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Official News Service of the Media Office of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
Updated: 57 min 2 sec ago

Priest: ‘Real Christians have social concern’

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 19:56

Caption: Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Media Office director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III during the Catholic Social Media Summit v. 7 at Sienna College, Quezon City, Nov. 17, 2018. MICHAEL DALOGDOG

By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz

November 17, 2018

Quezon City, Philippines

Many Filipino Catholics may be guilty of a fake version of Christianity – one devoid of social concern.

This is what CBCP Media Office director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III said during this year’s Catholic Social Media Summit at Sienna College in Quezon City.

“Our brand of religiosity right now is devoid of social concern. That’s why when someone is being killed we clap. It’s gone, even morals is getting affected,” he said.

A ‘different Christ’

Quitorio, who is also the president of Areopagus Communications, blasted what he calls “religion without ecclesiology,” faith that is focused on the externals but is not concerned about social ills.

“We have so many religious people, but it might be a different Christ [they have]. It might be the Christ of the cockpit,” he said.

According to the priest, who hails from Samar, Christians cannot remain indifferent to their fellowmen and to the country.

“The fruit of prayer is social concern. The fruit of evangelization is social concern,” he stressed during the session, which was inspired by Matthew 6:33, “Strive first for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

The political game-changer

During the session, Quitorio also talked about how public opinion is being shaped by social media in ways never seen before.

“Why will a president will win without using TV, without using newspaper. He only used FB… He got 16 million [votes],” he said, noting how the internet is transforming business and politics.

Quitorio said that governments are turning to internet platforms to exert influence over the flow of information and communication channels to shape public opinion.

“It’s all that matters. You can get elected if you get public opinion even if you are a corrupt candidate,” he said.

More than 150 delegates from dioceses, schools, and organizations from Metro Manila, Palawan, Pampanga, Bulacan, among others, attended the CSMS.

Duterte not entirely to blame for anti-Church comments, says priest

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 15:08

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Media Office director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio gives the first session of the Catholic Social Media Summit v. 7 at Sienna College, Quezon City, Nov. 17, 2018. MICHAEL DALOGDOG

By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz

November 17, 2018

Quezon City, Philippines

Despite what many perceive to be President Rodrigo Duterte’s consistently anti-Church comments, a priest believes he should not entirely be blamed for not knowing what the Catholic Church does.

“I don’t entirely blame the president [for this anti-Church comments] because he is just one of the millions of Filipinos who don’t know what the Church does,” Msgr. Pedro Quitorio,  CBCP Media Office director,  said at the Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS) v.7 at Sienna College in this city on Saturday.

Playing an audio recording of one of the President’s tirades against the Church and its hierarchy, Quitorio asked the CSMS attendees if Duterte’s comments made them angry or happy.

The priest revealed that Duterte’s attacks against the Church is actually a much-needed reality check.

‘The real score’

“Me, I’m happy [about the President’s comments.] It gives me the real score. We are doing so much in the Church but the people don’t know,” he stressed during the first session of the CSMS, “Strive first for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” (Mt 6:33).

Quitorio, who also heads Areopagus Communications, said the public does not know what happens to Mass collections, for example, or that the Catholic Church built 30,000 houses for super typhoon Yolanda survivors.

“Who would know that that is what we do? I should know, because I’m from [a] ‘Yolanda’ area, I’m from Region 8. How many [houses] did the government do?” he said.

Billions in aid

According to Quitorio, people don’t know that the Catholic Church is easily the largest and greatest charity agency in the world because by nature it does not self promote.

“Nobody knows, nobody posts,” he added.

The Catholic Church, through its umbrella organization of Catholic charities all over the world, Caritas Internationalis, headed by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, allocated Php3.2 billion, helping 1.8 million people affected by typhoon “Yolanda.”

Pope makes surprise visit to mobile clinic in St. Peter’s Square

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 09:32

Pope Francis greets a man as he makes a surprise visit to a free health clinic for the needy in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Nov. 16. The clinic was open for a week in advance of the Nov. 18 observabce of World Day for the Poor. JUNNO AROCHO ESTEVES/CNS

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Catholic News Service

November 17, 2018

VATICAN— Pope Francis made a surprise visit to a mobile health care facility set up in St. Peter’s Square to serve the city’s homeless and poor.

Entering the square from under Bernini’s colonnade Nov. 16, the pope walked to the makeshift medical center accompanied by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Tourists and pilgrims in the square were caught off-guard by the pope’s arrival, immediately snapping pictures and reaching out to shake the pope’s hand.

Arriving at the mobile clinic, the pope was welcomed with applause and cheers from the doctors, medical staff and patients. The pope remained 15 minutes and was given a tour of the medical center before walking back to his residence inside the Vatican.

The medical facility, which was to be open Nov. 12-18, was part of an initiative organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization in conjunction with Pope Francis’ celebration Nov. 18 of the World Day of the Poor.

A similar clinic was set up last year, but this year it offered extended morning and evening hours. Anyone in need could find general and specialist care, including cardiology, dermatology, gynecology and ophthalmology.

Doctors volunteering from Rome hospitals or other health clinics and nurses from the Italian Red Cross took shifts running laboratory tests and seeing patients from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

November 17, 2018

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 21:00
Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

Reading 1 3 JN 5-8

Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers and sisters,
especially for strangers;
they have testified to your love before the Church.
Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.
For they have set out for the sake of the Name
and are accepting nothing from the pagans.
Therefore, we ought to support such persons,
so that we may be co-workers in the truth.

Responsorial Psalm PS 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.

R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.

R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.

R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia SEE 2 THES 2:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called us through the Gospel,
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.'”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Today's Readings Homilies

Church builds more than 30,000 houses for Yolanda victims

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 17:40

This Caritas village is now home to more than 50 families in Basey, Samar.

By Roy Lagarde

November 16, 2018

Manila, Philippines

Official figures show that the Catholic Church built more than 30,000 homes in different provinces devastated by the Philippines’ deadliest typhoon on record.

The figures were announced Friday during Caritas Philippines’ commemoration of the 5th anniversary of typhoon Yolanda in Palo, Leyte.

Started in 2014, the church’s 3-year rehabilitation program focused on shelter, livelihood, water, sanitation and health, community organizing, community-managed risk reduction, ecosystems recovery and institutional capacity building.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Caritas Philippines’ Executive Secretary, said that Caritas Internationalis was instrumental in ensuring not only funds but also experts in the fields of recovery and rehabilitation.

“That is why we were able to accomplish so many things,” Gariguez said.

“In 2013, we at Caritas Philippines didn’t even thought that we’ll be capable of implementing what would be the Church’s most massive, largest-funded and most comprehensive humanitarian response,” he quipped.

The number of houses built does not include yet the shelter projects of various religious congregations and other church-based groups.

The priest said each of the Caritas organization doing bilateral programs in the dioceses ensured collaboration, thus maximizing all available resources, reaching more than 1.4 million Filipinos.

He was referring to Caritas Internationalis member organizations namely, Catholic Relief Service, Caritas Switzerland, Caritas Italiana, Caritas Belgium, Caritas Germany, Development and Peace (D&P), Caritas Austria, and Cordaid.

He added that being able to able to build thousands of houses speak of the dedication and commitment of the Church “to better the lives and restore the dignity” of typhoon victims.

“We are very proud of this accomplishment, yet humbled by the experience,” Gariguez stressed.

The houses were constructed in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Easter Samar, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique and other areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.

The Church’s over-all Caritas response amounted to more than P3.2 billion.

Encore: Listen to those in need, pope says in World Day of Poor message

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 16:46

A boy rides his bike in the streets of Tacloban, Philippines, in this 2014 file photo. The World Day of the Poor — to be marked each year on the 33rd Sunday of ordinary time — will be celebrated Nov. 18. TYLER ORSBURN/CNS

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

November 16, 2018

VATICAN— How is it that God in heaven can hear the cries of the poor, but so many people watching or standing nearby either cannot or just do not care, Pope Francis asked.

People must make “a serious examination of conscience to understand whether we are really capable of listening to the poor,” the pope said in a message for the World Day of the Poor.

The recently established commemoration and the period of reflection and action preceding it are meant to give Christians a chance to follow Christ’s example and concretely share a moment of love, hope and respect together with those in need in one’s community, the pope said in the message dated June 13, the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint of the poor. The Vatican released the message to the public June 14.

The World Day of the Poor — to be marked each year on the 33rd Sunday of ordinary time — will be celebrated Nov. 18 this year and will focus on a verse from Psalm 34, “This poor one cried out and the Lord heard.”

“We can ask ourselves, how is it this cry, which reaches all the way to God, is unable to penetrate our ears and leaves us indifferent and impassive?” the pope asked in his message.

To become aware of people’s suffering and know how best to respond with love, people must learn to be silent and listen, the pope said.

“If we speak too much ourselves, we will be unable to hear them,” he said.

That is often what happens when otherwise important and needed initiatives are carried out more as a way to please oneself “than to really acknowledge the cry of the poor,” he said.

“We are so entrapped in a culture which forces us to look in the mirror” and unduly “pamper ourselves,” he said. Such people come to believe their act of altruism is enough without having to feel any empathy or the need to sacrifice or “endanger” themselves directly.

Nobody seeks poverty or its many forms, which include marginalization, persecution and injustice, the pope said.

Poverty “is caused by selfishness, pride, greed and injustice. These are evils as old as humanity, but also sins in which the innocents are caught up, leading to consequences on the social level, which are dramatic,” he said.

“God’s answer to the poor is always an intervention of salvation in order to heal the wounds of body and soul, restore justice and assist in beginning anew to live life with dignity. God’s answer is also an appeal in order that those who believe in him can do the same,” he added.

The World Day of the Poor is meant to be a small contribution that the whole church can make so the poor may know their cries have not gone unheard, the pope said in his message.

“It is like a drop of water in the desert of poverty; and yet it can be a sign of sharing for those who are in need, that they might experience the active presence of a brother or a sister,” he said.

This encounter is a call for personal involvement, not delegation to others, he said. And it is not cold, distant giving, but an act that requires “loving attentiveness” just like God offers everyone.

So many people in need are seeking the meaning of their existence and a response to their questions about “why they have fallen so far and how they can escape! They are waiting from someone to come up and say, ‘Take heart; rise, he is calling you,'” the pope said.

Unfortunately, people are often repelled by, not drawn to the poor, he said. The cries of the poor are often met with rebuke and they are told, “to shut up and put up.”

There is a real “phobia of the poor,” who are seen not only as destitute, but also as carriers of “insecurity and instability,” to be rejected and kept afar.

But this tendency to create a distance means people distance themselves from Jesus himself, “who does not reject the poor, but calls them to him and consoles them,” he said.

Even though members of the Catholic Church who offer their care and assistance are motivated by their faith and the desire to share the Good News with others, he said bishops, priests, religious and lay Catholics should recognize that “in the immense world of poverty, our capacity for action is limited, weak and insufficient.”

The church should cooperate with others so joint efforts can reach their objectives more effectively, he said.

The church should give freely with an attitude of humility, “without seeking the limelight,” he said.

“In serving the poor, the last thing we need is a battle for first place,” he said. The poor don’t need heroes, but a love which knows how to remain hidden from worldly recognition, he said.

“The true protagonists are the Lord and the poor,” and those who serve are mere instruments “in God’s hands in order to make manifest his presence and salvation.”

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, told reporters the pope hopes the day will remind everyone in the church to turn their gaze to the poor, truly listen to their needs and respond directly with love in a way that aims to restore their dignity.

Local churches, associations and institutions are again asked to creative initiatives that foster moments of real encounter, friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance.

The archbishop said the pope will celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica Nov. 18 with the poor and volunteers, and he will have lunch afterward with about 3,000 people in the Vatican’s Paul VI audience hall. Other volunteer groups and schools were also set to offer free meals in an atmosphere of “celebration and sharing,” he added.

Medical tents and mobile clinics will again be set up in the square adjoining St. Peter’s Square Nov. 12-18, with extended evening hours until midnight for some services, he said. Anyone in need can find general and specialist care, including cardiology, dermatology, gynecology and ophthalmology.

PPCRV elects new chair

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 15:48

Newly elected national chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and PPCRV chairperson emeritus Henrietta de Villa face the media at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila Nov 16. CBCP NEWS

By Roy Lagarde

November 16, 2018

Manila, Philippines

A leading figure in the Philippines’ digital revolution will head of the Catholic Church-backed election watchdog.

The board of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting elected Myla Villanueva to the top post, with only around five months to go before the country’s mid-term polls.

A pioneer in the local and global technology industry, her experience will be handy as PPCRV engages in the May 2019 automated elections.

