Friday, July 14, 2006

press statement

“On the Burning Issues”

When the CBCP gathered in conference to discuss their Pastoral Letter, especially on the “burning issues,” the hottest of which was about the impeachment, the bishops knew that their guidance would not sit well with all sectors. But they must proclaim the message “whether favorable or unfavorable…to itching ears” (2Tim. 4, 2-3). The Pastoral Letter needs to be read in its entirety especially the paragraphs on the hottest issue. When we were discussing the issue of the impeachment, the bishops were concerned with proclaiming a message which would serve the country best according to the light of their discernment, prayer and discussion.

Tough problems can be solved neither by force nor by the force of number nor by offering just one solution as if that were the only solution. Tough problems are a challenge for all parties—pro, con, and center—to think, talk and act together, to see new realities and create meaningful change. Each party or sector holds in part the solution to tough problems.

The Pastoral Letter “Shepherding and Prophesying in Hope” is meant to give some guidance to the lay faithful on the subject of social issues and on the burning issues. How this guidance is to be followed or put into effect is beyond the intention of the Letter. Whatever each individual or group decides to do, by God, do it well and don’t sacrifice the common good.

On the question of envelopes or gifts allegedly being distributed and of dinners offered by Malacañang to some bishops, since these were privately done, there was no consensus among the bishops whether to accept or not, whether to go for the dinner or not. Each bishop was completely free.

Truth to tell, the bishops did not have any knowledge of the alleged plan of Malacañang to use these gifts or envelops for political ends. It was only later that they realized the implication of the offer. Some, we know, returned their envelopes.

The bishops were told that the envelopes were for the poor. But how must the poor be help institutionally? On the one hand, bishops with the limited resources of their dioceses are already trying to respond to the needs of the poor, v.g., through their social action programs. On the other hand, must not the government use better its powerful institutions to help the poor? If the powerful institutions are not effective and efficient in the work of poverty alleviation, the question that must be asked is “WHY?” But must it be channeled to the bishops at this time?

+Angel N. Lagdameo
Archbishop of Jaro
CBCP President
July 14, 2006


manuelbuencamino said...

Your Excllency,

There is nothing wrong with donating money, goods and services to a charitable organization. It’s called charity.

However, when money and goods are donated right around the time when the CBCP is tackling serious political questions then the motive behind those charitable donations becomes suspect.

If those donations were handed out say, last March, it wouldn’t look like they were meant to influence the CBCP plenary in a tit-for-tat manner.

The problem is the timing of the donations. It showed no sense of delicadeza. It's unfortunate that you have colleagues who accepted those donations at such a time.

Had they had a sense of delicadeza accusations or impression of bribery woud never have happened.

It's such a shame that a highly respected organization like the CBCP would tarnish its name because of a few bishops whose sense of delicadeza is as crude as Mrs. Arroyo's.

Delicadeza is the least you can ask of your colleagues

Chabeli said...

Your Excellency,
In mass today, I couldn’t help but shed a tear, because I lost my respect for the bishops who accepted the “envelope”, I didn’t place money in the offertory, and instead will give the money to the “Alms for the Poor” box tutal if the priests need money, I thought, they can go to GMA. It’s a painful reality that we were “sold” by bishops who took the “envelope.” It's like how Judas sold Christ for pieces of silver. All the more, the statement issued by the CBCP, in my humble opinion was tainted. I', sorry, but from my view, GMA is JUDAS.

However, I will continue to go to church because that is God’s house.

Below, is a piece which came out in Mr. Ricky Carandang's blog:

The following is the full unedited text of a letter that was circulated by a bishop during last week’s CBCP plenary. Taken in contrast with the actions of Bishop Deogracias Yniguez who signed the impeachment complaint, this letter shows you the breadth of opinion among the clergy on what they call the burning issues of the day.


Until now, the sonorous clamor for the resignation of Mrs. Arroyo is still heard. The opposition strongly disbelieve her words that she had won the May 2004 presidential election—fair and square. If we do believe in her sincerity, then President Arroyo is properly and legitimately elected to the highest position in the land.

The upbringing os Mrs. Arroyo is Catholic and a really devout Catholic. However, many people, espcially the opposition and those who are hungry for prestige and power that the presidency entails, seem incredulous on her. They never stop to throw harsh and cruel words to her. These people always aver that she fraudulently achieved her victory. Nevertheless no one is guilty unless his guilt has been proven.

