UPDATED AT THE BOTTOM! [4/18/2008]
Is it just me or does the latest article about CFC on ABS-CBN look more like an advertisement for the FFL than an actual journalistic piece?
Once again, the FFL makes clever and twisted use of context to attempt to sway the court of public opinion in their favor. Little do they know they are hurting themselves as much as they think they are hurting CFC. Such a nice act by a supposedly religious organization, eh? Also, this
poor excuse for a reporter Carmela Fonbuena needs a few protest emails sent her way. She has supposedly written a non-biased article, without consulting with all parties relevant to the piece.
My dear, you have some explaining to do, like for starters:
In your irresponsible rush to come out with your "scoop", did you bother to check your facts and sources?
But I'm not suprised, I would have thought the FFL would find a better mouthpiece than someone who declares , "I turn gossips into information" on her Myspace site.
Anyway, what's the whole brouhaha about? It sure has gotten us stirred up, hasn't it? Lets look past the headline first, after all, it was concocted by someone who seems to have a thing for using a sensational headline to sell a story or hide its lack of substance/truthful content. She's also going to have to learn the meaning of chastise as opposed to admonish, it just might help her journalistic credibility.
Let's pick this story apart at the seams, why don't we?
"The Vatican has chastised the Couples for Christ (CFC) group supportive of Gawad Kalinga founder Antonio Meloto for the "erroneous steps [it has] taken" when it decided to shift its focus from the spiritual to the social. The group was instructed to make a public apology."What's sad is that it is painfully obvious that all the information being fed to this hapless reporter is coming from one place. The Vatican has NEVER chastised CFC, only one person keeps on doing that and though he may have designs on a saintly position someday (good luck brother), he sure doesn't work for the Vatican.
Also, only the FFL will use such wording as, "...decided to shift its focus from the spiritual..." Tell me again, WHO decided? Was it an official decision? Did the IC release a statement we didn't know about? Sheesh, you guys, this is getting old.
"The Vatican disapproved of CFC’s "overemphasis on the social work"Ok, I'm assuming they snatched this quote from a line in the next paragraph which goes,
"...said that CFC should "counterbalance the overemphasis on social work...."How they can squeeze "disapproved" from this statement, I don't know, but I would call it a fair amount of overzealous misinterpretation, which they do quite a lot. I'm trying to be politically correct, but the actual thought in my head is telling me to request that they take remedial english courses.
The article goes on to describe a series of letters, four to be exact, that were supposedly obtained by ABS-CBN (I wonder from who? Hmm. It sure wasn't from the IC, and the FFL is obviously not copy-furnished in these communiques.). It also details a phone interview with Tony Meloto, though I'd wonder why they would try to interview him as he hasn't been a part of the CFC-IC for a year.
Oh let me guess, interviewing one of the IC might let the cat out of the bag?
First off, YES, Bro Joe Tale DID go to the Vatican. Every local area head should know about this. He went there to get a clear picture of what CFC should be doing to comply with Vatican directives on dealing with agencies that promote artificial family control, among others. It is also true that Cardinal Rylko wrote a letter to the IC, defining what should be done by CFC to comply with The Vatican's directives. The letter was a re-iteration of what was discussed during Joe Tale's visit.
What they conveniently forgot to quote in Cardinal Rylko's letter is the part where he said that he recognizes one CFC only and will not allow others to use the name.
Why do I know this? Well, the letter was read to the area heads and leaders last Sunday, that's why. The IC has also started taking the steps outlined in the Cardinal's letter, the first of which was this full page ad in the Philippine Star placed almost 2 weeks ago:
Why are we doing this? The answer is evident. Obviously we are not thumbing our collective noses at the authorities. The IC recognizes that some actions it has unknowingly taken may have not been in line with Vatican policy. They've asked for clarity and forgiveness, and are taking the necessary steps to correct it, hence the Cardinal's letter and it's instructions. Isn't that what a good person who's made a "mistake" should be doing? It's just sad that the FFL jumped on it with glee, thinking they can use it to fuel their fizzling attempt to lay claim to the CFC name and snipe its members. That letter should now be released by the IC, and if I may humbly suggest, an official letter to ABS-CBN to protest and demand a retraction/correction for the very misleading and obviously biased article.
At least one good thing has come out of this.
"Reyes has sided with the breakaway group of Padilla."Why good, one might wonder? Well, it's one TRUTH that has come out in the open, proving once again that God works in mysterious ways. All this time he has acted as our official spiritual adviser. I'd now like to pose the question directly to the good Bishop, respectfully of course: Where does your heart belong?
Wouldn't that be a case of the shephard neglecting his flock?
In closing I'd just like to share something I got in my email. I was not able to get permission to reprint it, so if the author would prefer not to have it on the blog, please let me know and I'll remove it.