Villanueva succeeded lawyer Rene Sarmiento, whose term was cut short for health reasons.

Currently the CEO of Micro-D International Inc., Villanueva will lead the directions of PPCRV until 2022.

PPCRV officials have a four-year tenure in office, or a total of eight to include the second term.

“Voters’ education and sharing the importance of one good vote will be one of our long term goals,” Villanueva said.

“In this age of social media, it’s important that we reach our youth, teach them the value of their privilege to vote, and encourage them to participate in political citizenry,” she said.

Villanueva is not new to PPCRV. She has been poll watcher volunteer of the group since her younger days.

But her direct involvement with the PPCRV started only in 2010 because she was concerned with the country’s first ever automated elections. “I know because I’m in the technology,” she said.

Since then, she was PPCRV’s trustee until 2016 when she joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

“Today, I will roll up my sleeves once again. I will travel the country, meet the incredible people who volunteer at the dioceses and listen what goals and dreams they have for the PPCRV,” said Villanueva.

With over 30 years in the information and communication technology industry, Villanueva is a pioneer in Mobile Software, Cloud, Big Data Analytics and Security. She also founded the first broadband wireless company in the country.

The new PPCRV head has also served in international industry organizations including London-based GSMA, the world industry body of telecom operators.

At present, Villanueva is the Asia Pacific President for the Global Telecom Women’s Network, a non-profit organization encouraging women to enter the fields of internet, technology and telecoms.

In 2003, she was Ernst and Young’s first Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and was named among the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service, in the field of Science and Technology, in 2010.

Youth reminded: ‘God’s Word makes us less selfish’

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 15:43

Vicar General for Adminstration Msgr. Jesus Romulo Ranada reminds young people about the importance of reading Scripture, during the 7th Biblical Apostolate Assembly for the National Capital Region held at the St. Peter Parish Shrine of Leaders, Oct. 6, 2018.

By Minnie Agdeppa

November 16, 2018

Quezon City

An official from the Diocese of Novaliches shared that young people will become less self-centered if they return to the Bible, during the 7th Biblical Apostolate Assembly for the National Capital Region held at the St. Peter Parish Shrine of Leaders in this city on Oct. 6

“It is the Word of God that will draw us out of ourselves, focus something beyond ourselves, and bring us all to Him,” said Vicar General for Adminstration Msgr. Jesus Romulo Ranada in Filipino during his homily for the closing Mass of the said assembly.

The priest said he believes young people have to struggle with the push and pull of self-centered interests and “God’s interest.”

Youth needing guidance

“The youth of today are torn between personal interest – interests that are self-centered, selfish – and the interest that the Biblical apostolate keeps alive, and that’s the interest of the Lord God,” said Ranada.

He also noted how the two interests are at odds.

Ranada then highlighted the importance of the Word of God to young people and how it should guide them.

“We know in the coming year, The Year of the Youth, our youth is in need of guidance,” he stressed. “Parents may not be at their side all the time, but if the Bible is there, it is good that the Word of God itself will be there for them and to serve as their light and guide.”

Youth called to serve

Ranada then asked the faithful to use Scripture to inspire the youth to serve and to draw closer to God.

“It is the Word of God that has called you to serve,” he said, echoing the theme of the assembly, “Kabataang Tinawag ng Salita ng Diyos Tungo Sa Paglilingkod” (Youth Called By The Word Of God To Serve).

“I hope in the Biblical apostolate in our own dioceses and parishes, we live witness to God’s true will. And His will is for us to be one, to be together,” he added.

Nearly 400 Biblical apostolate members and leaders from the Dioceses of Cubao, Kalookan, Manila, Parañaque, Pasig, and Novaliches attended the event.

November 16, 2018

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 15:06
Friday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 JN 4-9 [Chosen Lady:] I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth
just as we were commanded by the Father.
But now, Lady, I ask you,
not as though I were writing a new commandment
but the one we have had from the beginning:
let us love one another.
For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;
this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning,
in which you should walk.

Many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh;
such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.
Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for
but may receive a full recompense.
Anyone who is so “progressive”
as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God;
whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.

Responsorial Psalm PS 119:1, 2, 10, 11, 17, 18

R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.

R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.

R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.

R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.

R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.

R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.

