At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Criticizes Preachers Seeking ‘Life Insurance Policies’
We are to proclaim the Gospel with humility.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis urged this today, April 25, 2017, the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, his second since the Easter break.
The Pope’s homily focused on the passage from the Gospel of St Mark, which relates the story of the Great Commission. He said “the Gospel is always proclaimed on the journey, never seated, always on the journey.”
The Gospel, Francis stressed, must be proclaimed with humility, overcoming the temptation of pride, and Christians, he encouraged, must go out to proclaim the Good News, remaining on that journey, without stopping.
On Preachers Who Seek Life Insurance Policies
A preacher, Francis also said, must always be on a journey and not seek “an insurance policy,” seeking safety by remaining in one place.
Christians, the Pope said, need “to go out where Jesus is not known, or where Jesus is persecuted, or where Jesus is disfigured, to proclaim the true Gospel.”
“To go out in order to proclaim. And, also, in this going out there is life, the life of the preacher is played out. He is not safe; there are no life insurance policies for preachers. And if a preacher seeks a life insurance policy, he is not a true preacher of the Gospel: He doesn’t go out, he stays in place, safe.
So, first of all: Go, go out. The Gospel, the proclamation of Jesus Christ, goes forth, always; on a journey, always. On a physical journey, on a spiritual journey, on a journey of suffering.
But what is “the style of this proclamation?” the Pope asked.
The Pope observed that Saint Peter, who was St Mark’s teacher, was perfectly clear in his description of this style, namely that the Gospel must be announced in humility, because the Son of God humbled Himself, annihilated Himself.”
This, the Pope said, “is the style of God,”noting there is no other.
Not a Carnival, Nor Party
“The proclamation of the Gospel,” he said, “is not a carnival, a party.”
With humility and overcoming the temptation of worldliness, the Gospel must be preached, the Pope said. Never can it be announced, he cautioned, “with human power, cannot be proclaimed with human power, cannot be proclaimed with the spirit of climbing and advancement.”
“This is not the Gospel,” he said.
The Pope then asked those present why is this humility necessary.
“Precisely because,” he answered, “we carry forward a proclamation of humiliation – of glory, but through humility. And the proclamation of the Gospel undergoes temptation: the temptation of power, the temptation of pride, the temptation of worldliness, of so many kinds of worldliness that they bring [to] preaching or to speaking; because he does not preach a watered down Gospel, without strength, a Gospel without Christ crucified and risen.”
“And for this reason,” the Jesuit Pope recalled, “St Peter says: ‘Be vigilant, be vigilant, be vigilant… Your enemy the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.’ The proclamation of the Gospel, if it is true, undergoes temptation.”
Lord Will Comfort
If a Christian says he is proclaiming the Gospel “but is never tempted,” Francis highlighted that it means that “the devil is not worried,” because “we are preaching something useless.”
For this reason, the Holy Father continued, “in true preaching there is always some temptation, and also some persecution.” However, when we are suffering, Francis explained, the Lord is there “to restore us, to give us strength, because that is what Jesus promised when He sent the Apostles.”
“The Lord will be there to comfort us, to give us the strength to go forward, because He works with us if we are faithful to the proclamation of the Gospel, if we go out of ourselves to preach Christ crucified, and if we do this with a style of humility, of true humility.”
Pope Francis concluded, praying, “May the Lord grant us this grace, as baptized people, all of us, to take the path of evangelization with humility.”
Faith-based group provides typhoon victims with storm-proof housing
April 24, 2017
When Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the central Philippines in 2013, Catalina Badocdoc lost everything except for an image of the Child Jesus and copies of the Bible.
Strong winds and rain blew away her home that used to stand a few meters from the seashore on Manicani Island in Eastern Samar province.
What saved the 51-year-old woman and her 13 children was a chapel that sits near her small farm, and her plants.
Badocdoc says she believes in miracles, but only “if we care to make them happen.” The real miracle was her “mini forest” of mangroves, bananas, assorted vegetables, and lemon trees.
“The wind toppled my plants before knocking down the house,” recalls Badocdoc. “My forest kept us alive even as the typhoon destroyed it.”
From a window of the concrete chapel, the woman watched her plants trying to weather the storm. “It was sad to see them fall,” she says.
Like Badocdoc’s plants, her village was devastated by Haiyan; the strongest typhoon in recent history to have hit land.
Most of the houses on Manicani Island, which had over 500 households, were leveled by the strong winds and rain.
The village chapel became an emergency shelter for some 50 terrified men, women, and children.
