Friday, April 18, 2008

Thank You Dear Bishop

The Inquirer's less biased article on the supposed "admonition" is on the front page today:

Vatican ‘corrects’ Couples for Christ’s ‘GK’ focus

By Jeannette Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:38:00 04/18/2008

MANILA, Philippines—The Vatican merely intended to guide and correct Gawad Kalinga’s “overemphasis on social work” when it sent a letter to Couples for Christ (CFC) chiding it for its “erroneous steps,” according to an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chair of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity, Thursday told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the Vatican had the authority and duty to remind and guide lay groups.

He said he did not think that the letter from the Vatican referring to Gawad Kalinga—a social action group that was founded by the CFC and which has become hugely successful in building homes for the poor—was an admonition.

“It is more of a guidance, a correction. It is merely correcting the overemphasis on social work. It is correcting receiving funds from pharmaceutical companies [who support or manufacture contraceptives]. It is saying, stop acting like that,” he said.

The bishop was asked to comment on a report on the ABS-CBN website that said the CFC had been chastised by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity in a March 11 letter to the CFC president, Jose Tale.

In that letter, the Vatican noted Gawad Kalinga’s purported shift of focus from the spiritual to the social, as well as its willingness to receive donations from companies that promoted artificial family planning.

Giving ‘too little’

According to Reyes, the letter carried a quote from Pope Benedict XVI that said: “Whoever does not give God, gives too little.”

“That’s before the part where it says CFC should counterbalance the overemphasis on social work,” the bishop said, adding:

“Overemphasis on social work is not good when you are already neglecting your relationship with Christ.”

Reyes further said the CFC had always been against artificial family planning but that Gawad Kalinga had been receiving funds from companies manufacturing contraceptives.

“If you do that, you are forgetting Christian values,” Reyes said.

“You can always work with everyone—Muslims, Buddhists—but still not forget Christian values. We can remain Christians. We should not forget our Christian values,” he said.

He added that when he discussed the letter with some CFC leaders, they assured him that they would abide by the Vatican guidance.

Asked if the Gawad Kalinga had placed the CFC in a bad light, Reyes answered in the negative.

Split

He said the letter was probably intended to prevent a similar conflict from occurring in other CFC organizations in other countries.

That conflict had actually resulted in a split between Antonio Meloto and his group and the breakaway group led by CFC founder Frank Padilla.

The letter from the Vatican appears to be taking the side of Padilla’s group, which had protested Meloto’s style of managing Gawad Kalinga.

Together with Padilla, Meloto, received the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Leadership. He said his organization would continue to serve the poor and the country.

“Our work is nation-building,” he said, adding that Gawad Kalinga had the support of more than 350 partner-corporations.

“We do not judge politicians as corrupt. We engage them in our work. We are a divided country already in terms of politics, religion. We want to unite everyone through our work,” he said.

Meloto stressed that he was a devout Catholic and remained an active member of the CFC. “But I am more focused on nation-building, in our work at Gawad Kalinga,” he said.

Asked to comment on the letter from the Vatican, CFC president Jose Tale cut short a phone interview with the Inquirer, saying: “We (CFC officers and members) are preparing a statement … We will be discussing that … We already came out with a paid ad on April 7.”

That advertisement merely reiterated the mission of the organization and its four core values—pro-God, pro-family, pro-life, and pro-poor.

It stated: “We will continue to pursue the work for the poor through Gawad Kalinga and our social ministries. Gawad Kalinga is an integral part of our life and mission resulting from our spiritual growth and our commitment to God to love the poor.

“We will continue to defend, protect and promote life in accordance with the guidelines set by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. We sincerely apologize for any scandal that the Couples for Christ leadership, past or present, may have caused among the faithful with our previous partnerships.”

“We will do our mission in full communion with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and in observance of the statutes of Couples for Christ as a private international association of the faithful as approved by Pontifical Council for the laity.”

Limit on donations

“We will continue to welcome back our brethren who have left the community and help promote the spirit of our brotherhood and reconciliation.”

Asked whether the CFC would move to impose limitations on the donations to be received by Gawad Kalinga, Tale merely said the matter was part of the discussion among CFC officials.


Copyright 2008 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Suffice to say, that's it in a nutshell. Thank you Bishop Gabby, for debunking the other article. That's exactly what we needed and expected from the spiritual adviser of CFC. In basketball terms, we call it, "GREAT D!"

Have a great weekend my friends, it has been exciting. A safe and blessed trip to those going out of town, you know who you are. Subic will be a holy and happy place this weekend.

My greetings to all in HOLD, have a great event and God Bless you all.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

CD,

Whatever happened to responsible journalism? And I didn't mean about that article on ABS-CBN, I'm talking about you!

Yes, your blog falls under this category of journalism (the practice of reporting, photographing, editing news for one of the mass media)albeit unprofessional because you have the capacity to influence other people's opinion thru this medium.

Now, everytime that there is a negative thing said about CFC, you are the first one to throw that rock towards that other group, FFL. And CFC's banner theme for the year is what? "Love one another". Oh yes, practice what you preach!

Your bickering is just pathetic. But this side is the one that is VERY VERY agressive towards the other. I haven't read anything of similar from the other group's website or blogs. And you call yourself defenders? C'mon, defending what from whom?

But I must admit that indeed I got myself coming back here to hear news (although one-sided). And now how I wish I haven't wasted those time in this!

Apologize! Publicly!

C.D. said...

To Anonymous,

If you can prove to me that no members of the FFL were behind that abs-cbn news release, I will apologize, publicly, and dedicate 10 entries of this blog to them. Deal?

Besides, I have never claimed to be a journalist. I have never worked as one, nor do I intend to be one. This blog isn't a broadsheet. It's one man's personal view of the world, in this case, MY world as it revolves around CFC. If people happen to agree with me, great, but I don't claim to write for the mass media. I don't get paid to write here and I certainly don't sell my writing to any publications. I am only putting out the truth and proof of it as I come across it.

I HAVE apologized to those I've wronged, I don't claim to be infallible, and I certainly have my human traits.

As for "throwing rocks", well, we've tried turning the other cheek and look what happened? What I am doing now is an active defense of what I hold dear. IF someone was throwing rocks at YOUR children, would you ask them to turn the other cheek or put a stop to the rock throwers? You might call it pathetic, aggressive, or whatever, but what you don't see or refuse to see are the incredibly damaging attacks by the other side. Were we supposed to just look away while CFC crumbles apart under their sustained campaign of misinformation?

Pray tell, maybe you have a solution to all of this "bickering?" We'd love to hear it.

CD

jonitanitayturin said...

CD, here’s quite a bundle. Thank you for your very quick and sharp retort of that highly disturbing ABS-CBN plug, and now this presentation of the more balanced view from another source. The former article has helped to push us closer to Light and presented a good opportunity for “collective catharsis” or general healing from the strain of the “original sin” that Padilla et al committed for “stealing” CFC from LNP.

I also rise to cast away that unloving feeling from neighbor-anonymous – you FFL? (Hi, there, lift up your spirits, friend, we can’t be disagreeables by disagreeing! Okay, let’s deal with “apology”. I present my reaction to ABS-CBN story here...).

I lift to our Lord, all the entries in this IDOTRCFC blog, and pray that His Wisdom and Peace will lead us all to victory. What a great company we are in, in this your blog, CD, as we see other’s counsels and opinions!