Re: GK enough or more....Are We a Church of the Poor?
Thank you, Dody, for your sharing. At this stage of our lives, we may be repositories of vast experiences and, hopefully, wisdom. This wisdom and the concern we have for mankind and the ensuing generations are the greatest gifts we can offer.
As I write this, media has already reported what was a private situation deliberately made public by some who wish to taint and destroy GK. It is the work of wolves in sheep's clothing, reminiscent of the high priests and pharisees who sought to destroy the truth and perpetuate their governance of hypocrisy. The news say that the Vatican has admonished Couples For Christ over Gawad Kalinga. Through Cardinal Rylko, triggered by Bishop Gabby Reyes, an instruction was given to CFC to publicly apologize for the sacndal caused over GK's partnership with a pharmaceutical company - and then terminate the concerned partnership.
There was an effort to keep the situation between those directly involved. Unfortunately, letters between Cardinal Rylko, Bishop Reyes and the CFC Council were leaked to media in a continuing efrfort to discredit both the leadership of CFC and the work of GK. The damage, contrary to what enemies of CFC or GK may think, is less on the CFC community or GK. CFC is a renewal community; adversity and trials are part and parcel of the spiritual journey of members. CFC may be shaken, but it will stand and then move on. The 26-year history of CFC was wisely guided to be autonomous of the Church in its operations. Frank Padilla who led CFC to pursue its mission with or without the approval and support of bishops and parish priests is the one now trying to force CFC to be under the full ambit and governance of the Church beyond matters of faith and dogma. It is too late, though, as most members are fully confident that they are not only good Christians but, through the mission of their community, go beyond the usual behavior of average Catholics.
The greater and more dangerous damage will be felt by the Church as an institution and its influence over the flock. The conflicting messages and actuation of the Church hierarchy among themselves and oftentimes in full viedw of the public contribute to the lessening of the credibility of this same hierarchy. Worse, the participation or intrusion of the Vatican in a controversy which it should keep away from can lessen its own credibility from the high point where the late charismatic Pope John Paul II had brought it. The Vatican should review history and how it lost its dominant primacy over Europe, and how Catholics in Brazil and trhe Philippines, two of the most populous nations contributing tens of millions of faithful to the global Catholic population, experience a constant losss of members to other faiths.
What is heartening, though, is the present trip of Pope benedict XVI to the United States. The US is one of the leading anti life nations of the world by definition of the Church of what anti life is. The US is host to almost everything anti life like abortion, divorce, contraception and aggressive global promotion of condoms and other contraceptives for population control . The Pope eagerly prepared for his US trip, and rightly so. Before global audiences, the Pope basked in the welcome of the leading anti life preseident of the world who has aggressively waged wars which the Church has declared anti life over and over again.
It is apparent and enlightening that the Pope chooses engagement over condemnation, that the Pope chooses evangelization over Inquisition and fundamentalism. The Pope has not ceded his crusade against anti life issues, but he is not afraid that his faith will be threatened by engaging those who believe otherwise. I am convinced that the Pope also believes that his witnessing the love of Christ to all people, and most especially to the lost and to the poor, is primordial and clearly superior to religious bigotry and fundamentalism.
Thank you, Dody, for strengthening my resolve for the mission I have embraced.
UPDATE: The IC response, and I have to say...THANK YOU. I believe I'm not alone when I say that I love the pro-active IC!
We view with concern reports that the brethren are being unduly disturbed by the article that appeared in ABS-CBN News Online on April 15, 2008 entitled "Vatican Admonishes Couples for Christ Over Gawad Kalinga."
We would like to inform you of the following actions that the International Council has taken in this connection:
1. We have brought to the attention of ABS-CBN News Online the fact that the article quotes out of context portions of the letter that Cardinal Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council of the Laity of the Vatican, wrote to Executive Director Joe Tale last March 11, 2008. Please see attached.
2. We have also written to the Cardinal apprising him of this article and seeking his guidance on how to address the confusion that has arisen because of this article.
3. We shall issue statements in the future as it becomes necessary.
In the meantime, we would like to assure you of one important thing: NOWHERE IN THE LETTER OF THE CARDINAL IS IT EXPRESSED THAT THE VATICAN HAS SIDED WITH THE GROUP OF FRANK PADILLA.
This is still part of the trials that the Lord has seen fit to allow us to undergo as a test of our humility and obedience. We ask everyone to pray for the community that we love so much and to continue to relate to everyone in love. We remind everyone that the Lord's message for each and every one of us is "Love one another as I have loved you."
May God bless us all.
THE CFC INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL
Here's the official response to ABS:
Thank you again IC. For you I dedicate this song: