idolizes Erap. What do you expect. Bishop here is more accustomed to the greenbelt/rockwell crowd.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RSJCTNLHUT5JVA3BZHJUCWAPRE banikab

    Top Catholic leaders have blamed a
    drop in believers on the Church’s closed and bureaucratic ways and hypocrisy in
    its ranks, as well as a hostile secularist society.

     

    We have lost credibility

    – Italian
    Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella

    Bishops gathered for a synod aimed at
    boosting the flagging Church and met Pope Benedict XVI for a closed-door
    session in which they vented their frustration and exasperation over a decline
    in faith.

    “We have lost credibility,” Italian
    Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella said. “We have closed in on ourselves… we
    have turned a life of faith and ritual into bureaucracy.”

    Mgr Fisichella, head of the
    Pontifical Council for Evangelisation, told his colleagues they had become
    “cautious about speaking out”.

    After prepared speeches, some of the
    bishops addressed the Pope.

    “It is difficult to find the courage
    to evangelise. We are afraid,” one European archbishop said. “Christians are
    afraid to talk to those who have distanced themselves, to those who are
    hostile.”

    While Mgr Fisichella blamed “a world
    permeated only by scientific culture” for the drop in believers, Philippine
    Bishop Socrates Villegas said the root of the problem lay with Church arrogance
    and hypocrisy.

    “Why is there a strong wave of secularisation,
    antipathy or plain cold indifference towards the Church in some parts of the
    world, necessitating a new wave of evangelisation programmes?” he asked.

    “Evangelisation has been hurt and
    continues to be impeded by the arrogance of its messengers.

    “The hierarchy must shun arrogance,
    hypocrisy and bigotry.

    “We must punish the errant among us
    instead of covering up our own mistakes,” he said, in an apparent reference to
    the widespread child sex-abuse scandal in the Church, which involved bishops
    accused of protecting suspects.

    “Our experience in the Third World
    tells me that the gospel can be preached to empty stomachs but only if the
    preacher’s stomach is as empty as his parishioners’,” he said, calling on the
    Church to adopt “a new face of charity ”.

    Bishop Josè Rauda Gutierrez from El
    Salvador pointed the finger at the clergy, blaming it for a “loss of pastoral
    enthusiasm and missionary impulse”.

    Bishops from Africa and the Middle
    East said little progress had been made in dialogue with Islam.

     

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RSJCTNLHUT5JVA3BZHJUCWAPRE banikab

    Priest in Centre
    of a Storm

     

    Msgr. Cristobal
    Garcia is one of the most prominent faces of the Catholic church in the
    Philippines.

     

    He oversees
    worship practices for an archdiocese of 3 million believers. He bears the baby
    Jesus’ image during annual ceremonies that draw thousands  into the
    streets. 

    He led his
    cardinal’s advance team in Rome five years ago when Pope John Paul II declared
    a Filipino sainthood candidate to be blessed.

     

    Now the
    suspended senior Catholic priest faces a new scandal as law enforcement
    authorities launch an investigation into the smuggling of elephant ivory to
    feed a passion for religious icons in the deeply religious Philippines.

    The Vatican had
    quietly stripped Monsignor Cristobal Garcia of his positions in the Archdiocese
    of Cebu in June — but not made it public — over accusations that he molested
    altar boys in the United States 20 years ago. He denies the claims.

    Monsignor
    Garcia, who rose to prominence in the Philippines despite the sex allegations,
    has been implicated in the illegal trade of ivory in a new scandal that has
    rocked the Catholic Church, which has used icons made of ivory for centuries.

    A National
    Geographic magazine cover story identifies a Philippine Catholic priest accused
    of sexual abuse in the United States as fueling his country’s illegal trade in
    ivory.

    In the course of
    his research for the October issue, Bryan Christy learned that Msgr. Cristobal
    Garcia, director of worship for the archdiocese of Cebu, Philippines, had been
    accused of child sex abuse more than two decades ago but was still serving in
    priestly ministry, reported the Catholic News Service.

    The article
    highlights Garcia’s extensive ivory religious icon collection and quotes him
    giving tips on how to smuggle ivory into the Philippines. It also included
    details of the sexual abuse complaint against him from the 1980s, when he
    served as a Dominican priest in the archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was expelled
    from the Dominicans and returned to the Philippines.

    In a statement
    Sept. 26, the Cebu archdiocese said the Vatican had been looking into the
    sexual abuse complaints against Garcia “long before the (ivory trade)
    controversy erupted.”

    “I have also
    fulfilled the Holy See’s instructions regarding submission of documents and
    acting upon related consequences,” Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said in the
    statement.

    At a news
    conference the same day, a diocesan official said the Vatican had ordered
    Garcia suspended from priestly ministry months ago while he is investigated on
    the charges.

    “Let it be made
    clear that the Church supports the ban on ivory as it is consistent with her
    doctrine on stewardship of creation,” the archbishop’s statement said. “The
    Church does not condone ivory smuggling or other illegal activities, although
    in the past, ivory was one of the materials used in the adornment of liturgical
    worship.”

