Saturday, August 25, 2007

Side Notes: On the INSIDE looking IN

I was given permission to re-print this here. It is a response to Frank Padilla's Open Letter to the CFC Global Family from a brother who was actually close to the issues, Carlos Yturzaeta, a former Metro Manila Sector Head. His responses appear in bold/italics. This entry is quite long but one that is worth the read. It reads from top to bottom in reverse order as I included a short exchange that I felt was worth posting as well for its insightful content.

Carlos Yturzaeta wrote:

Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 11:36:13 +0800 (CST)
From: Carlos Yturzaeta
Subject: Fwd: Re: rejoinder/comments on Community in Crisis
To: bebot tantuico

Dear Bebot,

The most important thing is that we use our common sense, practical wisdom, wisdom of others, day to day circumstances in our lives, voices and opinion of others, etc. in trying to know God's will in our lives. Elders in our community are human beings too and can commit mistakes or be blinded by their beliefs of anointing.

A leader from the Visayas told me: "Brod, satan must be very happy in what's happening in CFC (that includes GK and all other ministries, special, family, etc.), di ba?"

I answered him: "Brod baka magalit si Satan! Sabihin niya sa atin na since time and memorial, alam na natin dapat ang mga dahilan kung bakit may downfall ang isang community or organization (and even a family). These were or are power, fame/glory, money, sex, perks, and most of all PRIDE. Even before Jesus came into this world, yan na sakit ng tao. Eh, dina kayo natuto. Not my fault!".

Mag-golf na lang tayo.I will play tomorrow at 6am. happy weekend.


At 11:11 PM 6/13/2007, Caloy Yturzaeta wrote:

Dear Shirley,

thanks for passing this on to me.

Actually i already received them from other sources.

Looks like everyone knows about this open letter of Frank already.

Looks like Frank does not see the point anymore--he already resigned and should already keep his mouth shut. afterall, he already mentioned that succession of leaders in CFC is already in place (Q&A part 2). also, if CFC is God's work, then it will flourish if God would like that to happen.

Frank should learn how to let go. Let others reign in the community. Unless, there are unfinished business that he would like to do inside the corridors of power. Or his resignation and lamentation discourse is not really sincere. We love Frank, but its time for him to move on. He is not a messiah that can save CFC.

Maybe its time for CFC to move on. Some said that the elders are no longer anointed. CFC no longer anointed. the work of God in CFC as part of His plan has already been consumated. time to move on. Why do you think these things are happening in CFC? the Lord allowed these things to happen for a's finished. Just like the other groups who came and went--Cursillo, Charismatic, Marriage encounter groups, Bukas Loob sa Diyos, Loved Flock, Lord's Flock, Oasis of Love, Pag-Ibig sa Diyos, CPPJ, Elim, Shalom, BNP, etc. They were good only up to the extent that their leaders were still in control. Same with CFC.

Events do not happen for nothing. either God is teaching us or leading us or directing us to a more urgent and important tasks. GK is only the vehicle that contributed to the conflict of CFC leaders. Behind such conflict is God's wisdom and plan. We hope, we can see that plan.

Question: Are these the end days of CFC?

Answer: Maybe.

Keep on doing the work with the poor--quietly and sincerely--no flare, no funfare, no awards, no photo-ops, no bloated figures. no deceit, no half truths-no half lies. Just keep on working for the poor. God will reward you and your work. God will bless you and your work. Take care.

PS--on the second thought. I would like to make comments on Frank's letter.
My comments are in italics. Pls. forgive me for my provoking comments.

Shirley Young Bangayan wrote:

From: Frank Padilla

Date: Jun 10, 2007 1:38 AM

Subject: our community in crisis

To: "Council\"" <"CFC>, "OF ELDERS 2005-2007\"" <"BOARD>



June 10, 2007

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The peace, hope and joy of the Lord be with you all.