NOW, MY GENERAL REACTION (TO THE ABS-CBN's FABLED PIECE)

1. ... the Vatican has chastised CFC (which) was instructed to make a public apology…. The Vatican disapproved of CFC’s "overemphasis on the social work" …

COMMENTS:
WHAT??? Why an apology for stressing the social context of GK that was regularly bannered as such FOR LOOONNNG under the Social Ministry Pillar of CFC? I pity the source who can hideously reduce our venerable Vatican to insolence. Imagine, requiring an apology for stressing GK as a social project that helps uplift the country’s poor! On the other hand, I will certainly be saddened if our respected Vatican has indeed decided to partake of a “sticky” issue it rather wisely avoided... What about all the other church-based social outreach works? What mind could be so distorted to feed on this rubbish? Perhaps for causing anxiety due to lack of correct public appreciation of its GK work…yes, that is a more laudable reason for a CFC act of public contrition. But a “public apology” for doing a long-accepted, even “overemphasized” type of social work?! Lord, forgive them, they may YET stop spinning and then thankfully speak the truth...

FACTS AND SPIN:
Fact No. 1: the Vatican has not underemphasized social work and preferential option for the poor; in fact it has beatified Mother Teresa of India fort FOR EMPHASIS.

Fact No. 2. the Vatican has always opposed artificial family planning.

Fact No. 3: The malpractices in GK that have been adverted to happened during the time of the complainant-leader of FFL, i.e., Frank Padilla himself! CFC was virtually HIS before he abandoned it formally in August last year.

PROBABLE SPIN:
That “The Vatican disapproved of CFC’s ‘overemphasis on the social work’” is a sweeping statement.

The Vatican, or any reasonable overseer for that matter, can judge the impact of a social work, but may not disapprove(!) of it per se as under- or overemphasized, because that depends on the capability and enthusiasm of the social worker as well as on the culture and environment he is in, among others. In short, there is much subjectivity obtaining here that will make it difficult for one to consider as objective or beyond reproach a DISAPPROVAL of an “overemphasized” social intervention, like GK.

Therefore, that the Vatican made a categorical disapproval of GK’s “overemphasis on social work” may be a spin.


2. "Since [the split] has caused public scandal, a certain public reparation is also needed. We urge that you prepare and spread in the newspapers in the Philippines and on your Web site a well thought and clear public declaration recognizing the erroneous steps taken," Rylko added.

COMMENTS:
A direct quotation... OK, on bended knees, before our Mighty God, we have to ask for apology and forgiveness…

May this also be used to atone for the surreptitious abduction of CFC away from LNP by Padilla et all during the lamented CFC “revolt of 1993”. May this proposed parallel act of contrition bring about the much-needed absolution, peace in our hearts, and harmony in our relationships.

By Vatican’s mandate for CFC’s public declaration for errors (in implementing GK), God may have shut a door; yet He may also want the same situation to open an opportunity for permanent healing of CFC’s once-benighted past with LNP.

POINTS OF CLARIFICATION:
Well, we need to see the whole letter of Cardinal Rylko, so we will know where CFC will direct its apologies to (re recent split), and how to say it. As far as I can recall the earlier reports last year, the general public, as reflected in readers’ reactions to the electronic news, was raring to attack hypocritical church positions on poverty, poverty-alleviation and similar issues the last time that GK appeared to be denigrated out of bigotry ...No I am not threatening. I only recall then that even the “meron” started giving nasty comments against our Mother Church, when pseudo-moralists began to talk about rejecting the helping hands for poverty-alleviation from suspected promoters of anti-life drugs and the like...


3. “Vatican sides with breakaway group…Rylko’s letter effectively puts the Vatican on the side of the CFC breakaway group of Frank Padilla--the founder of CFC—“

COMMENTS:
PLEASE, NO MORE STOKING OF THE DIVISIVE SPINS! The word “effectively” here is used to create a spin! One can recall the incident last year where the Bishops’ recommendation to suspend the regular elections (which recommendation was reportedly solicited), where non-compliance thereof was argued about as blatant “disobedience of the bishops”! The spinner was: not following a recommendation or suggestion might not really constitute disobedience but effectively DID in the case of the bishops; therefore, it was a disobedient act not to follow the bishops’ recommendation(???!!!).

