Friday, November 30, 2007

It Just Keeps Getting Better

UPDATE: Date and Venue Changed.

Friends, lets us support Kenosis in their own benefit concert for the Home Office, appropriately titled "For All You've Done", to be held at 8PM on Dec. 19, 2007 at Pearl Hall, SEAMEO-Innotech, Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City. It is sure to be a fun filled evening full of God, music, praise, and best of all brotherhood (and sisterhood of course!).

This is also a reminder that A Time To Dance is only a couple of days away! I personally can't wait until we can all dance together in an awe inspiring show of Love and Unity.

See you ALL there!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crisis in Makati

There appears to be a new attempt to bring about a military coup being staged at the Peninsula Manila in Makati. It has garnered support from some civil society groups as well as some bishops, but I am hoping that it ends peacefully.

Here is a prayer from Joe Tale, please help me get it out to as many friends and family as you can.
Heavenly Father, our country is against facing a great trial.
We implore Your divine intervention and bless our country with peace.
We pray that the incident in Makati end without bloodshed.
Please heal our land and grant us peace.

I will keep my opinions on Trillanes and co. to myself, but in the spirit of the season, I hope they find their senses soon. Seems somebody's always calling for people to join them, sometimes resorting to desperate measures. =)



GMA: Ma-coup-lit talaga itong si Trillanes!


The siege ends bloodlessly, thank God.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Turn On Your Speakers!

I've activated a music playlist for the blog in anticipation of all the dancing and singing on Dec. 2. Since I'm a fan of 80's music (age give away!) the first song is a track from that decade that I find relevant to our issues today. The rest are CHRISTmas songs, and I'm still trying to see if I can upload our own CFC songs so it will play on there.



Might I request our band friends (29AD and the others) to maybe send me an mp3 of of their songs so I can try and play it here?

Trials, Tribulations and the Beauty of it All

Those who attended the MCG Teaching Night on Nov. 20, 2007 had the privilege to listen to Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III in his talk about the cross and the blessing of having a burden to carry. As CBCP Media Office Director, he said he was supposed to talk about the media and its role in the church, but he changed his mind after hearing some of what was discussed that night. It was a very enlightening talk and I for one came out of it very encouraged and refreshed. In fact, it was right after that I conceived of the "What's In A Name" entry.

Someone sent me the file of his talk that night and I'd like to share it with you all. I hope you all give it a listen and I'd love to hear your feedback.

Listen or Download it HERE.

Direct link:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wikipedia Edit Alert

Hey Jed, I think you're the unofficial overseer of the CFC wikipedia entry, I thought you may want to take a look at it now.

Someone from the FFL is at it again. The term "edit war" is in the discussion section, and this one has all the signs of malicious editing, considering most of the links are FFL related now the entry seems to insist that the Couples for Christ is made up of two groups now.

When will this end? Oh I don't know, they already have their two different entries but they still feel the need keep re-editing the official CFC one.


Looks like it is fixed. Thanks to whoever was responsible.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What’s in a Name? Pt. 1

Just a reminder, this article has many clickable embedded links that are in blue. Don't forget to click on them as they help explain certain terms and statements.

There have been many things said in the offensive and defensive salvos of the unending name game between the CFC and the FFL. The fight for the use of the CFC name has taken its toll on both sides, pitting brother against brother and even dragging Bishops into the fray. It leads me to ask, both rhetorically and literally; what exactly is the big deal?

Let us start with the obvious:

The Recognition.

Recognition can mean several things in this matter. First, we have the “brand recognition”, and yes, that’s a marketing term. Why is it important? For starters, the name Couples for Christ and its accompanying acronym CFC is in itself a brand that has had many years of development and exposure to the “market”. It is now a term that is recognizable throughout the Philippines and in many other countries around the world. It carries with it the esteem, respect, and spirituality that Couples for Christ members take a certain amount of pride in. Simply put, as a rallying point of something that is now more than just an evangelical movement, it is a brand name worth the fight. For the FFL to start fresh without taking with it the CFC brand name, it would mean having to recruit anew, form new bylaws, create new organizational rules and tithing structures, and then asking for the recognition in all the dioceses and parishes that CFC already currently enjoys. Truth be told, it can be done…but it is much, much easier to hit the ground running, and that’s what the FFL is attempting to do.

Why start from scratch when there is a pot for the taking?

Taking into account that in all respects, the FFL is now a separate entity, it was imperative for them to create its own brand and identity from a business decision standpoint. Imagine, you’ve already started a new corporation; it would be anti-productive to not support it with a brand/logo, since that is what people will be relating you to, both visually and subconsciously. However, they tried to do that while still relating themselves to the CFC brand (remember the “banana split” argument?). While it might have been a practical business decision, it may also have been a tactical error. Because in incorporating (or attempting to at least, as far as I know, the application has not been dropped), the real motivation beyond the supposed restoration movement was revealed. A drive or movement to restore an organization's charism did not need an SEC approved corporate filing. Only businesses need that. Once an SEC approved identity was filed for, the so called restoration movement became a business, non-profit or otherwise. You can’t get any more legalistic than that.

Then there is the Vatican Decree. Frank Padilla would like us to believe that this recognition was granted to him as the keeper of CFC’s charism. While it may have been his name that appears on the document, that recognition was not given to one man, it was given as an official recognizance to a body of people involved in a Catholic, spiritual, and evangelical movement who have shown themselves worthy of a Vatican acknowledgement. In other words, the recognition was given to us, and us as a group, are known as Couples for Christ. I quote the decree, "...a private international association of the faithful". Frank Padilla by himself, even with all the books, documents, CLP manuals - everything, could not have been given that recognition without the whole body made up of Couples for Christ members. If that had been possible, then it would have been an easy task for Frank and his seeming familiarity with the Vatican to just approach them again and ask for the FFL to be recognized. I am not the foremost expert on how one asks for such a thing as a Vatican Decree, but I am assuming that if it had been something easily done, Frank would have already asked for it. It would have saved both groups a lot of grief, and kept this internal battle from simmering out in the open. To put this Decree in a different perspective, for instance if it was the American Declaration of Independence, one signed by several historical notables, including say, Benjamin Franklin. If Mr. Franklin and a few other signatories had decided that they’ve had enough of the United States because it was veering away from their ideals, and packed up to move to Mexico, would that mean that Mexico will be a part of the United States and now shares its independence and rights? ¡Andale!