The Lord brought us to Lamentations for this year 2007. But no one could have imagined the conflict and disunity that the top leaders in our community would be facing now. We are in crisis. I am deeply concerned. (Crisis started when Frank, Tony and Lachie resigned hastily on Feb. 20, when they could have all waited for a smooth election on June 22. Had they they waited until June 22, it would have been less dramatic or no drama at all. Just a simple stepping down to give way to others would have been a better move, unless Frank had really an agenda. Frank is not the only one deeply concerned--we all are. This is a mesaianic posture. )

But first, since even I am under attack, and there are those who would question my authority to speak, I am involving myself because CFC is the community I love and will spend the rest of my life in. Do I have the right to speak? Of course, and so does anyone else in our community, especially if there is a great threat to our very life and mission. (Who is under attack? Frank admitted the guilt; repented for the sins of the Council and the sins of the Community on Feb. 20. He resigned and that was accepted--how could he be under attack? We all love CFC. What threat? This is God's will flourish even if we are not here...unless the Lord has some other plans for CFC already that's why these things are happening, because God is allowing such things to happen--for a purpose.)

Further, my wife Gerry and I were here from the very start, I have witnessed the blessings of God upon CFC for the last 26 years, I can see what is really going on, and I do have a responsibility, together with everyone else, to protect our life and mission.

(yes, we all have experienced God's blessings and we all have responsibilities...God will protect CFC life and mission, even if we do nothing. This is His work. Again Frank's posture is a form of mesaianic complex...we also see what's going on. In fact, many things Frank were not able to see but many saw and some even brought these to his attention. He did not do the right thing...sorry.)

What is the concern?

At the very heart of my concern is the tension between the parent CFC and the child GK. (some of us already saw these early on. Pia and I already foretold this as early as 2002...I talked to Roquel on this. my words to Roquel at Shangrila Hotel during lunch with Greg Monteclaro were: Rendahan ninyo si Tony sa GK work. Kung hindi, lalamunin ng GK ang CFC. Tatabunan ni Tony ang CFC. Tony will drag the whole CFC into GK; evangelization will suffer. Of course, many knows Roquel as a so-so person. So, nothing happened)

Briefly, this has to do with:

(1) The social versus the spiritual dimension of the work;(From the start of GK in 2001, it was already clear that this is a social work. Unless the beneficiaries that GK will select will be from our own CFC members. That's what we did in North A. We practically selected CFC members as our beneficiaries in our "Gklets")

(2) The tendency of certain top leaders of GK to exclude the Family and Social Ministries in real integration in the GK work;(There's nothing wrong with this if only the beneficiaries came from CFC members who do not have their own house and lot. In fairness to GK, the Family and Soc Min could not catch up with the GK they have to find the extent of excluding them)

(3) Looking on CFC as basically just a resource base (warm bodies, money, territorial presence, integrity) but not fully submitted to the overall governance of CFC. (We already saw this happening that's why we did not allow Tony to dictate us on our GK work in North A. If he wanted something installed, planted and constructed, we would tell him: where's the money? That's why we generated our funds separate from Ancop and GK National. We got the funds directly without passing through GK National nor Ancop. We accounted for all the money formally to all our donors...about P20 million in total.)

(4) The singular focus on GK that denigrates the other pillars, such as Pro-Life and Social Ministries. (Again, we did not allow Tony and his Team to interfere in such areas. we were independently managed GK villages. No problem on these areas)

The above are causing serious disunity and tension in CFC, especially among top leaders. Some would say that it is just a conflict between Tony Meloto and myself. This is not true.

Let me make it very clear, I am not against GK. Those who want to put me down have spread the lie that I am against or am attacking Tony Meloto or GK. But my record speaks for itself. All my books, articles, talks, teachings and papers are in strong support of GK. I do believe God gave GK to CFC so that it could do the wonderful work it is doing. As for Tony, he is my brother, with whom I have issues. For 7 long years I was Tony's defender and supporter. (Sorry na lang si Frank. Some leaders already saw this coming. But then Frank was an avid supporter of Tony. huli ang pagsisisi. Some brought this to the attention of Frank..Shirley was one of them. Instead Frank protected Tony. When we heard the way Frank and Tony talked on conferences, we knew, arrogance and pride was already building up. Tensions and conflicts bound to take place)

But the issues have persisted and the tension deepened, and I precisely want to confront the issues because of my love for and support to GK. (Let go. The new council members to be elected will finish this job. there are other leaders who know more than Frank in managing a foundation like CFC, GK and Ancop. Let God. Let the new Council do this job.)