    The Philippines
    is a signatory of the international Convention on International Trade of
    Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which means importing ivory to the
    country is illegal, according to Philippine Bureau of Customs Commissioner
    Rozzano Rufino Biazon. He explained that anything covered by CITES would have
    to comply with the country’s tariffs and customs code and violations could
    result in imprisonment of six years.

    “And depending
    on the item that’s being imported, applicable laws could bring further
    penalties to make those longer sentences,” said Biazon.

    There are also
    fines, but the bureau’s chief of staff of intelligence and investigations,
    Rainier Ragos, called them “minimal, much less than 100,000 Philippine pesos
    ($2,400 U.S.).” He said pending legislation in the Philippine congress would
    impose tougher smuggling fines.

    A 2011 Pachyderm
    Journal article said law enforcement on the ivory trade in the Philippines is
    “generally poor.”

    Palma said that
    religious items made of ivory in the Philippines pre-dated its ban on the trade
    imposed in 1990.

    In the National
    Geographic article, Christy wrote that the anteroom of Garcia’s walled compound
    is “a mini-museum dominated by large, glass-encased religious figures whose
    heads and hands are made of ivory: There is an ivory Our Lady of the Rosary
    holding an ivory Jesus in one, a near-life-size ivory Mother of the Good
    Shepherd seated beside an ivory Jesus in another. Next to  Garcia’s desk a
    solid ivory Christ hangs on a cross.”

    The article
    indicates religious practice — Catholic and Buddhist — is a driving force in
    the desire for ivory.

    Christy, who
    travelled multiple times to Asia for his story, told Catholic News Service in
    an interview: “In my experience, the devotion to ivory as a religious icon was
    strongest in the Philippines. In the other places, it was ivory investment even
    though the image was a religious image, there was … often a more shallow sort
    of link, whereas the Filipino collectors that I met truly were devoted.”

    From 1989 to
    2011, more than 40,000 kg of ivory was seized in China, although National
    Geographic indicated that represents only a fraction of what gets through. The
    Philippines ranked fifth, at more than 11,000 kg.

    The struggle to
    eradicate ivory smuggling is a deadly one. National Geographic reported that in
    the first six months of this year, 23 poachers were killed in Kenya. As for
    casualties on the side of law enforcement in the same time frame, Christy told
    Catholic News Service that “in Kenya alone a half-dozen (rangers) have been
    killed, and you can spread that number across Africa. People are killed every
    year protecting the elephants.”

    Religious icons
    and statues are popular among Catholics in the Philippines and those made of
    pure ivory are among the most treasured.

    Many churches
    have ivory statues of baby Jesus or one of the saints celebrated during
    festivals.

    The Philippine
    media is reporting that many religious specialty shops across the country
    openly sell pure ivory icons.

    Monsignor
    Garcia, who is based in Talisay City in Cebu province, was expelled from the
    Dominican Order in 1986 over allegations he sexually abused boys in Los
    Angeles.

    But he has
    remained a priest in the Philippines, where he founded the Society of the Angel
    Peace and is chairman of the Archdiocese Commission on Worship. 

    – Agencies

     

    • http://twitter.com/Sizzle75Ian ian martinez

      Relevant much?

  • 0pinion8Ted

    The Damasos will do irreparable harm to this generation and more to the future generations if we listen to them. How many Damaso already got away with it. EDUCATION and the Internet is the only way to get back. 

    The conquistadores and the GI Damasos’ left this country 300 years ago but they left behind their surrogate loyal Indios garbed in fancy wardrobe costumes to watch the “house of Damaso” and do the bidding for them.

  • wawangpenoy

    CBCP, if only your conviction or strong resolve to oppose the RHB was as strong in opposing the corruption during the arroyo administration, maybe things would have been better now and maybe, just maybe, Pnoy would not have ran for president. Unfortunately for you guys, Pnoy knows too well that he doesn’t have to bribe you with Pajeros and Monteros to have the RHB passed.

    When your kingdom is threatened that is the only time you show your resolve but you really couldn’t care less what happens to the nation.

    Shame on you CBCP …. Catholic Brotherhood of Certified Pedophiles

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPLUBLEOSERDBOIJTDOC6XIWGU mxsclxmxn

    RH BILL KILLS THE UNBORN!!!

    • indiosbravos2002

      How? If there is no union of sperm and egg cells. Para ka lang nagjakol non. Di naman murder un di ba. Kung hindi serial killer ka nyan.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SPLUBLEOSERDBOIJTDOC6XIWGU mxsclxmxn

    I hope you are not blind on this!!!

    The Birth Control Pill is the most popular and widely used
    method of hormonal contraception. It involves taking a month-long series of
    pills—three weeks of pills containing hormones, and one without. This allows
    the woman to have a menstrual period. The Pill contains two synthetic hormones,
    progestin and ethinyl estradiol and has three mechanisms: 

    1) it prevents
    ovulation, 
    2) thickens the cervical mucus, which makes it harder for sperm to
    enter the uterus and 
    3) affects the endometrium or lining of the womb to make
    it more hostile to implantation. 

    This means the tiny developing baby (embryo)
    cannot attach to the uterine lining and dies, which is a very early abortion. 

  • indiosbravos2002

    Yeah, another set of threats from the Catholic Church. It didnt work then, why would it work now? Stupid Bishop.



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