On Intents and Purposes

I would like to believe that Frank Padilla meant well when he formed the FFL. Actually, I am quite sure that we’d all like to believe that. IF a restoration was the true motivational factor in the formation of the FFL, then why the need for the new corporation? Why the new office? Isn’t the cult of personality that is Frank Padilla strong enough to create the catalyst within the community that supports his movement to restore the CFC’s supposedly lost charism? A true movement would have started at the grassroots level, where the charism is most felt. It doesn’t happen in a leadership flight. If there truly was a problem in the community, its leaders are the ones we look to for guidance, support, and most of all, stability. They are the ones to help show us how to bear the burden of veering away, who will demonstrate strength in confronting the problem head on, and guide us back towards the right path. A community will always have its trials and problems, but as the CBCP Media Office Director, Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III said in his talk at the MCG Teaching Night this past Tue, Nov. 20, 2007, “Binigyan kayo ng problema, simpleng problema, nag alisan na kayo. Wala pa ngang isang taon.

Motives are suspect when activities and actions revolve around the recruitment of another existing organization's members and their accompanying tithes (sometimes under false pretenses). The use of the CFC name can mislead innocent community members into joining the new group, since hey, it’s still the CFC. But it belies a malicious intent, since there is no possible way that a systematic and methodical disruption of an organization’s affairs can be for the greater good. What exactly did Frank and Co. hope to accomplish by recruiting CFC members to his new group? Did they actually believe that CFC will just keep on humming along and not be hard pressed to operate after taking that loss in membership and income? Did he care about what was to become of CFC if he succeeds in taking enough of its members to spell its downfall? What about its remaining members? It almost seems as if he subscribes to the belief that states, "If you are not with us, then you are against us." This utter lack of concern for the wellbeing of the organization and its members that he abandoned belies another very human motive that was terribly apparent to those who’ve heard or seen Frank’s talks where he angrily outlined the supposed issues in CFC; it starts with a V and ends with ETTA.

End of Part 1

Part 2 is HERE.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A United Front

If you ask me, I'd have to say that the CFC International Council has weathered this storm like the true captains of this great ship of ours. They have displayed great restraint, dignity, and resolve in steering us through this crisis to ensure that the CFC community emerges from its trials and lamentations intact and full of renewed faith. It was no small task, in fact I saw it as something almost too daunting to take on.

It is in this spirit that I'd like all of you to help me HELP THEM. I know you all have done your part to contribute to the community, in helping spread the truth, and keeping the faith that we'll get through this crisis, but for the Home Office, the troubles are not over. For those who attended this past MC Teaching Night and was able to see the presentation on the current financials, it is no secret that our tithes have not equaled their overhead costs. The HO has done its part in massively cutting down its expenses, but with the decline in tithes brought on by the exodus of some of our members to the FFL, it has not been quite enough. So, I'm asking you all to show join me in showing our appreciation for a job well done to the IC and the whole HO staff, from the ftw's to the volunteers. Every little bit counts, and each will represent a small but important part of a solid and UNITED FRONT.

Some have already started on their own, our friends, the musicionaries from the 29AD band are putting together a benefit concert for the HO and the ftw's. Here's their invite:

Music of Hope

When: December 14, 2007, Friday, 6:30 in the evening

Where: The Arena, San Juan City

Help our CFC home office and full-time workers. Experience a night of music, dance and praise with the 29AD, Kenosis, Central-C Band, Rene Henson and the 4Bars.
Ask your household heads. Bring your whole family, neighbors, officemates, classmates, and friends!
Help us find sponsors too!
As the song goes --- why don't you give love on Christmas day!
Tickets available at the CFC Center and at the gates.
Ticket prices
Court Seat @ P200
Ring Side @P150
Lower Box @P100
Upper Box @P50
Contact Phil de Guzman thru mobile number 0922-8149446 / 0919-5536753 or landline number 727-9607 or Gina Nagrampa at landline number 727-0682 to 87 loc. 37.
God loves you! God bless you!
and the flyer:

UPDATE: A video trailer!

It will no doubt be a very entertaining evening, and I enjoin you all to invite not just fellow CFC'ers, but ALL your friends and family. Hindi naman kayo ipapahiya ng 29AD, hehe. I'll be posting this invite and the link to the invitation in their very own blog (please comment on their blog too to show our wholehearted support) in our E&A section, as well as reminding you all a few days before the event. Matagal pa kasi eh, baka makalimutan nyo. =)

As for the rest of us? Well, if there was ever a time that CFC needed each and every one of us, it is now. I'll see you all on Dec. 2, and you can bet I'll be paying double for my ticket. It's the least I can do.

Don't Panic!

It's still the same blog, I'm just trying out a new layout, something a bit more festive in anticipation of our big day on Dec 2.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


It's about time.

Download the PDF version HERE.

To give this statement even bigger teeth, here are the first couple of pages of the FFL's bylaws:

Just so they can stop denying they've got a legitimate corporation (or at least are trying to set up one) trying to usurp the identity of another.

Download all the pages (6) HERE.

I would like to give a big THANK YOU message to all the diligent "field reporters" who constantly supply me with information and news to share with the rest of you here. This blog will not be as effective without all your help. You know who you all are and you have my utmost gratitude.