Exacerbating this tension is the lack of dialogue. Tony Meloto does not want to have a dialogue or even meet. He does not attend our fraternal household meetings and he does not attend the meeting called by the Council to talk about the issues. Unfortunately, the Council itself, while having many meetings with different leaders, has not been eager to meet with me or with Lachie Agana. I and Lachie have always been the ones pursuing them for a dialogue. While there have been some meetings, there has certainly not been enough talking among us. (Frank should not think highly of himself. He should allow and respect the 4 council members to do their jobs---what he failed to do in the last 20 years for CFC and the last 7 years for GK and Ancop. Let go. There are leaders better than us!)

Is this about power and control?

There are also those who insinuate that I am just after power and control. Again this is farthest from the truth, and my record bears this out.

(1) When CFC went separate ways with Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon (LNP) in 1993, I voluntarily relinquished my position of Executive Director and did not stand for election to the CFC Council for the 1993-1995 term.

(2) When I sensed the Lord wanting the Council to take command responsibility for collective guilt of the whole community, I voluntarily stepped down from the Council and being CFC Director last February 20. (Many of us also get leadings and sense from the Lord. Sorry, no one has monopoly of gifts. In fact, the sudden stepping down and resignation on Feb. 20 should not have been done..they should have waited until June 22...It would not have been dramatic and controversies and conflicts would not have surfaced. Unless, it was part of a "game plan" ---so sure that they will be nominated again. It did not happen! Run to the bishops! Sorry, Frank mishandled the Feb. 20 resignation...Lamentation.)

(3) When I saw how the top leaders (the 7 in the former Council) were in conflict, I said it was no longer a question of who was right or wrong, but we needed to acknowledge that we were the problem, and so I proposed that the 7 of us should not be available to the new Council (2007-2009). Luis Oquinena and Issa Santos of GK agreed with this in principle, and the members of the Board of Elders (12 present out of 15) all agreed with this. However, the Council (of 4) did not agree.(Sorry, but the 4 must have decided this way. We have to respect their decision. Frank was the bossman for more than 20 years...he should let go and allow the 4 to manage and even commit mistakes..if need be. Once you resigned, that's it! Huwag ka nang makialam, please. time is up...give chance to others.)

(4) Even as I was trying to find ways and means of resolving some of the conflicts, and thus proposed being given the opportunity to name additional nominees to the Council, I told the Council and Bp Gabby Reyes that I would exclude myself. (I think, not the nature of Frank to go to the Bishops. It was Frank's loyalists who must have done the Bishop route. Sad because some bishops find Frank and CFC arrogant. Now, Frank is using the bishop when Lamentation did not work? Let's be men and not boys. Let's face our problems squarely. Why run to the Bishops when all these years, we tried to ignore them? this is not consistent. Para tayong mga batang naagawan ng lolipop at tumatakbo sa ating tatay at nagsusumbong....nakakahiya!)

Even now, I have no problem being excluded, if that is what it will take to gain moral ascendancy and thus be given the opportunity to help bring peace, reconciliation, healing and unity to our community.

Elders should not hold on to position, especially if they are the cause of conflict and disunity. This calls for simple humility, delicadeza, not hardening our hearts, and confidence in our deep bench of leaders, especially the younger ones. (Let go and let God. If CFC is still part of God's plan, it will recover and flourish once more....not with the old leaders but with new ones. Actually, Frank, Tony, Roquel and Lachie were overstaying aging leaders. they should have stepped down 10 years ago. Power, fame, glory, fund concept....service cum vacation.....etc.)