Badocdoc’s family shared whatever they had — dry clothes, fruit from the garden, and space to sleep in — with their neighbors.
It took almost a week before help reached their shores.
After the devastation, not all were as “fortunate” as Badocdoc and her neighbors.
Rufina Loyola, also in her fifties, lost her hut. She tried to seek shelter in a neighbor’s concrete house with 15 other people, but it too was damaged by the typhoon.
“No one was hurt, but we were all shocked,” recalls Loyola. She described what was left of the neighborhood — a “sea of debris covered with sand and mud.”
“All the houses were gone and I could see nothing but a pile of trash,” says the woman.
Typhoon Haiyan claimed at least 6,300 lives and at least 2,000 others were declared missing. A “humanitarian crisis” was announced after an estimated two million people were left homeless.
‘Long-term reconstruction program’
After a thorough assessment of the disaster, the Philippine-Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI) decided to launch a “long-term reconstruction program.”
PMPI is a social development network of people’s organizations, faith-based groups, and Misereor, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Germany.
Yolanda Esguerra, PMPI national coordinator, says relief efforts developed into a post-disaster initiative that promotes a “sustainable island ecosystem” that is “disaster resilient.”
Tao-Pilipinas, a women-led organization of engineers, architects, and planners, introduced what they described as “risk-proof modern houses” that are designed to stand typhoons but are “not expensive to common people.”
Some 120 beneficiaries from the “most vulnerable sector” were given free shelter units that cost about US$5,700 each. Misereor funded the project with Christian Aid and Terres des Hommes.
In September 2015, Tao-Pilipinas turned over 40 houses to the beneficiaries on Manicani Island. On April 8, another 10 houses were handed over on nearby Homonhon Island.
PMPI aims to complete the building of the houses by July, but “we want to make sure that every structure will pass our strict quality evaluation,” says Francisco Paciencia, the organization’s project officer. Continue reading
“This Sunday Invites Us to Take Up Forcefully the Grace that Comes from God’s Mercy”
After the Regina Coeli
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Every Sunday we remember the Lord Jesus’ Resurrection, but in this season after Easter, this Sunday has an even more illuminating meaning. In the Church’s tradition, this Sunday, the first after Easter, was called “in albis.” What does this mean? The expression intended to recall the rite carried out by all those who received Baptism in the Easter Vigil. Each one of them was given a white garment – “alba” – ”white” — to indicate their new dignity as children of God. This is also done today: newborns are given a small symbolic dress, whereas adults put on a true and proper one, as we saw in the Easter Vigil. And, in the past, that white garment was worn for a week. until this Sunday, and from this stems the name in albis deponendis, which means the Sunday in which the white garment is taken off. And thus, the white garment removed, the neophytes began their new life in Christ and in the Church.
There is something else. In the Jubilee of the Year 2000, Saint John Paul II established that this Sunday be dedicated to the Divine Mercy. It is true, it was a beautiful intuition: it was the Holy Spirit that inspired him in this. A few months ago we concluded the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and this Sunday invites us to take up forcefully the grace that comes from God’s mercy. Today’s Gospel is the account of the Risen Jesus’ apparition to the disciples gathered in the Cenacle (cf. John 20:19-31). Saint John writes that, after greeting His disciples, Jesus said to them: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” Having said this, He made the gesture of breathing on them and added: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven” (vv. 21-23). See the meaning of mercy that is presented in fact on the day of Jesus’ Resurrection as forgiveness of sins. The Risen Jesus transmitted to His Church, as her first task, His same mission to take to all the concrete proclamation of forgiveness. This is the first task: to proclaim forgiveness. This visible sign of His mercy brings with it peace of heart and the joy of a renewed encounter with the Lord.
In the light of Easter, mercy is perceived as a true form of knowledge. And this is important: mercy is a true form of knowledge. We know that one knows through many ways. One knows through the senses, one knows through intuition, through reason and also other ways. Well, one can also know through the experience of mercy, because mercy opens the door of the mind to understand better the mystery of God and of our personal existence. Mercy makes us understand that violence, rancor, vengeance make no sense, and the first victim is the one who lives these sentiments, because he deprives himself of his dignity. Mercy also opens the door of the heart and enables us to express closeness especially to all those who are alone and marginalized, because it makes them feel brothers and children of one Father. It fosters the recognition of all those in need of consolation and makes us find the appropriate words to give them comfort.
Brothers and sisters, mercy warms the heart and makes it sensitive to the needs of brothers with sharing and participation. In sum, mercy commits all to be instruments of justice, reconciliation and peace. Let us never forget that mercy is the turnkey in the life of faith, and the concrete way with which we give visibility to Jesus’ resurrection.
May Mary, Mother of Mercy, help us to believe and live all this with joy.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Regina Coeli
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Yesterday the priest Luis Antonio Rosa Ormieres was proclaimed Blessed at Oviedo in Spain.
He lived in the 19th century and spent his many human and spiritual qualities at the service of education, and for this he founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Guardian Angel. May his example and his intercession help, in particular, all those who work in schools and in the educational field.
My heartfelt greeting to you all, Roman faithful and pilgrims from Italy and from many countries, in particular the Confraternity of Saint Sebastian of Kerkrade, the Netherlands; the Nigerian Catholic Secretariat and the Liebfrauen parish of Bocholt, Germany.
I greet the Polish pilgrims and express my earnest appreciation for the initiative of Caritas-Poland in support of many families in Syria. A special greeting goes to the devotees of Divine Mercy, gathered today in the church of the Holy Spirit in Sassia, as well as to the participants in the “Race for Peace”: a relay that starts today from this Square to reach Wittenberg in Germany.
I greet the numerous groups of youngsters, especially the Confirmed and the candidates for Confirmation – you are so many! –: of the Dioceses of Piacenza-Bobbio, Trento, Cuneo, Milan, Lodi, Cremona, Bergamo, Brescia and Vicenza, and also the “Masaccio” School of Treviso and the “San Carpoforo” Institute of Como.
Finally, I thank all those that in this period have sent Easter greeting messages. I return them from my heart invoking for each one and for every family the grace of the Risen Lord. Have a good Sunday and do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!
[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
As of March 2017
In line with our vision and mission of renewing the family and defending life, we stand alongside with our Mother Church, in condemning the passage of House Bill 4727, the Death Penalty Law1, in the lower house of Congress.
As an evangelistic and missionary community, we are tasked with renewing the family and defending life. Enshrined in our identity is the primordial duty to defend life in all its forms2. Further, to defend, preserve, strengthen, renew and celebrate faith, family and life. The imposition of the Death Penalty wreak havoc on our identity and mission. We point to the crucial need for evangelization and transformation in Christ, as the ultimate antidote to criminality.
It goes against our Core Value of Living a Preferential Option for the Poor3. Based on statistical evidence, the death penalty tilts more against the poor. There is real and apparent danger in convicting the innocent. Our imperfect criminal justice system can put to death innocent persons. It is cruel and inhuman. We intensify our work for helping uplift the lives of the poor through various moral and life-giving material interventions.
House Bill 4727, repeals the existing laws on Life Imprisonment or Reclusion Perpetua. Life Imprisonment renders the offender, the chance to renew his life in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church4 on the role of the State with regards to criminal offense vis-a-vis law and order, with a duty to redress the disorder due to the offense. Death Penalty nullifies any hope to renew the criminal’s life, more so for the State to redress the disorder in a humane way.
In conclusion, the passage of House Bill 4727, the Death Penalty Law, in the Lower House of Congress, defies who we are and what we do in CFC-FFL. We pledge to a deeper commitment to work on renewing the family across all sectors of society and work for the defense of life, in all its stages and forms.
1 AN ACT IMPOSING THE DEATH PENALTY ON CERTAIN HEINOUS CRIMES, REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9346, ENTITLED “AN ACT PROHIBITING THE IMPOSITION OF DEATH PENALTY IN THE PHILIPPINES”, AND FURTHER AMENDING ACT NO. 3815, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “THE REVISED PENAL CODE”, AND REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “COMPREHENSIVE DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT OF 2002”
2 We are called to defend life. The fight of this third millennium is all about the culture of death, which the anti-life, anti-family, radical homosexuals’ forces are imposing on society and the world. This is the final assault of the evil one, who wages all-out war on the Author of life. We have been thrust into this savage conflict, and we are to give our all in defending and promoting the culture of life. (CFC-FFL Document on Who We Are and What We Do)
3 We recognize Jesus’ mission to bring glad tidings to the poor (Lk 4:18). We look to both the spiritual and material upliftment of the least among our brethren. In doing so, we will be in solidarity with the poor by striving to live a simple lifestyle, to share our resources, and to fight for social justice in the world. (CFC-FFL Document on Core Values)
4 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2266 The State effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.
Failure to implement laws is allowing crimes and abuses against children to thrive
Hundreds of Filipino children are traumatized and abused by the fast money-making crime of cyber-sex.
This is the most obnoxious crime against helpless, vulnerable children. Filipino kids as young as 5 or 6 years old are abused over the internet.
It happens due to the failure of the Philippine government and internet service providers to implement laws.
The government’s social welfare secretary, Lorraine Badoy, recently posted a sarcastic comment on Facebook that Europeans should just watch porn and leave the country to run its business.
“Those in the EU just engage in online child pornography, because that’s what you are good at,” she wrote.
It was an ill-advised attempt to defend President Rodrigo Duterte from criticism by EU officials over the president’s deadly war on illegal drugs.
Badoy was being sarcastic and facetious in addressing the critics of the president. But many people view it as insensitive and inappropriate and trivializes the sexual abuse of children.
EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said the “issue of child pornography is extremely serious and a grave crime. It should be addressed in a serious and responsible manner.”
The incident has a good side. It has brought attention to the outrageous demand and supply of images of Filipino children being sexually abused.
The Philippine official is only too aware of the massive demand for live streaming of images of Filipino children being sexually abused online.
But the blame cannot be laid solely at the door of those demanding the crime be committed so they can view it but also on the child sex abusers, the suppliers, and the enablers back in the Philippines, including the pimps and cyber criminals and traffickers and the internet providers.
The government itself seems to be not enforcing the law. Telephone companies are violating the law by not having filters in place.
Duterte ought to investigate and threaten these violators. He ought to have a war against child porn and cyber-sex too.
The Philippine police are all too aware that Filipinos have hundreds if not thousands of small cyber-sex dens. They also know there are parents and relatives and neighbors exposing children, some as young as 5 years old, to pedophiles online.
It is a billion dollar global cyber-crime business. Continue reading
Easter message by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis
My family began with the migration of a child. My maternal grandfather was born in China. His mother was very poor so she sent her son with a relative who travelled to the Philippines – and that’s where I was born and grew up.
Migration is a chance for people to bloom as human beings. It is a chance for them to create a better life for themselves and future generations. Even though destructive forces such as war and poverty disrupt human and family life, migration shows us the nobility of the human spirit. Like Christ on his journey to the cross, migration pushes people beyond their physical and mental borders, it stretches their capacities and takes them through deserts of loneliness and rejection. But people bear this journey of sacrifice for a noble cause.
We mustn’t forget that people have the right to migrate and choose the place where they feel they can flourish. But they also have a right not to migrate and live a dignified life at home. Many people would like to stay in their countries and villages where they were born, as I’m sure my grandfather wanted to, but when your homeland is torn apart by war or quite simply can’t offer you a job and a stable life you find yourself making the hardest of choices.
If there is one blessing to being called to the presidency of Caritas Internationalis it is to meet with refugees and migrants, especially those in detention. It has brought into sharp focus the suffering that human beings can inflict on each other. Wars and hatred have become systemic in some parts of the world, destroying human lives and communities.
Those who migrate show us in “living colour” the consequences of hatred and division and bias and prejudice. We must never forget the inalienable dignity and worth of each of these people. We are called to promote the common good of our global human family, not just the good of our own families or countries. Migrants are living reminders to be stewards of creation and to change unjust systems as many of them are victims of climate change or poverty caused when the Earth’s resources aren’t shared equitably.
In migrants we also have the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of the person and explore the depths of love and of caring that people such as Caritas volunteers and also communities are capable of. No sorrow, no pain, no tiredness, no weariness can totally remove from the human heart generosity, compassion and nobility.
Meeting migrants in all their difficulties, and hearing about their hopes and dreams, has caused me to ask myself what’s really important to me. Things I used to consider essential now pale in comparison to the values of human dignity, life, family, the future and the next generations. I hope the global migration and refugee situation might lead the whole world in a corporate examination of consciousness and also of our value systems.
We understand that each country goes through its own pains and its own struggles. There is the temptation to say “Why should we respond to the needs of these people when we have our own needs to address?” People may say, “charity begins at home” but we need to remind them that it shouldn’t end at home. We can expand ‘home’. Continue reading
Where are your old phones? Do they go back to the mountains, whence they came? Do we reuse the minerals that may have displaced communities in order to be obtained?
Tell us your E-Scrap story.
Ekstraktib, derived from the English word extractive, means something that is capable or tending toward withdrawal of natural resources by extraction.
The Ekstraktib Music and Arts Fair is a part of the relaunching of End Up Better Campaign: An Advocacy for E-scrap and Metals Recycling by the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) as an ALTERNATIVE TO MINING.