Also, on all this talk of "demolition jobs" and anatomies, I believe the correct term is self-destruction. There's usually a red button for that, in this case I think it's shaped like a trumpet.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I would guess there are two ways to look at this picture:

1. Mr. Frank Padilla of the FFL is speaking as a guest of CFC Batangas at their 20th anniversary celebration.

2. I don't want to speculate.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


As a follow up to the previous entry on the Apostolic Vicariate of Arabia's statement, here is a Resolution from the Archdiocese of Nairobi represented by Cardinal Napier:

Mini Update: I was corrected by a reader who told me that this "...resolution of the African Clergy is a joint resolution penned in Nairobi with His Lordship David Kamau Ng'ang'a, Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi, and His Eminence Wilfrid Cardinal Napier, Cardinal of South Africa, as principal signatories and the various clergy representatives in the region."

Thanks for the correction and God bless!

Also, to clarify for some of those who had a less than pleasant reaction to the photos of the vehicle with both the CFC and FFL stickers, please remember it was a tongue in cheek entry. Note my own line:

"Actually, it's really nothing, I just found the stickers on the car interesting. "

I wasn't taking it THAT seriously. It just helped to illustrate the main topic of the post which is Allegiance.

Moving on, I bet you're all wondering how the word forbearance can have any relevance in this blog entry. It actually has to do with the reaction of the FFL leadership to what has happened in Africa. It took a lot of introspection for me to even think about posting these emails, and I agonized over it for a while until I felt I was justified. There are 2 emails, and this is the first:

From: manny hermano <>
To: Frank Padilla <>; Frank Padilla <>; "Oscar L. Contreras, Jr." <>; Maria Isabel Fara Descallar <>; Jack Burgoyne (Private) <>; Mimi David <>
Cc: Nani Almanza ; "CFC_NC_Andrews, Edwin/Nila" <>; "CFC-Texas"; ado paglinawan <>; Joe de Leon <>; IMC_Manaloto_Ray (H) <>; Orland Dizon <>; Orland Dizon <>; Rodolfo Borja <>; Ruben Coson <>; Renato Garcia <>; Leo and Doris de Vela <>; "Moso, Edgardo" <>; Ricardo Dimalanta <>; Gil San Miguel <>; Herman Justin <>; junjun cecile samalio <>; danny beth sardon <>; renan perla garcia <>; jomar jane manalo <>; john kristine llena <>; cesar naty azcueta <>; Leopoldo Villaruz <>; Tim and Lita Q <>; Bong Sabolboro <>; Reglita P. Laput <>

Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 2:23:30 AM
Subject: CFC-IC Actions - Is it Christian or even Warranted?

Dear Brethren,

As you know the work of evangelization and family renewal still has a long way to go in the areas where there is CFC. And there are many more countries where CFC has not made any inroads. Even before the split in CFC, we had not even began to scratch the surface in the massive work of global evangelization. When the split happened, we were trying to understand the Lord's will and we looked at the example of Paul and Barnabas when they went separate ways and actually hastened the explosive spread of Christianity. So we thought that the 2 groups now of CFC - the CFC headed by Joe Tale and the IC, and the CFC-FFL led by Frank Padilla would accelerate the evangelistic work of CFC as we work side by side with honor and respect. In fact, even from the beginning of the split and as late as 2 weeks ago, Frank wrote and offered that there are ways that our 2 groups, even if having different focus in charisms, can still cooperate and work together in joint activities.
But now look at what the CFC-IC has done lately, and you decide whether what they are doing is something that is led by the Holy Spirit, or one concocted by mortals with other designs in their hearts motivated by unknown spirits.
The attached 2 letters are from Clergy of the Catholic Church - one from the Archbishop of Newark, NJ, USA; and another from the Vicar Apostolic of Arabia somewhere in the Middle East. They are thousands of miles apart and in different countries and cultures, and so what are the chances that these 2 clergymen would think in such the same way that their composition of a letter uses exactly the same format and even same sentence construction in expressing exactly the same thought?
And what are the chances that they would think to release such a letter only a few weeks apart?
Look at the paragraphs in attached letters that almost coincide one-to-one, as follows:
1st Para: "...which has now spread around the world..."
2nd Para.: ..."starting with ministry to married couples, it has gradually spread ..."
3rd (Arabia) & 4th (NJ) Para.: "Recently CFC has undergone its most severe crisis and has split into two groups..." "...CFC headed by Mr. Jose Tale, and the CFC Foundation for Family and Life, or CFCFFL ...headed by Mr. Frank Padilla."
2nd to last Para: "...reaffirms the original Couples for Christ under the leadership of Jose Tale. Any other groups using or making reference to CFC other than the original CFC group will not be recognized (may bear no recognition)..."
Last Para.: "May the Holy Spirit continue to bless CFC members in their efforts to spread.."
So dear brethren, even as we in CFC-FFL are trying to resume our focus on the Lord's work and working on healing of relationships, someone or some top level people in CFC-IC are launching an organized effort to shut us out of dioceses, vicariates, and parishes.
Brothers and sisters, you can decide if these 2 letters - with all their similarities and even exact wordings, were actually written by the undersigned Clergymen out of their own discernment or good intentions, or were they too, victims of someone or some group in CFC-IC who ghost-wrote the letter and solicited their signatures?
Or worse, since it spans 2 continents, isn't it more logical that this is being orchestrated from the CFC Center in Manila by one of the IC members or at the very least with their knowledge and consent? And are there more of these letters to come?
You be the one to discern which kind of spirit is motivating our brethren from the CFC-IC to tell bishops, vicars, and pastors such slanted stories that harm our good name in CFC-FFL in an extreme way as to completely remove our recognition and prevent us from doing any type of apostolate work in the diocese or vicariate.
Brethren, what has happened to the example of Paul and Barnabas in going separate ways but blessing each other in doing God's work? I call on bro. Joe Tale and the IC to ask the Archbishop of Newark and the Vicar of Arabia to withdraw their letters and to reinstate recognition of CFC-FFL in their areas.
Finally I request our innocent brethren who have aligned themselves with the CFC led by Joe Tale and the IC, to inwardly reflect on the following question: With the IC obviously aware of this attack on CFC-FFL and allowing it to happen or perhaps even directly and actively involved in it, do you approve of their actions?
To us who have chosen NOT to align with the IC, this is just another confirmation of what we had said all along, i.e., that this IC has lost its moral ascendancy and spiritual anointing to lead the global CFC.
God have mercy on us all.
Manny Hermano
Member, CFC-US National Council

I'll post the other email tomorrow. I'm turning off comments...for now. Before you all start composing your reactions to this, let this be an exercise in humility and remember the theme for 2008,

"Love another as I have loved you."