The current issue right now is that our bishops, deeply cognizant of the conflict within CFC (especially among each one of the 7 brothers in the former Council), have issued a letter to the Elders Assembly strongly recommending the 7 to talk about the issues and for the June elections to be postponed. They wisely say that major decisions should not be made in a situation of deep conflict and division.(What divides the body is the intereference of Frank and his group in the running of affairs by the remaining four (4). Please give them a chance. We gave Frank more than 20 years to rule...let go and let God)

The 3 bishops who issued the letter are: Bp Gabby Reyes (Chair of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity and our CFC National Spiritual Director), Archbp Angel Lagdameo (President of the CBCP) and Bp Soc Villegas (under the direct authority of Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop of Manila). We can see that collectively they truly represent the Church hierarchy. (I wonder if Bishop Lagdameo and the two other bishops really know the "real score"? Let us not run to the Bishop on matters that we normally do on our own on a year to year basis..Election takes place every two years and there were no such problems. why? Because they were all part of the nominations...If no election will take place, then the 4 will be on a hold over situation. sorry, hindi parin makakapasok si Frank.)

The bishops issued their letter last June 7, with Bp Gabby Reyes himself bringing the letter to the Home Office. However, instead of bringing the 7 together to talk, the Council issued its "CFC Council Statement" the next day, June 8, but dated (antedated?) June 6, regarding the holding of the elections on June 22. Then the Council issued its letter to the bishops also on June 8 but dated June 7, rejecting the postponement of the elections. The bishops had just released their letter, and the Council was immediately rejecting it. Why? (I heard that the bishops were still in Rome on June 7--how come they were able to write and sign the letter on June 7? Why zero in on such matters when what matters is only an election? why are Frank and co. so concerned about the election? Are they protecting something inside CFC?)

I believe this is very disrespectful to the bishops. (sorry, this is too judgemental! Not typical of Frank.)

As such, this can endanger our evangelization work, as the other bishops in the provinces (and even abroad) may look on CFC as disobedient at worse or as disrespectful at best. (Let it be. Let go and let God)

This can also endanger our official recognition, as a National Association of Lay Faithful by the CBCP and as an International Lay Association of Christian Faithful by the Holy See (Vatican).(why are we concerned of recognitions and titles? Can we not work without such recognitions and titles? A good work cannot be hidden. With or without recognition, all of us should simply do our day-to-day witnessing...with or without CFC.)

Further, the bishops' letter was addressed to the Elders Assembly. The Council did not have the right to reject the bishops, as they do not speak for the Elders Assembly. Neither did they consult the Elders Assembly. They simply bypassed and usurped the power and authority of the Elders Assembly. This is very disrespectful to the Elders Assembly. This is so ironic, being done by those so intent on legalities. (we cannot judge. I wonder if Frank is still in power if he will ever think about these things? If i was Joe Tale, the Exec. Director, i would have caused the immediate election of 3 new Board/Council to replace them when they resigned on Feb. 20. Mabuti na lang mabait pa at hindi alam ni Joe T ang tamang procedure in case of vacancy. Of course, they can still do this now, even before June 22.)

But will postponing the elections cause greater disunity as the Council claims? I believe not, since we precisely will have the opportunity to talk about the issues and work at healing and reconciliation. But how about our time-honored tradition and process of elections? Well, what the bishops are asking for is just a postponement, not a total scrapping. Besides, when David and Jesus' own disciples "violated" the sabbath and did what was unlawful, Jesus defended them, saying "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath." (Mk 2:24-28). By the same token, our processes are at the service of our community. When the bishops are so concerned that they issue such a strong recommendation, it is improper for us to cite tradition or processes.( If i were in the place of Joe T. i will elect the 3 and rule CFC until the Elders Assembly are ready to elect. In the meantime, the work continues. The 4 plus the new elected 3 can now take over CFC Board, GK Board and Ancop Board, and EFI Board. And maybe start auditing all the books of accounts of these 4 foundations---which by the way should have been conducted immediately when Joe T assumed the post.)