4. But Padilla’s group frowned on precisely the two things that displeased the Vatican. Padilla wanted to focus on evangelization. Some GK leaders prefer to work even with people who don’t strictly adhere to Catholic teachings.

COMMENTS:
I consider all of Brother Frank Padilla’s criticisms after his voluntarily resignation in February 2007 as means to justify his planned comeback concocted by him and the Easter Group. “Fooled us once,” since 1993, “shame on him!” “Fooled us twice,” since 1981, “shame on us!”


5. “(Bishop) Reyes has sided with the breakaway group of Padilla. It was him, along with Archbishop Angel Lagdameo and Bishop Socrates Villegas, who tried to mend the differences between the two factions last year. But to no avail.”

COMMENTS:
These questions:

Why did Bishop Reyes ask from Cardinal Turjillo, of the PCF in the Vatican, question/s about donations from companies promoting aborftifacient pills? Did he not know the answer/s?

PROBABLE ANSWERS:
1. Bishop Reyes could have breezed through his elementary moral queries (he’s certainly a DD – Doctor of Divinity - as a Bishop). However, he knew, as he stated last year, that the CBCP-ECL had no administrative jurisdiction over CFC - it being a private international lay organization - although the individual bishops could exercise the same in their own dioceses. Only the Vatican could. Therefore, if there was something else that needed to be resolved following the CBCP-refereed conciliation meeting between the CFC and FFL last year, only the Vatican could authoritatively do so and mandate CFC’s compliance, as might be warranted.

2. So, if it was fatuous for Bishop Reyes to ask the same question of his own behalf, then that letter-query was made for at least three reasons: one, it was solicited from him by someone; two, was initiated by the Bishop himself in order to help that someone; three, it was made for both reasons. No doubt, Bishop Reyes and someone could have known the weight and value of that letter.

3. “Reyes has sided with the breakaway group of Padilla.” AGREE? DISAGREE?

Anonymous said...

CD,

Bilib ako sa iyo, kanina lang eh nabasa ko na hinusgahan mo na si Bishop at gusto mo ng palitan.

Ngayon naman ay thank you. May pa dear dear pa -:).

Wow, how about huwag ka na lang pabigla-bigla, marami ka na ring kakampon dito eh. I can see that paniwalang-paniwala sila sa lahat ng sinasabi mo.

Thank you dear CD.

Anonymous said...

CD,

Is there anyway to post the letter from the Vatican sent to the leadership. I think this will really help with the "messages taken out of context"

Brother from Chicago

Tigress said...

To: Anonymous

I'm a journalist and by no stretch of the imagination can I call CD's blog journalism. As he rightly puts it, it is his own personal view of the world. One is free to contribute to his view in order to enlarge it.

I salute CD for the fairness and the balanced way he is administering his blog. He does not hesitate to put in even comments like yours that plainly do not belong here because as the title of his blog says, this is "In Defense of the Real CFC."

Indeed we are called to love one another. But the Lord also calls us to defend His people and the community that He has raised up. So we may love you, Mr. Anonymous, but we also have the right to defend what we hold dear. That's not journalism -- that's called fighting the good fight of faith.

bubuwit said...

to anonymous,

i dont think this blog breaks a code on "responsible journalism". besides, the author of this blog does not profess to be a journalist.

that's the beauty or problem with the Internet - you can read what is written and AGREE or DISAGREE.

anyway, ayaw kitang patulan.

Deo Volente said...

To the anonymous who wanted responsible journalism:

This is a blog and it has no pre-tense of journalism or fairness. It is the opinion of one blogger and we can all contribute our commentaries either to support or refute the blogger's opinion.

Actually, I thought everything was cool as Dec, Jan and Feb were mostly quiet around here. It really felt like everyone was moving on which was good.

Then there seemed to have been a move by the FFL to campaign for the perception that Frank Padilla is the founder of CFC. See here.
Some quotes from them:

"The separation was inevitable, if God was to be obeyed."