UPDATE [10:50am]:

Here is the 2nd email that seemed to be in response Manny Hermano's:

From: Adolfo & Margi Paglinawan <>
To: manny hermano <>, Frank Padilla <>, Frank Padilla <>, "Oscar L. Contreras, Jr." <>, Maria Isabel Fara Descallar <>, "Jack Burgoyne " <>, "Mimi David" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 05:47:01 -0800 (PST)

Subject: Re: CFC-IC Actions - Is it Christian or even Warranted?

brother, you forgot this one from the Nairobi that is concurred by a Cardinal of South Africa, and ministries from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
this is obviously the product of their participation in the African Pastoral Congress where they spent a fortune to send five, yes five representatives, four of whom all the way from the Philippines. (with that kind of money, i could have paid four fulltimers to help me for a ehole year or more, in Cameroon, The Gambia, Mali and Senegal.).
an expensive junket indeed and with the malicious intent of misleading and signing up leaders of the church.
since they cannot get the numbers, they resort to legalism. their leader of course is a lawyer, what can we expect? even Christ condemned lawyers, pharisees, saduccees and the scribes who tweaked Scriptures to their advantage as the social leaders of the his time. Woe! said Jesus! the commentaries in fact said that this is precisely why Jesus himself had to come to bring glad tidings to the poor, that is all thgose in need of God's hope, whom these social climbers have ignored.
i just talked to joe de leon last night and he told me that to the faces of these legalists, including oscar banting, their area director in new jersey, the parish priest categorically said first 1) he cannot believe that the archbishop of newark being a canon lawyer can dabble in so much details and even have time to write that lengthy letter 2) regardless of what the archbishop said, they are cooperating with CFCFFL because the great majority of the CFCs there are CFCFFL 3) and because of that it is they CFCIC, CFCGK, CFCGlobal or just plain CFC whichever name they call themselves, are not welcome in his parish. "As far as I am concerned, I rule in my parish, and no piece of paper, suspicious as it looks, can make me believe otherwise."
what are the learnings here?
1) a piece of paper cannot legitimatize a group. a paper trail is merely a phyrric victory. it is only the free and unencumbered exercise of free consciences that legitimatizes an action. lets face it, bishops, archbishops and cardinals can be conned. an unscrupulous assistant can slide in something for them to sign on. it happens all the time. there is even heavier politics within the church, and CFCIC is even fueling that weak side of our church authorities.
in 1986, margi and i presented our statutes and teachings to the archdiocese of washington where they assumably were left ignored for many years. in 1993, after CFC's split with Ligaya, lito urgino even joined me to follow-up on my earlier request for recognition. nothing happened except that lito even quarrelled with directorate of family life, who was a woman, making all hopes for recognition impossible.
but when Cardinal McCarrick took over the archdiocese, things just slid into place and since then Jun Basilio and I have been attending the meetings of the Archdiocesan Council for Ecclesial Movements, New Communities and Third Orders. Last year, Cardinal Wuerl took over. This year, I was unanimously elected by the Council to be the incoming Chairman for 2008-09, and especially because of the CFC conflict, I was more than glad to accept the position.
2) it is what we enable that will stick to the ground, grow roots, shoot a trunk and bear fruits. that is the essence of christianity. what is written must show in our witness. even the bible is good for nothing lying on some dustbin. logic dictates, and Scriptures too, that the word will not spread if we do not preach it. it will not flower if those who read it do not live it. the proof is in our witness, not in our IDs.
am i to think therefore that CFCIC has become a cult? As Father Justin once said when he visited Maryland "Couples for Christ has become CFC and CFC has become Clean Fun Club". Everybody acknowledges there is a culture but he sees a lot of officiousness especially in exacting obedience, not in a loving manner but from a spirit of covetousness.
Fr. Justin confirmed the sin of many CFC leaders that I have always been complaining about. The leaders have become control freaks. Classic example is Lito Urgino and after him worse, Sonny Aguiling. Nothing happened below without household, unit and chapter leaders first clearing with Rod Bustos. Then it became worse, nothing happened below without Rod Bustos first clearing with Sonny Aguiling.
World Bank calls this trickle down dynamics, I called this simply totempole style of management where the upper kisses the lower of the one above him ad infinitum est. Jun Basilio, one time with a book of Frank Padilla in hand told me, pare they have caged the Holy Spirit, so how can we all fly?
Three years ago, I based back in the US because of Margi's deteriorating health conditions, and the first thing I received from Sonny, as CFC's regional director was an email entitled "CFC Guidelines for New Immigrants". Goodness, I have lived in this country since that time, and has been a green card holder since 1994, and even if nobody recognizes it, I brought CFC to the US in 1986; but to the mind of Sonny, I was just off-the-boat!
3) we draw our legitimacy from the holy spirit. it is only the holy spirit that can preserve, protect and allow us to be recognized even in areas where there are no cardinals, no archbishops, no priests, no Catholics, no Christians. let us not be drawn into the numbers game that CFCIC is playing. The Japanese torturers of Lorenzo Ruiz never asked for his Vatican recognition, and even if he had one, it would not have stopped them from tying his feet, pulling him up and lowering his head under the ground to render a most painful death.
let us continue with the Paulinian zeal, and of those after him, to the ends of the earth. shake the dust off our feet in those areas where we are not welcome and move to the next that could be a softer ground. In fact, the first missions of Paul did not even have the recognition of Peter who, instead of leading evangelization went back fishing. It was the fruits of Paul's dogged perseverance and long suffering that inspired Peter to seek reconciliation with Paul all the way to Rome. It was only then that it became clear to him as he trekked the dusty route that God had intended him to come later to validate everything Paul had began. Everywhere he went, people marvelled at Peter as "he who Paul was telling them about". Peter was beheaded like any Roman citizen when Peter arrived in Rome, but this time he did not skirt the issue but went out in the open preaching the good news until his own time to be tortured to death came.
we all know the rest of the story. lining up the roads out of Rome, thousands of crosses will bear the bodies of Christians who met the same fate as criminals under Roman law. but that law, would eventually melt in the hands of Constantine because someone dared talk to his mother about the faith. up to now, as the Vatican rises from that edict of Constantine, making Christianity the official religion of the great Roman Empire. the former survived the test of time, the latter did not. bishops will die, but the faith will never perish because the Word has come amongst us to fulfill the will of the Father, and until Jesus' second coming (btw, the gospel for the incoming Sunday) we are to abide and bear fruits.
4) do we therefore just handle this on faith basis? of course not. All posts worldwide can attempt to secure their perimeters and this is where the importance of having parish-based counts. Those who are not yet parish-based can not run to their pastors when challenged by a piece of paper. But no piece of paper can substitute for a working relationship with pastors especially if our presence are beyond CFC lines and onto parish stewardship from the "envelop" to the various parochial services we can get involved in.
Bro. Frank can of course expedite on the Vatican recognition but that has its own timing and protocol. But while that is pending, regional, area and chapter heads must be creative in guarding their flock and expanding their influence within and without the CFC (Luke 16:1-10). Chapter heads of course are engaged in implementating the culture of CFC, especially in making sure the households are meeting and the teachings post CLP are done over time. This is not only necessary but strategic because this is where the sure foundation nestles.
But area and regional heads must show presence especially because the split is still recent. They must set the moving forward agenda to the strong beat and rhythm of excitement and joy. We have already left the stale CFC, let us show evidence that we truly have the holy spirit in CFCFFL. the tens of thousands who milled in and around the Tagaytay convention center last weekend for the CFCFFL family picnic shows where the holy spirit is leaning.
what i am trying to say is we cannot get others excited if we are not excited in the Spirit. we cannot exact joy from others if we are not ourselves joyful in Christ! i have invited everyone to the CFC MidAtlantic website and especially to my article "The Good News and Joy of Moving Forward." in fact, i have even attached the same to my email to some. check it out, you may be inspired to adaptations of your own with the understanding that the enhancements must be led by those who are not distracted from their chapter duties and schedules. (see my attachments in powerpoint).
5) Now of course, we know that Sonny Aguiling has hostaged the two Joes and the two Rickys with his exclusive yahoo group listing and sick strategems. I pray for him and Joe D daily because people who cannot understand they have to turn over records and account for funds after they dismissed themselves, are both dishonest and not law abiding citizens to say the least. but we cannot be ruled by what they do. we cannot allow them to define us.
sure, talks in manila can be done pursuant to the august 14 and 28 agreements. reports can be made to the episcopal commission of the laity about further departures not only from the mission and vision, the CFC culture and from the spirit of brotherhood. these are administrative reforms that are important.
but at the end of the day, we know that they can agree for now but as soon as they turn their backs, they can still be infested by the covetous and obsessive spirit that extracts recognition from legalistic and secular means, so let us not be thrifty in casting those evil spirits that they exhibit in the conduct but deny when confronted.
the only and vigilant recourse to all this, and to our peace, is our appointed time daily with the Lord of Lords, our Christ the King of Kings.

