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‘Respect Historical Integrity, Respect Church Property’

CBCP News - 4 hours 53 min ago

Statement of the Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese of Borongan on Senate Resolution 965 Seeking to Transfer of One Balangiga Bell to the National Museum


We, the Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese of Borongan collectively OBJECT TO and STRONGLY STAND AGAINST the transfer of one or all of the Bells of Balangiga from their historical and rightful habitat, which is the Parish Church of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr, in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, Diocese of Borongan.

We recognize the national significance of the bells. We likewise desire that they be correctly appreciated by all Filipinos, in particular by the young and also by the future generations. But just as we do not transfer Jose Rizal’s family mementoes from the Rizal residence in Calamba to Manila, nor do we move from Kawit, Cavite the artifacts of the First Philippine Republic, neither should we transfer any or all of the Balangiga Bells from their historical and rightful location: namely, the Roman Catholic Parish Church of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr. Any effort aimed at such a transfer is a disrespectful mangling of history and the right of the Catholic faithful of Balangiga to their private property. The Balangiga Encounter at which the bells played a role happened in Balangiga. It is only right that they be returned to Balangiga and stay in Balangiga.

The Balangiga Bells are sacramentals, that is, they are also sacred artifacts that call the faithful to prayer and worship. But they especially call them to the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the highest form of prayer and worship for Catholics. Therefore, they belong in the Church, not in a museum.

Senate Resolution 965 does violence to history and the sacred character and purpose of the Balangiga Bells. It must be rejected.


Bishop of Borongan
13 December 2018

Historian confirms: Franciscans made Balangiga bells

CBCP News - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 23:05

American soldiers who survived the 1901 attack on Balangiga by locals pose with one of the historic bells. 

By Carl Jaime Bordeos

Dec. 12, 2018


Dr. Rolando O. Borrinaga, a member of the Balangiga research group, confirmed in an exclusive interview with CBCP News that three of the bells returning to the historic town of Balangiga in Eastern Samar are of Franciscan origin.

“The 1853, 1889, and 1895 bells have the Franciscan coat of arms,” said Borrinaga, author of the book The Balangiga Conflict Revisited published in 2003.

Origins of the bells

Borrinaga, who is also a full professor at UP Manila School of Health Sciences, said: “The town probably took years to raise funds to acquire its first church bell. This might have been the large 1853 bell.”

Information coming from the Samar Archaeological Museum and the Cantius Kobak Research Center located at Christ the King College in Calbayog City, Samar, said it was in 1854 when the church in Balangiga was dedicated to San Lorenzo de Martir, with a Franciscan, Fr. Manuel Valverde, as the first priest to be assigned there.

According to Borrinaga, the town acquired its second bell, a medium-sized one, in 1889, through the initiative of Fr. Agustin Delgado, whose name is inscribed on the relic.

250 years of Franciscan mission

In 1895, Balangiga acquired its third and smallest bell through the initiative of Fr. Bernardo Aparicio. This 1895 bell was initially believed to be the lone bell that was rung during the attack on Company C, 9th US Infantry Regiment, in Balangiga on Sept. 28, 1901.

“R. Francisco,” the phrase inscribed on the bell, probably stands for “Religioso de San Francisco,” the name of a religious order and or the foundry that cast the bell.

The first batch of thirteen Franciscans arrived in Samar island in 1768, or exactly 250 years ago. During their mission, the Franciscans eventually founded parishes in Samar, and one of these was the historic town of Balangiga in Eastern Samar. 

December 13, 2018

CBCP News - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 21:11
Memorial of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr

Reading 1 IS 41:13-20

I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I will help you.”
Fear not, O worm Jacob,
O maggot Israel;
I will help you, says the LORD;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
I will make of you a threshing sledge,
sharp, new, and double-edged,
To thresh the mountains and crush them,
to make the hills like chaff.
When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off
and the storm shall scatter them.
But you shall rejoice in the LORD,
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the desert into a marshland,
and the dry ground into springs of water.
I will plant in the desert the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
I will set in the wasteland the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Responsorial Psalm PS 145:1 AND 9, 10-11, 12-13AB

R. (8) The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.

I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.

R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.

R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Let them make known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.

R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.

Alleluia SEE IS 45:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let the clouds rain down the Just One,
and the earth bring forth a Savior.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 11:11-15

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now,
the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force.
All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
And if you are willing to accept it,
he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Today's Readings Homilies

December 12, 2018

CBCP News - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 21:53
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Reading 1 ZEC 2:14-17

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.

Or RV 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB

God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.”

Responsorial Psalm JUDITH 13:18BCDE, 19

R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.

Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.

R. You are the highest honor of our race.

Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

Or LK 1:39-47

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

Today's Readings Homilies

Everyone must respect the basic human rights of all human beings, pope says

CBCP News - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 21:03

Pope Francis prays at the base of a Marian statue at the Spanish Steps in observance of the feast of the Immaculate Conception in Rome Dec. 8. PAUL HARING/CNS

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

December 11, 2018

VATICAN— The fundamental rights of all human beings, especially the most vulnerable, must be respected and protected in every situation, Pope Francis said, marking Human Rights Day, Dec. 10.

“While a part of humanity lives in opulence, another part sees their dignity denied, ignored or infringed upon and their fundamental rights ignored or violated,” he said.

Such a contradiction leads one to ask “whether the equal dignity of all human beings — solemnly proclaimed 70 years ago — is truly recognized, respected, protected and promoted in every circumstance,” he said in a written message.

The message was read aloud by Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, at a Dec. 10-11 conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University discussing the “achievements, omissions and negations” in the world of human rights today.

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 10, 1948. It detailed core principles that guaranteed the fundaments rights of every person.

In his message, Pope Francis said, “numerous forms of injustice” still exist in the world today, which seems to have no qualms about exploiting, rejecting and even killing human beings.

Those whose basic human rights continue to be violated, he said, include: the unborn, who are “denied the right to come into the world”; those who lack the necessary means to live a decent life; those who are denied an adequate education; those who lack work or are forced to work in slave-like conditions; those who are detained in inhumane conditions, who are tortured or are denied the possibility of redeeming their lives; and victims of “forced disappearances” and their families.

In addition, he said, there are those who live “in an atmosphere dominated by suspicion and disdain, who are the targets of acts of intolerance, discrimination and violence because of their race, ethnicity, nationality or religion.”

“Finally,” the pope wrote, “I cannot forget all those who are subjected to multiple violations of their fundamental rights in the tragic context of armed conflict while the unscrupulous merchants of death get rich off the price of their brother and sisters’ blood.”

Everyone is called to play his or her part “with courage and determination” to stop those ongoing violations of basic human rights and promote respect for the fundamental rights of every person, “especially those who are ‘invisible,’ those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, foreign or detained, those who live on the margins of society or are rejected.”

Pope Francis appealed to all world leaders “to put human rights at the center of their policies,” including policies concerning development, “even when that means going against the tide.”

Speaking at the conference, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said the declaration was intended to “combine the values of humanity with the formulations of rights” to prevent violence and eliminate inequality.

“It is not just a question of defining rights on the basis of abstract peaceful coexistence or environmental or climate-based sustainability, but of reflecting on the basic criteria for coexistence between people,” Cardinal Parolin said.

However, he said, there are signs that the shared values that were once the fabric of the document are unraveling, so the world must have “the courage to rewrite legislation to bring values back to the center.”

The cardinal, like other Catholic commentators on the universal declarations’ 70th anniversary, noted the push for a recognition of new rights, such as abortion or euthanasia.

Perhaps, he said, what is needed is a dialogue about values. “Words like dignity, liberty and responsibility are already in the language and aspirations of the human family; in fact, without them, it is not possible to speak of human rights” or hope for the conditions of peace, security, development and cooperation that should flow from a universal recognition of human rights.

“Perhaps the time has come to launch a broad reflection and consultation in the church on human rights, indeed I would say almost on the future of humankind, becoming aware that the classic question, ‘Who are you?’ has been replaced by the highly insidious one: ‘What rights do you want to have?'” Cardinal Parolin said.

In Brussels, Pax Christi International marked the anniversary of the human rights declaration, saying the current period in history is a time to celebrate its achievements and to examine current challenges to its implementation.

“We have become acutely aware from our partners and friends that human rights and those who seek to protect them are increasingly under attack,” a statement from the Catholic peace organization said. “The tireless guardians of these universal rights are faced with a shrinking space in which to do their work.”

Despite the challenges, the organization said it remained hopeful because human rights defenders and people working to protect the environment and toward disarmament “remain steadfast in their nonviolent struggle.”

The anniversary gave Pax Christi the opportunity to reiterate its calls to end violence and violent conflicts to stop human rights violations; eliminate nuclear weapons as a human rights issue; demand safeguards for human rights in areas in the mining of vital metal and fuels; support civil society in their nonviolence work for human rights; support the 2030 time frame for the sustainable development goals as a key factor in advancing human rights.

Bishops see return of Balangiga bells as path to healing

CBCP News - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 20:07

After 117 years, the bells will now be returned to their rightful place in the St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish Church in Balangiga, Eastern Samar. ROY LAGARDE

By Roy Lagarde

December 11, 2018

Manila, Philippines

Catholic bishops welcomed the return of the three Balangiga church bells taken by the US soldiers as war booty more than a century ago.

Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the return of the bells is an opportunity to understand history better with a “mature perspective”.

“It also demonstrates that the path to healing and reconciliation may be arduous but is never impossible,” Valles said.

The bells were flown home to Manila Tuesday, four months after the US decided to return the church artifacts.

The bells were officially turned over by US ambassador Sung Kim to the Philippine government led by Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana in a ceremony held at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

The church bells were taken by the US forces as war trophies in the aftermath of the Balangiga massacre during the Philippine-American War in 1901.

The bells were rung to signal an attack by native bolo fighters that almost wiped out US soldiers. It was said to be the worst single defeat of the US army during the war at the turn of the century.

It was followed by the deaths of thousands of Balangiga residents, mostly civilians 10 years old and above, when the American soldiers retaliated with a “kill-and-burn” policy.

One of the bells was kept in the US military base in South Korea while the two others were brought to an air base in Wyoming.

“After 117 years, the bells shall now be returned to their rightful place in the Parish of St. Lawrence the Martyr in Balangiga,” said Valles.

It’s a “priceless religious treasure”, he said, considering the bells’ value to the history of the Church in the country.

Balangiga is a coastal town in the province of Eastern Samar.

The Diocese of Borongan and the parishioners of St. Lawrence thanked all those individuals and groups who have worked, lobbied and prayed for the return of the bills.

“Please be assured that we will return the bells to their original religious purpose— and care and cherish them as a precious legacy of the profound faith, heroism and courage of our forebears,” they said.

The bishops also thanked the US government in finally bringing back the bells, “giving ourselves the the experience of a deeper sense of justice and respect” and “letting our friendship grow stronger”.

At one part of the handover ceremony at the Villamor Airbase, Msgr. Pedro Quitorio of the Borongan diocese’s committee for the bells’ return, led the symbolic tolling of bell and a moment of silence for those who perished during the war.

Balangiga church bells back in PH

CBCP News - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:58

By Roy Lagarde
December 11, 2018

Philippine Airforce personel unload one of the three Balangiga bells after they arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Tuesday.

Cardinal Tagle’s ‘Patron of the Arts’ concert highlights youth

CBCP News - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 22:13

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has been holding the “Patron of the Arts” concert for several years now with the goal of promoting art expressions, paintings, sculpture, music, architecture among the faithful. CARDINAL TAGLE’S FB PAGE

By CBCP News

Dec. 10, 2018

MANILA –To celebrate the Catholic Church in the Philippines’ celebration of the “Year of the Youth,” this year’s “Patron of the Arts, An evening with the Cardinal: Year of the Youth 2019 fundraising concert will feature several young, up-and-coming talents.

A joint project of Jesuit Communications Foundation Inc. (JesCom) and the Archdiocese of Manila, the event is on Dec. 12, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. at the Meralco Theater, Pasig City.

Headlining the stellar cast of performers in this year’s Christmas musicale are:

  • Quezon City Performing Arts Development Program
  • Kilyawan Choir
  • Voces Aurorae Girls Choir
  • Broadway Boys
  • mother and daughter tandem Pinky and Karel Marquez
  • indie singer-rapper Curtismith
  • Families for Truth, Justice, and Peace
  • APO Hiking Society’s Jim Paredes and Buboy Garovillo
  • Kapuso child star Ryza Mae Dizon

“Upholding the beloved Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle’s praise of the Church as the “the repository of so much art expressions, paintings, sculpture, music, architecture”, the seventh edition of ‘Patron of the Arts’ celebrates the extraordinary, God-given artistic talents of today’s youth,” reads a JesCom press release.

The organizers are also set to recognize educator and theater artist Dr. Onofre  R. Pagsanghan as a “Patron of the Arts’” 2018 awardee. “The ageless Pagsanghan’s enduring teaching career and pioneering development of acclaimed theater group Dulaang Sibol, has inspired and guided countless generations of talented young Filipino men,” noted JesCom in the said press release.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit the formation initiatives of the Archdiocese of Manila Commission on the Youth, such as campus ministry programs, parish youth ministry, and youth-oriented organizations. 

“Year of the Youth 2019” is part of the 9-year long preparation for 2021, the 500th anniversary of the coming of Christianity to the Philippines. The international activities for the youth will then culminate at the “World Youth Day” this January 2019 in Panama.

Tickets for “Patron of the Arts 2018” are now available at Tanging Yaman Store, Sonolux Building, Seminary Drive, Ateneo de Manila University. For inquiries, interested parties may call (02) 426-5971 local 121 or 0908-886-8447.

December 11, 2018

CBCP News - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 21:00
Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

Reading 1 IS 40:1-11

Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
The rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

A voice says, “Cry out!”
I answer, “What shall I cry out?”
“All flesh is grass,
and all their glory like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower wilts,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it.
So then, the people is the grass.
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
the word of our God stands forever.”

Go up onto a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
Cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
Here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
Carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

Responsorial Psalm PS 96:1-2, 3 AND 10AC, 11-12, 13

R. (see Isaiah 40:10ab) The Lord our God comes with power.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.

R. The Lord our God comes with power.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king;
he governs the peoples with equity.

R. The Lord our God comes with power.

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice.

R. The Lord our God comes with power.

They shall exult before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.

R. The Lord our God comes with power.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The day of the Lord is near:
Behold, he comes to save us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
“What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”

Today's Readings Homilies

Researchers find ‘evidence of genocide’ against Rohingya

CBCP News - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 19:42

Cardinal Tagle, president of Caritas International, visits Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, Dec. 3, 2018. Caritas Bangladesh

By Courtney Grogan

December 10, 2018

Chittagong, Bangladesh

As new evidence emerges of atrocities committed in Burma’s Rakhine state, the president of Caritas International visited Monday a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh.

In 2017 the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group, faced a sharp increase in state-sponsored violence in Burma, also known as Myanmar. The violence reached levels that led the United Nations to declare the crisis “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled across the border to Bangladesh, and are living in refugee camps, many of which are located in a swampy sort of “buffer zone” along the border between the two countries.

Researchers with the Public International Law and Policy Group, contracted by the U.S. State Department to investigate Burma’s treatment of the Rohingya, found “reasonable grounds to believe that genocide was committed against the Rohingya,” in a report published Dec. 3.

The researchers interviewed more than 1,000 refugees, who shared their experiences of “mass shootings, aerial bombardments, gang rapes and severe beatings, torture and burning” by Burma’s armed forces.

Seventy percent of the Rohingya interviewed had witnessed their homes or villages being destroyed and 80 percent witnessed the killing of a family member, friend, or personal acquaintance.
Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila visited Kutupalong refugee camp, more than 100 miles south of Chittagong, Dec. 3, describing it as “a cry to the whole world for a better politics based on compassion and solidarity.”

“When will we learn our lessons and be able to stop a crisis of this magnitude happening again? How as an international community and a human family can we get back to the basics of dignity, care and compassion?” continued Tagle.

The Filipino cardinal is the president of Caritas International, a group that has served the Rohingya refugee population since the crisis began.

Caritas has helped nearly 500,000 refugees by providing shelter, water, sanitation, hygiene, and living supplies.

“The situation of refugees from Myanmar was heartbreaking for me when I came first, but I’m seeing things improve,” Tagle said. “We wish for a permanent solution for these people who are stateless and helpless. It is our responsibility to be with them. We want them to have a happy life.”

Tagle found particular hope in seeing the efforts of the Caritas Bangladesh volunteers and staff to help the refugees during the Advent season.

“Here I am this first week of Advent with a people waiting for a future,” Tagle said. “For us Advent is waiting not for something but for someone. Jesus, who was born poor, who became a refugee but who never stops loving. I hope this message coming from this camp will encourage all of us never to get tired of loving.”

Bangladesh and Burma have agreed to a repatriation program which began last month, but few if any Rohingya have chosen to return to their homeland.

The Burmese government refused to use the term Rohingya, and considers them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. They have been denied citizenship and numerous other rights since a controversial law was enacted in 1982.

Nicaraguan priest attacked with acid during confession

CBCP News - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 19:19

The flag of Nicaragua

Catholic News Agency

December 10, 2018

Managua, Nicaragua

Father Mario Guevara was injured in an acid attack Wednesday while hearing confessions in the cathedral of Managua.

Elis Leonidovna Gonn, a 24 year old Russian citizen, threw sulfuric acid on the 59 year old priest Dec. 5.

Fr. Guevara was taken to hospital to be treated for severe burns to his face, arms, and shoulders.

The Archdiocese of Managua has said the priest is now in stable condition, has been discharged, and will continue his treatment at home.

“We deplore this act because we priests are there to provide a service and this pains us very much: that they would attack a priest in this way because they attacked his health,” Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes of Managua told the media.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Mangua, Silvio Báez, deplored the attack and expressed his solidarity with Fr. Guevara. “I accompany him with my love as a brother and I offer my prayers for his complete recovery. Jesus and his Most Holy Mother protect our priests!” the prelate wrote on Twitter.

The attack comes amid tension between the Church in Nicaragua and the country’s government.

Protests against president Daniel Ortega which began April 18 have resulted in more than 300 deaths, according to local human rights groups. The country’s bishops have mediated on-again, off-again peace talks between the government and opposition groups.

The Church in Nicaragua was quick to acknowledge the protesters’ complaints, which quickly turned to Ortega’s authoritarian bent.

Ortega has been president of Nicaragua since 2007, and oversaw the abolition of presidential term limits in 2014.

The Church has suggested that elections, which are not scheduled until 2021, be held in 2019, but Ortega has ruled this out.

Ortega was a leader in the Sandinista National Liberation Front, which had ousted the Somoza dictatorship in 1979 and fought US-backed right-wing counterrevolutionaries during the 1980s. Ortega was also leader of Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990.


Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16

A Shield for Families

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Tom Tracy
The Order's fraternal benefits help families find security for themselves and future generations

Ethics and Profitability

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
Catholic social teaching and Father McGivney’s vision demonstrate that a business can be both ethical and successful

All in a Day’s Work

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Gerald Korson
Knights of Columbus agents respond to a call to help others secure their financial future and plan for the unexpected

My Brother’s Keeper

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
Charity and unity, not selfishness and relativism, provide the basis for economic stability

Morality, Freedom and Human Dignity

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori
Christian life and morality lead to, rather than take away from, true freedom and happiness

A Pope's Invitation to Youth

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Amy Welborn
During the five years of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI has frequently addressed the deepest desires and concerns of young people.

The John Paul II Generation

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Columbia Staff
John Paul II inspired countless young people in their love for life and pursuit of truth.

Scouts and Knights, a 'key relationship'

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Mike Latona
The Order’s support of the Boy Scouts of America continues as Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary.
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