"With this understanding, we can then accept that even for the very start, at the founding of CFC, God intended Frank to be the true
founder."

"In humility and submission to God’s will, Frank now also accepts that he is the founder
of CFC."


It's possible that that campaign to glorify brother Frank was what prompted the Ugnayan staff to get the account NOT of the two sides (CFC and FFL) but straight from the Ligaya ng Panginoon. Brother Vic (whom I can say is the rightful founder though he detest such honor) nicely put it when he said "Why does there have to be a fight on who is the founder? In the broader spiritual community, it is distasteful and indecent to fight for such an honor.".

It was around this time that this blog started to come alive again (unfortunately). And a series of "Origins" article came about to bring light to the matter.

Then there's this blatant mis-representation by ABS-CBN. The tendency of this blog like always is to correct the in-accuracies.

Looking here, I see this blog as mostly defensive but ONLY as an effect of the cause which is an offense by FFL leaders. (We should make a distinction however that most of the grass-roots members in FFL are God-loving people and they are not different from us. They too get offended.)

It would really be nice if our two groups can just move along and not put the other group in bad light. The IC has been very good at this and I have not found an official statement by them recently chastising FFL. They did publish the "Origins" which somehow put Frank at a bad light. However, one can argue that it's really difficult to paint a rosy picture of brother Frank if what the LNP said is correct. In other words, sometimes the truth hurts or offends.

I've noticed that the offense and defense of both sides are being done differently. On the FFL side, it seems to be the leaders who are on the offensive (via official statements or proxy publications). The FFL members seem to be quiet. On the CFC side, the IC can be disappointingly slow sometimes to defend so the CFC members take matters into their own hands and refute the ill-statements (albeit sometimes displaying emotions or rage).

The reactions of some of the CFC members (and maybe CD) are human emotions that sometimes don't come out appealing to some (similar to FFL's Ado Paglinawan and Manny Hermano's name calling before). This is a natural tendency out of frustration. This is possibly what FFL members feel too when they hear something that puts FFL in a bad light (like our commentaries here). Let us just understand one another and conduct our search for the truth in a manner befitting someone awaken to the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

What's happening is really sad. I wish we could all move on. Since the two groups are separated, we should just mind our own business. If FFL feels like we are running GK in a bad way, they can come back and help us fix it. If they don't want to come back, they can pursue whatever charism they think was lost or implement whatever management style they want in their own organization and we will be more than happy for them.

Again, to be clear. We are not attacking FFL, specially the grass-roots members. We are only trying to refute any mis-statements or lies. We do feel frustrations sometimes for some of your leaders. We are trying our best to be Christian in our methods but understand that it can be difficult sometimes specially if our human weakness comes to light.

I apologize if I sound condescending or self-righteous, or if I too lack those fruits of the Spirit.

God bless!!!

Gia Garcia said...

I so totally support you CD and like you said, this is a BLOG, not a news site, and you are entitled to your own opinion and even your biases.

I believe the Real CFC has moved on and grown from the crisis last year. To my surprise, another issue came out! And through the media! It is obvious who, again, started or instigated it. And I believe it is this 'other' group that is VERY VERY Aggressive, trying all means to attack CFC and GK. Now that's pathetic!

Anonymous said...

CD,

Cardinal Rylko's letter to Bro. Joe Tale can be accessed at this address from ABS-CBN News Online: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/images/news/newspics/downloads/cfcletter.pdf

For everyone to read the letter, please publish it here too.

Thanks and God bless

Anonymous said...

jonitanitayturin,

Just a correction on your fact no. 1.

"Fact No. 1: the Vatican has not underemphasized social work and preferential option for the poor; in fact it has beatified Mother Teresa of India fort FOR EMPHASIS."

Mother Theresa DID not emphasize social work in fact she said that her intention was not to alleviate poverty she said she was working to expand the number of Catholics. I believe this is how social work should be carried out, do it for the glory of God, not for the glory of the people who donated the funds.