Brothers and sisters, our bishops are not "pakialamero." They have better things to do than to involve themselves in petty quarrels. But this is not the case with CFC. They see that what is happening as very serious and can indeed threaten the very life and mission of CFC, which is the life and mission of the Church herself. The bishops are acting as concerned pastors, aside from the reality that they love CFC, just as we do. Why can we not heed these holy and discerning pastors given by God to us, among other things, for our protection? Why are we so quick to deny the spiritual discernment of our 3 bishops, whom we know to be holy men and loving pastors? Are we not a Catholic community? (Actually, i had a proposal before that all the CFC provinces should become autonomous with the CFC Center reduced to 5 full time staff for coordination purposes. Then each CFC group will be submitted to the Bishops. Tithes should go to the Bishops rather than the CFC Center. What is the added value of "feeding a CFC Center" when each CFC area is a stand alone CFC life--mission and vision--family renewal-parish renewl and society renewal.)

My posture

I am for peace, healing, reconciliation and unity. I do understand that we are in Lamentations and God is pruning us, so I can look at the difficulties and challenges quite positively. We have much to learn. But for us to learn the lessons of Lamentations, we need humility. In humility, we must defer to our beloved bishops.(Let go, let God!)

If the elections, contrary to the direction of the bishops, are still held this June 22 as the Council insists, without dialogue and without hearing the Elders Assembly, I cannot in conscience participate. I cannot defy the bishops when they are in the right and are just so very concerned about our well-being.(We might as well attach ourselves to the Bishops. Each Province and Each Sector submitted totally to the Bishop..under the direction of the Bishop...under the umbrella of the Family Life more powerful CFC Center. The CFC work will be managed by a group of elders who are all volunteers--no salaries...meeting every quarter with Sector Heads overseeing provincial work...anyway, manuals and procedures are available already)

The Elders Assembly on June 22 does not have to go to waste. I can see certain things it can profitably take on.

(1) Start working on the issues, or at least defining them.

(2) Appoint a Lamentations Commission that will look into the issues.

(3) Set parameters and timetables.

(4) Appoint an interim governing "Council."

(5) Even look into changes in the by-laws proposed by the BOE.

My appeal

I ask the current Council to humbly heed the bishops. I ask my brothers to be at the forefront of working at healing and unity, and this entails not being legalistic or unyielding or even disrespectful to our bishops. I continue to assure them, as I have already done so, that I look on them as my brothers and continue to extend the hand of peace.

I ask the Elders Assembly to seek the truth. In this, you may freely ask me anything and I will try to answer objectively. I know from reports that there are those doing a demolition job on me. But I have nothing to hide. I aspire for no position. I am your brother who all this time, in spite of my own shortcomings, have tried to be faithful to God and CFC and to all of you. I believe you can still rely on me to stand for truth and justice.

Since Manila is the center of our global work and is the center of governance over CFC, I ask the Metro Manila elders to seriously consider the proper posture we should have in relation to the Church hierarchy. It must be no other than respect and submission. You know that I myself have been very strong on lay empowerment and on recognizing the shortcomings of some clergy. But these 3 bishops are beyond any reproach, and are very clearly holy men of God. Their word, and their common discernment, should bear much weight for us.

I ask the Area Heads to consult with the Area Councils, and for them together to go to their bishops for advice. Any backlash from this action of the Council will affect our evangelization in your provinces. And you cannot point to the Council because the bishops' letter is addressed to the Elders Assembly, which include you (Area Heads).

I ask our beloved bishops to be patient with us. We are your children who are quarreling. You have lovingly tried to intervene as pastors. You have been rejected. Please forgive us. There are still many of us who look to you for wisdom and guidance and who are obedient to holy Mother Church. Please continue to show us the way.

And to all my beloved brothers and sisters in CFC, forgive us our transgressions. Forgive us for falling short on our being pastors and models. But please continue your work. Be focused on Jesus. God loves CFC and will continue to use CFC in the power of the Spirit. For those among us who stand in God's way, God will deal with us. Please pray for us. (Frank, Tony and Lachie's time are up. Let others do the work accordingly. let's give them a chance. Let us not undermine the work that they can do for CFC. Let go. Let God.)