I'm turning comments on now, with the reminder to all to remember that those in the FFL are also our brothers and sisters.

The funny thing about the word forbearance is, when you initially look the word up, it comes across as a legalistic term, but upon further research I found this:

Synonyms: abstinence, avoidance, endurance, fortitude, living with*, longanimity, moderation, patience, patientness, refraining, resignation, restraint, self-control, temperance, tolerance.

The ball is in your court, brothers and sisters.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Can anyone tell me what they see in this picture?

How about in this next one. Give up? Here are a couple of nice red arrows to help...

Actually, it's really nothing, I just found the stickers on the car interesting. That's what I would call dual allegiance.

In this email that's supposedly from Frank Padilla though, the concepts of allegiance are quite clear, at least, according to him. This was originally posted as a comment in the Brighter Days III - Out Of Africa entry, exposing what seems to be a pretty bad reaction from Frank and the FFL to what happened in Africa. I now bring it to your attention:

Frank Padilla

Hello all. Please allow me to give my inputs, especially since my name is again being used.

The CFC that opened up and started CFC there is the CFC that we in CFC-FFL are part of. We in CFC-FFL have not left CFC, the spiritual global body. What we left is the CFCGMFI, the legal corporation in the Philippines. This legal personality is a secondary reality to the primary reality of a spiritual body. In fact, there are many CFC corporations throughout the world. Conversely, there are many countries without corporations, remaining as just part of the spiritual global body. CFCGMFI, or CFC-GK, under the IC, has veered away from our original charism. We in CFC-FFL are restoring this. We have more right to be CFC than those who have veered away.

What has Joe Tale or the IC ever done for Africa? We, our beloved missionaries and I, were the ones who had the vision and the passion for Africa, and who pursued and sacrificed for the mission. For you to now say this is the CFC of Joe Tale is for you to be legalistic but not realistic.

The missionaries are certainly being financially supported by the CFCGMFI. But whose money is that? That came from our tithes. That came from the Int'l Mission Fund that I administered. Even the Fulltimers Fund that I set up could be used to support the missionaries, as I told Clarke. Again the IC is just taking advantage of the fruit of our efforts.

God bless.

Without seeing the actual source of this email, I can't confirm that it did originate from Frank Padilla. Maybe some of you have received it, and if you can, please email it to me. Now IF it did come from him, then I am very dissapointed with his reaction. Has it come to this? The petulant tone isn't what I expect out of FP, and I'd have expected more restraint.

"What has Joe Tale or the IC ever done for Africa?"

Obviously, they've done enough to have all those Bishops give their vote of confidence in them.


Source confirmed, it DID originate from Frank's email address.

Aaand...I just thought of something funny: With the way things are getting the spin after they go through the FFL's media machine, I wouldn't be surprised if they say that these pictures were taken because this blogger is now stalking FFL members. Hehe.

Just a morning joke people, no Bishops, brothers, and ex-leaders were harmed in that one, right??

Just to clarify, that picture was sent in by an enterprising blog member who has a very talented driver, I believe he used to work with Bond...Jaime Bond.

On a related and much happier note, something to give you all much cheer, a mini Brighter Days entry buried in this one:

Click HERE to download this file as a PDF.

Relevant links:

In the first link, you will find this:

"The Apostolic Vicariate of Arabia has its headquarters in Abu Dhabi and comprises the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. (The See of the Aden/Arabia jurisdiction was in Aden (South) Yemen, until 1973.)"
Highlight mine.

What then is the relevance of this:

These were posted on the FFL Multiply blog, along with the "declaration" from Qatar, which, interestingly enough is also under the Apostolic Vicariate of Arabia.

I'll leave you all to make the conclusions, but let me paraphrase the letter from the Vicar Apostolic of Arabia, Paul Hinder:

"Any other group using or making reference to CFC other than the original CFC group will not be recognized in our parishes or use the name CFC for any work they undertake."

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Counter Spin

An email I covered in a previous entry elicited a response quite worthy of posting here. To summarize, it seems a clever FFL member in Germany tried to discourage CFC members (by way of a misleading or badly misinformed email) from attending a meeting/gathering with Bro Nolet Ladrino who is headed there on an official CFC mission.

Here is the response from Bro Sammy Tan:

From: Sammy Tan <>
Subject: Bro. Nolet Ladrido
To: Moises Evangelista <moises.evan@****>

Dear Brother Moises,

We came across your letter, to discourage the purpose of Bro. Nolet Ladrido's visit to Germany/Vienna, and would like to give you our reaction.

Since your group has officially declared your position to the CFC global community, as belonging to the so-called FFL, by choice, please be aware that there still exists the original CFC community of which Bro. Nolet Ladrido is part of. Your (group's) sentiments toward Bro. Nolet and the original CFC, is not similar with the majority of the remaining members, and of those that you are calling "inactive". Your choice to form the "FFL" group has placed you outside the original CFC and so be considered in the "inactive" category, in so far as the original CFC is considered.

Further, since you have opted to be part of FFL, you should realize that you do not represent CFC anymore. Bro. Nolet clearly represents CFC. It is you who does not. Bro. Nolet's visit and assembly is an official CFC gathering.

Your accusations that Bro. Nolet has no authority to act in behalf of CFC constitutes a usurpation of authority that you no longer have. It is you who does not have any authority to act on behalf of CFC. The attached document from the CFC-HQ, dated much ahead of your letter, clearly shows that Bro. Nolet is clothed with authority. Do not be selfish, but allow the individual members, inactive, active or acting active, decide and make the choice for themselves', as to where they can serve the Lord and/or the CFC community more actively.

Your mail also pointed out that Frankfurt has made its position known. This is not true. The so-called leaders in Frankfurt made their position known without regard to the members. The proper and Christ-centered approach that they should have taken is to inform all the members of what was happening and allow them to discern for themselves what they should do. This was, again, another example of incompetent leadership who think that their decision is better than the members. By doing so, they insulted the members by treating them as if they could not think for themselves.

Your method to call-to-order, is reminiscent of the type of leadership experienced in CFC Frankfurt, resulting in the drop and poor turnout of members. It is not winning hearts, but is increasing the gap in the division. Please be more careful with your facts. Let's be fair when you talk about "Rights". Too many mistakes have already been made. Why do you persist in continuing to do them?. I do not believe the confusion is with the members. God bless us all.

Brother Sammy and Brother Hector

Here is Bro Nolet's official endorsement:

I think the best way to end this entry is with...'Nuff Said.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I have it on good authority that the CFC Global site is poised to for a major comeback! As some of you may already know, the old site was maintained by someone who has since moved to the FFL. It pleases me to know that the new site will be in very capable hands and is now set for V.2.

Please keep checking the site to watch for updates. This is great news! Don't forget to add it to your favorites.


No, I'm not involved. =)

Brighter Days III - Out Of Africa

News from the Pastoral Congress in Africa:

Download the PDF version HERE.

There is actually related news relayed by a commenter here in a previous entry, who posted an email from Michael "Shok" Ariola. To quote partially:

"The resolution was that we honor only Couples For Christ Global Mission Foundation Inc and they will take directions from the newly elected CFC International Council headed by Tito Joe. I will send you the copy as soon as I upload it, sorry for writing this, I am just excited to share these developments with you."
Please check the comment and read it in full. It is in the "...Forest For The Trees" entry.

I'd also like to direct your attention to the often updated CFC Europe website, where we can also find the great news out of CFC Barcelona, and about the CFC - FFL Agreement out of Zurich, Switzerland that was recently posted here.