Through a music and arts fair, the campaign hopes to arouse public consciousness on the importance of recycling minerals from e_scrap materials to ease the burden of extraction from forests and mountains.
It also hopes to raise awareness of the undisclosed environmental and human effects of modern and competetive electronic production that leads to an even more massive mineral extraction to meet the demands of the market.
It also aims to promote the idea of being a responsible consumer by popularizing the idea of “Sapat Dapat,” or sustainable lifestyle as means to help save the environment from too much mineral extraction and waste production.
The campaign initiated a study conducted by UP Diliman College of Mass Communication Professor Eulalio R. Guieb III on the viability of metal recycling from cellular phones. The study confirmed that given specific design, precious metals from cellular phones may be mined or recycled. It also noted the potential of mining metals from electronics and electrical equipment (EEE) may produce significant volume that would come close to the volume of metals produced through mining. The study was funded and initiated by PMPI.
This initiative will target mostly urban communities in Metro Manila and other key cities in the Philippines where e-waste issues are most prevalent.
The fair will be highlighting activities promoting e-scrap recycling and management. It also aims to facilitate understanding of environment and social impacts of e-wastes through art and creativity. Rap battles, poetry readings, and musical performances will showcase rhymes, poems, verses, songs, and musical pieces that push for environmental causes.
Kids will also be invited to join a poster-making contest, while an arts booth welcomes anyone who’s willing to share their take on the issue while showing their artistic talents.
Key features of the event include Fair of Ideas, where several testimonies and talks will be shared, coming from communities from all walks of life that are involved and affected by this issue. An exhibit will showcase ideas, data, and informative tidbits through creative infographics and artworks.
The activity will be held in an open area, where people are very much welcome to visit and spare few moments of their time to enjoy and learn at the same time.
More importantly, the event aims to be a venue of connection among communities who are passionate about issues on e-waste and of our environment.
17 April 2017
Warm greetings of peace!
In line with our advocacy against mining in the country, the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) will be relaunching its E-scrap campaign through an interactive music and arts fair a, day before the Earth Day Celebration.
Through this activity, we hope to create public awareness to the communities the undisclosed environmental and human cost of producing innovative electronics. Alongside this, it also aims to promote the idea of being a responsible consumer by popularizing the idea of “Sapat Dapat’” lifestyle as a means to help save the environment from too much mineral extraction and waste production.
It is within this context that we write to you.
We would like to invite you to our “EKSTRaktib” Music and Arts Fair on April 21, 2017. Key features of the event include a Fair of Ideas (FOI) where several testimonies and talks from representatives of different organizations pushing towards environmental consciousness will be shared. The FOI will be held at the Audio Visual Room (AVR) of Malate Church from 1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
A music fair will also follow at the Church Grounds where musical performances and rap battles will take place from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Through the use of artistry and creativity, the fair aims to help raise consciousness the importance of E-scrap/Ewaste recycling and the growing issues of the environment. We will be having photo exhibit, as well, showing the same theme.
A poster-making contest will be hosted for the youth in the morning.
You may contact Jen Moling at 09228501875 or Joy Quito at 09195097297 for further details. You may also look into the other attachments for more information.
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the event. Thank you very much!
PMPI AMC Project Officer
Yolanda R. Esguerra
PMPI National Coordinator
Benham Rise is one of the most exciting things that have happened in our country recently. Imagine, an area approximately the size of Luzon added to our territory! it is supposed to be rich in oil and natural gas but again, as if the Lord is teasing us, it is also rich in marine biological resources! What to prioritize?
To listen and to see a video on the fantastic beauty of Benham Rise, please come to
Kamayan para sa Kalikasan Forum with the theme
“The Beauty and Riches of Benham Rise”
on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 10:30 am-1:30pm
at Kamayan Restaurant on EDSA ( near Ortigas Ave., across the gate of Corinthian Gardens subdivision).
Our partner for this session is Oceana Philippines. Oceana is a non-profit international organization dedicated solely to protecting the oceans. it has offices in several countries among which is the Philppines.
Speakers will be Jimley Flores, Senior Marine Scientist, Marianne Saniano, Marine scientist, and Gregg Yan, Director of Communications
This Kamayan is organized every third Friday of the month by Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy together with SALIKA.
We thank Kamayan Restaurant which has been supporting this Forum as part of the company’s environmental advocacy for the past 25 years.
Angelina P. Galang
Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy
Environment and Sustainable Economy