This is the feast of Corpus Christi, the body of Christ. May the Lord look kindly upon us in CFC, the body of disciples He has raised, and faithfully renew His favors and mercies upon us all.

May God bless us all.

In the service of Christ,

Frank Padilla

On the feast of Corpus Christi

Note: This is sent to the global family, as the letter of the Council has been sent to the global family, in the interest of fairness, truth and justice. I also attach the bishops' letter, which as far as I know has not been sent out by the Council.

"For to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil 1:21)

Still coming, where does the money (tithes) go? Pandora's Box, Home Office financial issues, and the CFC Cash box.


Anonymous said...

I 2nd the motion. Let God's will run it's course.

Anonymous said...

bottom line is, CFC is God's gift. how else will anyone explain its 26 years of existence. Any move that sows the spirit of division will not succeed. CFC will get pass this. I've always said that this is a phase that will pass. If anything that the movie "Evan Almighty" has taught me is that When we ask God for patience, he doesn't give patience outright, but opportunities for us to be patient. Same goes for this crisis.

While we ask for unity and peace, God gave us the opportunity to unite and seek peace.

CFC is more that the elders. CFC is the broader community that makes up its membership. The Church is not the edifice but the communal group of believers.

I do hope, that Frank Padilla, in his silence discerns that CFC, though was borne out of his initiative has grown way more beyond him. He has to let go. That goes as well for the others who needs to let go also.

May God bless us all.

Anonymous said...

Thank's Tito Carlos for answering that..because many CFC's here my Tito/Tita's are blind about Tito Frank did and they even sign some contract came from tito Frank.. I really don't have an idea why my other former Real CFC Tito/Tita's closing their doors to the truth. Well even tito Frank did that my CFC Dad/Mom,CFC Kuya/Ate and other CFC Tito/Tita's are still going to continue the true work of God the Real CFC..Right now my dad doing something to remove this plague like calling,texting,email,printing and even talking to them of how and what really happens to the community. The community need's our help so lets move,protect and grow once more.. God Bless!!


Anonymous said...

Sometimes we justify the things that are happening as God's will. When in fact it's our will, shortcomings, etc.

God allows things to happen, true. But he also gave us free will.

This whole mess I believe while God allowed it is our own doing. The leaders for not leading properly and us, the followers for not speaking up when we see that it's no longer right.

I do believe that it's time for Frank, Lachie and Tony to let go and let others take the reigns. Funny though because right now I feel it's only Frank that's clinging on to power.

I still believe in GK. I hope this doesn't hurt GK as much. In fact I believe in it more than the other pillars. Evangelization is good and all but it's all talk right now. We preach and preach but GK is living Christ's life. I don't think we need to force our beliefs to our fellow men, I believe as Christians it's our duty to help fellow human beings regardless of race, religion and stature.

If by helping others, they see that Christianity is what it is as something good and noble and doing work in the name of God then they'll come to us. If they don't they are still deserve our time and efforts as do all human beings.

Anonymous said...

I admire Frank Padilla. He's good at breaking away. Way to go Frank! One more in the running. There should be a Guinness World Record on this category.

Evangelizer said...

I believe that God owns CFC, and if He so desires to break off a twig, He intends to make such twig grow into another fruitful community.

FFL is that twig. We need to see it in that light.

FFL should now exert all efforts to do its calling, pray for its charism and live it out.

FFL has chosen to separate. Such separation can only come to God's fruition if its leaders focus themselves on everything that say and claim they are, and with God's Grace seek their place under the sun.

FFL should evangelize those in the population, here and everywhere else who are not yet evangelized, and not spend its energies on poaching CFC members and deceiving them into membership by requiring them to sign up and fill out FFL Personal Data sheets.

So how about it FFL brothers? You up to it? Not my challenge but God's!

PS. Paki forward kay Bishop Reyes.