R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Alleluia LK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”

Today's Readings Homilies

Church to observe ‘Year of the Youth’

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 21:21

Filipino pilgrims wave their country’s flag during Mass to open the World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland on July 26, 2016. ROY LAGARDE

By CBCP News

November 15, 2018

Manila, Philippines

The year ahead will be characterized by the Catholic Church’s special attention on young people.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will dedicate 2019 as the Year of the Youth — a part of its “nine-year journey for the new evangelization”.

The occasion will officially open this year on Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent, and will close on Nov. 24, 2019, the feast of Christ the King.

The year-long celebration will reflect on the theme “Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved, Gifted, Empowered”.

Activities both in the national and diocesan levels are aimed on at least four objectives: youth in formation, youth in community, Church and society, youth in mission, and youth ministry and youth ministers.

“The Year of the Youth is indeed a journey of encounter with Jesus, accompanied by Mary, the Star of the New Evangelization,” the CBCP Commission on Youth said in a statement.

“In this journey, we tell the story of the Filipino youth with our Risen Lord; we, young Filipinos and Filipinas, listen to Jesus, the Youth Minister par excellence and, as we are blessed and gifted during this journey, we are empowered to witness to and share our faith,” it added.

In 2013, the CBCP had launched a 9-year journey to 2021, the 5th centenary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, with a different theme each year.

The last five years were dedicated to the integral faith formation (2013), the laity (2014), the poor (2015), the Eucharist and the family (2016), and the parish as a communion of communities (2017). 2018 is dedicated to the clergy and consecrated persons.

The remaining two years of the preparation will be dedicated to ecumenism and interreligious dialogue in 2020 and missio ad gentes in 2021.

“We look forward with gratitude and joy to March 16, 2021, the fifth centenary of the coming of Christianity to our beloved land,” the CBCP said in a 2012 pastoral letter.

Balangiga Church prepares for return of historic bells

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 16:22

US Defense chief Jim Mattis (right) shakes hands with Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez during a ceremony in Wyoming to celebrate the Balangiga bells’ return to the Philippines on Nov 15, 2018. PHOTO COURTESY OF US EMBASSY MANILA

By Roy Lagarde

November 15, 2018

Manila, Philippines

The parish of St. Lawrence the Martyr said they’re putting the Balangiga bells’ security at the heart of their plans for the much-anticipated return of the religious artifacts.

Many people and tourists are expected to make their way to Balangiga to see the three bells that were used as “war booty” by American soldiers in 1901.

Father Serafin Tybaco, parish priest of Balangiga, said local preparations are underway as the US has started the process of returning the bells.

“Among our concerns is the security of our place because we need people who will guard the bells round the clock,” Tybaco said.

Among the initial plans, he said, is to display the bells together with other “ruined bells” in a memorial built beside the church or build a museum for the artifacts.

“It will depend on the developments from our meetings in the diocese with the local government and the national heritage authorities,” Tybaco added.

On Thursday, a ceremony attended by Pentagon chief Jim Mattis and Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez at the F.E. Warren Air Base in Wyoming was held for the symbolic turnover of the Balangiga bells to the Philippines.

Romualdez said the two bells in Wyoming will first be brought to Philadelphia where it will be refurbished.

He said the bells will first be brought to Korea first where the third bell is being kept before being repatriated to the Philippines.

Reports said that the Balangiga bells are set to be returned to the country between mid-December to early January.

“The feeling is overwhelming and unexplainable that what we have been hoping for will finally happen,” said Tybaco.

Pope Francis to visit Morocco in March

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 16:20

Pope Francis waves as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Nov. 7, 2018. PAUL HARING/CNS

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Catholic News Service

November 15, 2018

VATICAN— Pope Francis will make a two-day apostolic visit to Morocco next year, the Vatican announced.

Accepting an invitation by Moroccan King Mohammed VI, the pope will visit the cities of Rabat and Casablanca March 30-31, the Vatican said in a statement Nov. 13. A detailed schedule for the trip will be released later.

News of a possible visit by Pope Francis became public earlier in the year when Vincenzo Abbinante, Italian honorary consul to the Kingdom of Morocco, said that government authorities were coordinating preparations with the Vatican.

Abbinante told Italian news agency Turiweb May 24 that the pope’s visit would highlight the importance of Morocco as “a center of excellence in intercultural and interreligious dialogue.”