Monday, November 5, 2007


I can't help but sigh with this one:

To: Recipient list suppressed:
From: Easter Group


In life, hard realities come, and so we have to face the existence of two CFCs right now. Organizations, both religious and professional, have gone separate ways and we could not be the judge of the reasons and motivations that prompted such splits, spin-offs and separations. We assure that within CFC-FFL, the decision to move ahead became an inevitability when the leaders who chose to speak out were terminated from their services. Where do you go if you are unwanted and would still like to continue your service to the Lord? Recall that we started out merely as a Restoration Movement, and the intention was to work from within, inspire a critical collaboration with the intent of restoring the eroded spiritual anchors of our existence as a community. But we were left with no other choice because waves of terminations happened one after the other, because we chose to bring forth to the light the need to obey the authority of Mother Church, because we opted to prioritize the need for salvation over liberation, because we wanted to bring back the restoration of building a nation under the headship of God instead of raising heroes merely for the task of nation-building. The choices we have made were also done with the next generations in mind, that never again shall we be lulled into thinking and acting that we can never be saints because we have to be heroes first and expend precious time and effort in building physical structures while neglecting the all important food for the soul.We do hope we have your understanding but not necessarily your acceptance, because only time will tell if the choices we made were all done so that from this day forward, to the generations that will follow, to the history written down of these two CFC communities, which of the two remained true and faithful to the original charisms and was not afraid to openly proclaim its brand of Catholicism to the whole world.
God bless!
In Jesus through Mary,

Uhm. Ok, here are the Easter/Playboy bunnies minutes showing their plots, then look in the Resignations section HERE, a "clarification on a termination" video HERE, then see how they attempted to register for their own corporation.

These are not actions of people who supposedly merely wanted to start a "Restoration Movement" whose intentions were to "work from within."

C'mon FFL people. You are better than this, I know you can find enough credibility to recruit the youth without having to lie to them, it's already been done and the way has been shown to you. You are talking about starting something "with the next generations" in mind, how are you going to do that on a flimsy foundation built on untruths? Open your eyes...please.

Discuss this in the forum.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Forest For the Trees

"It's one thing not to see the forest for the trees, but then to go on to deny the reality of the forest is a more serious matter."
Paul Weiss

Sometimes when we're deeply involved in something emotionally, we fail to see a solution even if it's staring us in the face. The issues we face when dealing with the FFL are very emotional. There is pain involved, indignation, and just over all distress about the whole thing. We are so caught up in defending the CFC, and I'm sure the FFL is pretty caught up in justifying their actions and their existence that it doesn't occur to most of us that there are peaceful solutions that are both logical and inspired.

I salute CFC-Zurich AND FFL-Zurich for this truly inspired Joint Statement of Peaceful Agreement between the CFC and FFL. My hats off to all of you and those involved in putting this together, for being able to take a step back and SEE God's forest, despite the trees the block our view. I honor you all for seeing past the petty issues being able to focus on what is truly most important: God and His people. You may have paved the way and provided the inspiration for all future interaction between the two groups. To quote a sentence in the email that contained this agreement:

"This document is a result of a spirit-filled dialogue involving leaders of CFC and FFL held on 20 October 2007. During that meeting, we are one in agreeing to relate to one another with love, generosity and respect inspite of the current situation."
Here it is:

You can download this in PDF format HERE.

Lets discuss this in the forum HERE.


Friday, November 2, 2007

CFC Theme for 2008


I originally posted this without any remarks from me because I wanted the beautiful theme to stand on its own. I know that the prior entry has a lot more "comment attraction" because of its controversial subject and topic, but I implore all my brothers and sisters to try and balance your comments on the prior entry with a comment IN THIS ONE. This is THE theme for the whole of next year and I'd like to hear your reactions to it. Lets hear all the voices in support of CFC's official theme for 2008! We don't have to be told the way, we ARE looking forward!


Mini Update:

here's a version that's not the photocopy. PDF download link HERE. Spread the word!

You can discuss this in the forum HERE.


The FFL has issued a couple of responses to some of the past happy events in CFC. Here is the first in response to Bishop Reyes' talk at the MCG meeting on Oct. 16, which we covered here.


A little bonus: Bishop Reyes in the Q&A portion of the MCG meeting. writes:

It was with much sense of consolation that we read the CFC Multimedia Center's account of Bishop Gabby Reyes' exhortation to the CFC Mission Core Group in its regular Mission Core Teaching Night last October 16, 2007.

The heart and core of Bishop Gabby's teaching clearly placed the priorities of faith communities in the proper context. He specified that there are two goals of integral evangelization. The first goal "IS SALVATION WHICH BRINGS ABOUT RECONCILIATION WITH GOD, RESULTING TO FREEDOM FROM SIN AND THE REJECTION OF SIN AND EVIL." The second in terms of priority is liberation which "ASPIRED TO FREE MAN FROM HUNGER, DISEASE, IGNORANCE, LACK OF HOUSING, INHUMAN POVERTY AND IN JUSTICE." But in the same token, he reminded the assembly to keep in mind that "IN OUR WORK OF SOCIAL APOSTOLATE, SALVATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LIBERATION."

The good Bishop also affirmed that the study and practice of contemplative prayer is important, stressing that "prayer and contemplation should be the main sustaining force of evangelization, because it is the deep experience of the person and the message of Jesus which leads us to effective evangelization."

We thank the good Bishop for his strong reaffirmation of the very directions of CFC-FFL in initiating the Restoration Movement. It was in keeping with the call for the restoration of the eroded spiritual anchors of our existence and the inordinate priorities placed on the aspect of liberation that it became inevitable for CFC-FFL to bring back the community to its original charism.

In the same token, the good Bishop struck a familiar word of caution after the Church's sad experience with the ideology of liberation theology in Latin America by stressing that "social apostolate, as a main component of evangelization, must be carried out in a close relationship with catechesis and worship." Continuing his words of caution, he stressed that "social apostolate without catechesis can become activism and may easily fall into the danger of being guided by unchristian ideologies." Bishop Gabby was equally emphatic that "without worship and prayer, social apostolate will lose it source of strength."

These messages bring forth shared memories of a lamented past where the overromanticization of our social apostolate came at the expense of our work of evangelization resulting in our dwindling numbers. More recently, we also saw the sad spectacle of being coy albeit bashful of unfurling our Christian banner to pay more tribute to the values of entrepreneurship.But nowhere does one see in the news releases the face and the identity of the mother which gave birth to the child. Again, the child may have placed the mother at the altar of sacrifice just over 2 weeks after the good Bishop made his powerful exhortation.

Lessons are indeed hard to come by and memories are bound to be short. As CFC-FFL, we ought not to repeat the mistakes of the past and always seek the proper alignments of our vision, mission and values and never again should we allow our priorities to make us veer away from our true north.

Couple for Christ Foundation for Family and Life

This is not meant to be offensive, and I will say without without any sarcasm at all, but frankly...who asked them? It seems the FFL keeps looking for "reaffirmation" for their existence within CfC's activities, something I find objectionable since they've already left. They already EXIST, why keep trying to justify it unless they themselves doubt the purpose of their existence.

Here's a novel idea; why not have your own MCG gathering, have Bishop Reyes speak (IF he is your spiritual advisor, I actually don't know) and then write about that instead? Surely it will be more beneficial to your members to have the good Bishop say something DIRECTLY TO YOU.

We're doing just fine, thank you. If we needed to clarify his own words, we'll ask the good Bishop himself. I think we understood him enough on our own without your "clarifications", after all, didn't we all come from the same religious background?

All I can comprehend from your email is that you needed to spin his words to justify your existence.

Let me define SPIN:

The techniques of spin include:

This next one I'm taking with a grain of salt for now since I cannot confirm its source either from the FFL official site or from their blog.


Their blogsite has just added this, so it's official.

Note that while this seems to be in a reconciliatory spirit, they have still managed to make it appear that CFC's ideals are not centered on GOD. This strikes me as offensive and should be pointed out.

Emphasis on social (GK).
Build a nation.
Focus on heroism.
Inward look to the Philippines
GK as non-sectarian.

Emphasis on spiritual (family & life).
Build God's kingdom.
Focus on holiness.
Mission outlook to other countries.
Total work overtly Catholic.

What gave them the right to falsely define what the CFC's priorities are? The last I heard, Frank wasn't in attendance at the last council meeting. Are we not after all, still sticking to the mission/vision that he himself helped create? I don't see any "nation building" bulletins coming out from the IC, I don't even see GK being emphasized other than it being just ONE of the 7 Pillars.

On GK.
If GK has seemed to have taken on a life of its own, let us acknowledge the fact that it is a highly successful program for the poor. It obviously won't have its many corporate and govt partners if they didn't see its merits. CFC will always be at the root of that, but CFC isn't about who gets the acclaim. We did a good thing. CFC did a great thing with GK. Let us allow that to prosper and do the good work that it does. Many of the poor are being sheltered, many of the poor are getting their dignity back. Let us rejoice in God's work that is being done, because no matter what, it IS...and that's what counts.

About the "Mission outlook to other countries.", this one at least seems relatively accurate, as they are still on the offensive and employ the by-hook-or-by-crook strategies, as shown in this email:

From: moises.evan@****
To: mcgonzales@******
Subject: Re: EMCreport2007
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 21:45:26 +0100

Thanks Bro. Melvin,

Now I got it. I`ll send it to our website operator for publishing. There might be some slight changes (or might be none at all).

As to the plane ticket, it`s OK, but it is quite heartening to know. You know, my visit is still part of my pastoral responsibility considering the fact that Essen has not declared the position that time and until now. The amount does not matter it is the question of principle and Christian values and responsibilities. Anyway, the Lord will provide and He always did more than what I am spending during my mission trips. I pray that the Lord will bless those supported you as I know you are one of those who voted yes but I pray more for those who say no that the Lord will bless them as well of what they deserved.

Do not be afraid Bro., you are not alone. I think you have make your position known to all so that people will follow. I know they are waiting for your words. Let us be ready for the split. This has to happen even in Essen. Majority of Europe and the entire International Community is with FFL. So you will not be left out. I hope Bro. Bert and CO. will hold on to their words that they will not accept anyone. If they did, then you can declare your stand in CFC Essen so they cannot declare that Essen is 100% IC. Like what happened in Geneva. When the group of Art declares for IC more than half of the couples declare that they are FFL. I was there last weekend.

Bro. Please tell the members, Bro. Nolet has nothing to do with CFC Germany, nor he is an elder in the Phils. and he is not an official representative of IC and so you cannot call for an official assembly that he can speak. He can come and Bert can invite those who wants to listen but that should not be an official gathering.

Bro. let`s face it. You have to make your stand known by all.

I will be with you togehter with the NC and the rest of CFC-FFL community.

God bless.

Bro. Moises

Note: According to the Home Office, "Bro Nolet is going there with official status because the IC, through Joe Yamamoto, has asked him to."

Seems their tactics haven't changed. Let me just remind the FFL of their theme for 2008:

We are pleased to inform you of CFC-FFL’s theme for next year 2008. It is taken from the book of Zephaniah. Our 2008 theme is “Our joy in Christ.”

“The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of you” (Zep 3:17).

We had been unfaithful to our covenant. We had been rebellious. But now we have been purified and we have been restored. In CFC-FFL we are a remnant humbled and made lowly (Zep 3:12).
Those who speak lies and have a deceitful tongue have been removed (Zep 3:13). We have no further misfortune to fear (Zep 3:15). Indeed, the Lord has brought about our restoration (Zep 3:19,20).

Discuss this in the forum.