On the other hand, the oppositionists aver that Mrs. Arroyo is a usurper and she is a false president. However, “once a usurper has actually obtained firm control of power in te state, the legitimate authority previously in control is not allowed to resort to violent measure to regain power unless there is a well-founded hope of success and true furtherance of the common good. The mere personal or ancestral claims to authority must ultimately cede to considerations of the welfare of the people as a whole. The common goos–in its broadest aspects–is also the decisive factor, the standard by which te people themselves should judge whether to accept the regime of the usurper or not.” (Pg.150, the Law of Christ, Bernard Haring, C,SS,R)


a) Mrs. Arroyo has a firm control of power in the State.

b) There is no well-founded hope of success to take power. The impeachment of Mrs. Arroyo failed by less number of representatives, namely 51 signatures only.

c) Anyone, ERAP, Mrs. Cory, representative Francis Escudero, Bishop Villanueva should not resort to power by impeachment or violent measure anymore

d) Therefore all citizens, including the oppositionists, the religious, especially the bishops, should help for the progress of the nation.

In the Bible there is a story about twin brothers — Esau and Jacob. Both are interested of their birthright. Only one will be blessed by the father. The blessing will have benefits, among them te nations serve him and peoples bow down before him, etc.

Today therefore there is only one nation, namely Israel. the other place is that of the Palestineans. These two keep on fighting with each other. That was Jacob whose name was changed by God to Israel. The descendants of Esau are the Palestinians.


Page two

The biblical story of Esau and jacob is a vividly clear example of deception and fraud. But, in spite of that, Jacob was forgiven by God, by giving him plenty of descendants who will be numerous as the specks of dust in the earth (Gen. 28:13-15). If God was able to forgive the deceit and fraud act of Jacob, then why cannot we do the same as to President Arroyo who had said “I am sorry” on television? Why can the opposition and the presidential wannabes not extend the same gesture of forgiveness to Mrs. Arroyo? “He who has no sin cast the first stone?”

Our nation has suffered so much. President Arroyo has suffered much as well because of rallies, coups, destabilization plots, impeachment, etc. All these political upheavals and protest actions are certainly not the will of God. But Mrs. Arroyo is able to cope up with all these according to the will of God. it is crystal clear that the divine Hands are guiding, protecting, and enlightening her formidable political skills. She is doing well in her governance, and it is a pity to lose her. I firmly believe, as a bishop, that Mrs. Arroyo, despite the allegations against her, haswisely responded to to each unique stage of these crises in God’s will. Let us remember what St. Paul has written in his letter to the Romans: ” Everyone must obey state authoritiesbecause no authority exists without God’s permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God. Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgement on himself. For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil…then do what is good and he will praise you, because he is God’s servant working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of him because his power to punish is real. He is God’s servant and carries out God’s punishment on those who do evil. For this reason you must obey authorities–not just because of God’s punishment, but also as a matter of conscience” (of Romans 13:1-7)


+Nicholas Mondejar, DD

Bishop Emeritus

Diocese of San Carlos

San Carlos City, Negros

Chabeli said...

Ooops, I meant to say, "I'm sorry, but from my view, GMA is SATAN."

magnamus said...

Your Excellency:

What could be the "most burning issue" of today, in our life, especially in this short earthly life?

Many people may not notice it, but if one would read/hear what most priests/bishops of today preach, one may notice the so-called political correctness, the social and generally-wide "pastoral" issues? (i.e. impeachment, jueteng, bribe envelopes, constitutional ammendment, reduction in poverty, corruption, death penalty, drug abuse/drug lords, etc.)

I'm not saying they're not important. But I believe, they're something MORE important than this. That is, the "sanctification/salvation of souls". Sounds abstract to many, but yet it's very simple.

Our Lord, after His Resurrection, asked St. Peter: "Peter, Do you love Me?" St. Peter replied, "Yes Lord", and Our Lord said, "Feed My sheep". He asked St. Peter again, the same question, and the First Pope replied the same. Our Lord asked him again, for the third time, "Peter, Do you love Me?", and St. Peter said the same thing, while Our Lord again, for the third time said "Feed My sheep".

Imagine Our Lord asks the priests/Bishops, Successors to the Apostles, the same question today. What could be their reply? Impeachment, constitutional ammendment, bribe envelopes, politically-correct social issues, etc.?

If a true Catholic priest would reply, he would do what Our Lord commanded: to Feed His Flock.

Every priest knows how. With the Catholic Teaching and of course, thru the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Holy Eucharist.

Now, on the so-called "Most Burning Issue", that seems to be ignored today.

Your Excellency, are you aware that the Missal rite that most priests use today is dangerously and shockingly close to an Anglican Service, in Words and Actions and Order of Prayers, when said "in English of course"? (i.e. heretical as condemned by the Church Magisterium)

Here's from the Anglican Church of England Website:

And the striking part is that, the Sections/Parts of the Novus Ordo Missae (i.e. current rite in almost Every Catholic Church) are named & structured very very similar to a heretical Lutheran Service!

Your Grace, there's another rite of the Mass: Our Catholic Tradition, the Immemorial Roman Rite (i.e. Tridentine Latin Mass), handed from the Apostles, codified by Pope St. Pius V, valid in perpetuity and never abrogated.

Do you know that then Cardinal Ratzinger, in the book the "The Reform of the Roman Liturgy:Its problems and Backgrounds", said the following:
"What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it--as in a manufacturing process--with a fabrication, a banal on- the-spot product." --

The Novus Ordo Missae (i.e. post-VaticanII rite or the current rite that is offered at almost every Catholic Church in the world) is the product of that fabricated Liturgy!

I believe Catholics should offer the very best to God, and have nothing to do with a fabricated Missal.

From what I understand of the Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei afflicta" of
the late Pope John Paul II, he encourages a wide and generous
celebration of the Tridentine rite.

In the US alone, over half of the 193 dioceses have established weekly
Latin Masses and some have whole parishes devoted to the traditional
Mass. This is due to the Una Voce Organization, which has been praised
a number of times by then Cardinal Ratzinger. I believe Pope Benedict
XVI has personally expressed support for the old rite when he said,
"There is no doubt that a venerable rite such as the Roman Rite in use
up to 1969 is a rite of the Church, it belongs to the Church, is one
of the treasures of the Church, and ought to be preserved by the
Church." [Cf. Latin Mass Society of England and Wales]

I've known of a Canon Law that one sins mortally if a Catholic
participates actively in a non-Catholic service. [1917 Code of Canon
Law, Canon 1258]. From my understanding too, Catholics should not
participate in a non-Catholic Mass, simply because this action offends
the One and Holy True Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.

Your Grace, the faithful is given an "Anglican-ised"/"Lutheran-ized"
Mass of the Novus Ordo Missae, which if strict application of the
Canon Law, the faithful sins mortally.

As a deeply concerned Catholic, I hope and pray that God may grant the
faithful and priests to know and love the Tridentine Latin
Mass, the Mass of many saints, the most beautiful thing in this side
of Heaven, our True Catholic Heritage and Tradition, passed down from
Our Apostles!

Anonymous said...

Your Excellency,

The arrogance of the catholic church in the Philippines continue to astound me. I read in a news report one of your bishops' cynical comment on the "envelope" incident: "May galit, may disappointed, may OK lang (ang reaction). Give it a week or two and it will be back to normal."

Only in the Philippines, bastion of the largest catholic population in Asia, do I see, time and again various leaders of the catholic hierarchy play God by dabbling into politics, "annointing" chosen leaders that continue to lead the Filipinos to perdition.

Back to normal after a week or two? Does the CBCP know what normal is? For too long the church and the government have been using the poor to justify their own greed. This incident of enveloped monies and victory dinners, is just too much.

When will the catholic church of the Philippines stop playing God, and instead lead its flock in searching and creating a true and lasting relationship with God?

Only when I left the Philippines to work in Singapore that I found the true essence of the catholic church. Because here, the church's concern is truly for the spiritual nourishment of its flock. There are no pontificating, annointing of politicians, no victory dinners, no pastoral letters that lead to nowhere — only prayers and spiritual enlightenment. And if a leader of the church commits an immoral act, he is made accountable not only to the church, but also to the community...something which I have not seen done in the Philippines since the time of Padre Damaso.

If CBCP thinks that in a week or two, their moral ascendency would be back to normal, I think they are asking for a miracle that they do not deserve.

CBCP should acknowledge its mistake, and rectify it, by apologising to all the faithful followers of the catholic church in the Philippines.

May God have mercy on us all.

magnamus said...


Are you aware that the Missal you pray contradicts what Our Lord teaches?

The Missal that most priests today is dangerously close to an Anglican & Lutheran heretical service:

Here's from the Anglican Church of England Website:

Do you know that meaning of Heresy?

Heresy is something that contradicts the Deposit of Catholic Faith, taught by Christ, thru the Apostles.

"If you love Me, keep the Commandments".

For Luther, the Mass is firstly the Liturgy of the Word, and secondly a Communion. The fact that the current liturgical Reforms have adopted precisely these same modifications is nothing short of astounding. Indeed, as we well know, the texts in use by the faithful today no longer make reference to the Sacrifice, but rather to the Liturgy of the Word, to the Lord's Supper and to the breaking of bread, or to the Eucharist.

All of Luther's ideas are condemned by the Holy Dogmatic Council of Trent.

In other words, the Missal most priests use right now is blashpemous, heretical!