Many people had expected the visit to take place earlier to coincide with the Dec. 10-11 Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, a document Pope Francis publicly pushed for and for which the Vatican lobbied heavily. A Vatican delegation will attend the conference.

Pope Francis will be the second pope to visit Morocco. St. John Paul II made a historic visit to the country in 1985, becoming the first pope to receive an official welcome in the predominantly Muslim country.

Speaking to thousands of young Muslims Aug. 19, 1985, St. John Paul said that Christians and Muslims are called “to change our old practices,” which have led to misunderstandings and wars, and “recognize with joy the religious values that we have in common.”

“We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection,” St. John Paul said.

Where there are lies, there can be no love, pope says

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 16:09

Pope Francis kisses the altar as he celebrates morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican Nov. 12. CNS/VATICAN MEDIA

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

November 15, 2018

VATICAN— Lying or being inauthentic is seriously wrong because it hinders or harms human relationships, Pope Francis said.

“Where there are lies, there is no love, one cannot have love,” he said Nov. 14 during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

To live a life “of inauthentic communication is serious because it obstructs relationships and, therefore, it obstructs love,” he said.

The pope continued his series of talks on the Ten Commandments, focusing on the command, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” which, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, forbids misrepresenting the truth.

“We are always communicating,” whether with words, gestures, one’s behavior and even by being silent or absent, the pope said. People communicate by who they are and what they do as well as by what they say, which means people are always at a crossroads, “perched” between telling the truth or lies.

“But what does the truth mean?” he asked.

It is not enough to be sincere, he said, because someone could be sincere about a mistaken belief, and it is not enough to be precise because someone could hide the full meaning of a situation behind a barrage of insignificant details.

Sometimes, he said, people think that revealing other people’s personal business and confidential information is fine also because, “I only told the truth.”

Gossip, however, destroys communion by being indiscreet and inconsiderate, the pope said.

The tongue is like a knife, he said, and “gossip kills,” destroying people and their reputation.

“So then, what is the truth?” he asked.

The ultimate model of truth is Jesus, who came into the world “to testify to the truth.” As he told Pontius Pilate, “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice,” according to the Gospel of John (18:37).

To follow Jesus is to live “in the Spirit of truth” and bear witness to God’s truth, merciful love and fidelity, he said.

“Every person affirms or negates this truth with their every act — from minor everyday situations to more serious choices,” the pope said, so people need to ask themselves whether they are upright and truthful in their words and deeds, “or am I more or less a liar disguised as truth?”

“Christians are not exceptional men and women. But they are children of the heavenly Father, who is good, who does not disappoint and who puts in our heart the love for our brothers and sisters,” he said.

“This truth is not spoken so much with a speech. It is a way of being, a way of living and you see it in every single deed,” he said.

“To not bear false witness means to live like children of God who never ever refutes” or contradicts himself, and never tells lies, he said.

It is living in a way that every deed reveals “the great truth that God is the Father and that you can trust in him,” he said. God “loves me, he loves us and (from that) springs my truth, to be truthful and not deceitful.”

November 15, 2018

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 21:00
Thursday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 PHMN 7-20

I have experienced much joy and encouragement from your love,
because the hearts of the holy ones
have been refreshed by you, brother.
Therefore, although I have the full right in Christ
to order you to do what is proper,
I rather urge you out of love,
being as I am, Paul, an old man,
and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus.
I urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus,
whose father I have become in my imprisonment,
who was once useless to you but is now useful to both you and me.
I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you.
I should have liked to retain him for myself,
so that he might serve me on your behalf
in my imprisonment for the Gospel,
but I did not want to do anything without your consent,
so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.
Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while,
that you might have him back forever,
no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother,
beloved especially to me, but even more so to you,
as a man and in the Lord.
So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.
And if he has done you any injustice
or owes you anything, charge it to me.
I, Paul, write this in my own hand: I will pay.
May I not tell you that you owe me your very self.
Yes, brother, may I profit from you in the Lord.
Refresh my heart in Christ.

Responsorial Psalm PS 146:7, 8-9A, 9BC-10

R. (5a) Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R. Alleluia.

The LORD secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.

R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R. Alleluia.

The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.

R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R. Alleluia.

The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.

R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia JN 15:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord:
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

Today's Readings Homilies

Father of Knights of Columbus in the Philippines


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