Anonymous said...

CD said: "If you can prove to me that no members of the FFL were behind that abs-cbn news release, I will apologize, publicly, and dedicate 10 entries of this blog to them. Deal?"

CD,

Since we're all interested in the truth, please prove to all of us that FFL was behind this.

I'm a member of FFL, but I'm not a blind follower, I want to know the truth even if it hurts.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the inflation of the claims in both these articles -- but what is the bottom line here? I think it is very clear that the Vatican was not happy with the way things were handled in GK? Agree?! That is the truth and it needs to be corrected. Let us accpet and acknowledge that without slinging another shot to others. We screwed up as a whole -- we're one body. We have deviated and compromised our identity.

And why, may I ask, are the contents of these Vatican letters not published -- just like any other letters we receive from the Holy See? Why? I, for one, would like to know its contents. -- Jacobo Pumaling, Northeast

Pontifical Council of the Laity Letter to CFC said...

From ABS-CBNNEWS:
Pontifical Council of the Laity Letter to CFC

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/images/news/newspics/downloads/cfcletter.pdf

1. Why do abs-cbnnews have a copy if this is from the VATICAN Cardinal Rylko to Bro. Joe Tale?
2. How creidible is this Letter with highlights on it?

CD, please do some research, please be ready with your 10 entries if the above letter is the same as what Bro. Joe received.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Cardinal Rylko's letter to Bro. Joe Tale can be accessed at this address from ABS-CBN News Online: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/images/news/newspics/downloads/cfcletter"

Ang sabi HTTP 403 Forbidden.

Baka may access ka, kasi alam mo yung link. Baka pwedeng ikaw nalang ang mag-publish miski na anonymous.

Bahala na ang mga mambabasa mag-desisyon kung totoo o hindi.

Sa palagay ko kung mailalabas yun, pwedeng matunton kung sino ang nag-leak sa ABS/CBN.

Kung tutoo (authentic) yung liham ni Cardinal Rylko na nasa kamay ng ABS/CBN, may naiwanan pang espiya ang FFL sa IC.

Ayun sa bolang kristal ko dalawa pa ang espiya.

Ang iyong Kapatid

Anonymous said...

My Own Personal Opinion and in my OWN Sense:

If The letter was addressed only to Bro Joe Tale then it's inside job,

IF the Bishop Gabby has a copy of the letter then it probably came from him but I dont say that Bishop Gabby gave it for ABS CBN, a FFL member or anybody made a photo copy and gave it ABS-CBN.

So, sino ang may motive nito FFL? WHo knows?

TO me personally, maski tanggalan pa tayo ng Vatican Recognition, I WILL NOT LEAVE CFC, I can still serve GOD through CFC without that VATICAN RECOGNITION,

I always emailed to FRANK PADILLA to go back to Vatican and ask for that Recognition and bring it to FFL. I DONT CARE!

FRANK Go back again to VATICAN and ask for it, go back to the 160+ COUNTRIES RECRUIT MORE .....

SOULSEARCHER said...

I think all the elders of CFC past and present, and FFL elders should publicly apologize for the way the have behaved and handled the situation.

Anonymous said...

THe answer is easy....

Ask the report who her source is... as a journalist you need to see evidence of what you are reporting before you could post it as news.

Her myspace is available.
Call news group and ask her via email to release her source (person or letter) and see if the vatican really abmonished CFC... or vatican has declared which group to holds the papal recognition.

Now here in NJ i have a letter (didnt come from a reporter) that came from Bishop of NJ ... stating which group he recognize (the letter is simple and clear, CD has a copy in this blogspot)

But i do await for such letter to be made public to find if the report was truthful in her article or its just another spin.

Deo Volente said...

About asking the reporter where she got the letter...

I am not sure if there are laws in the Philippines to protect media informers (maybe as part of freedom of expression or speech). If there is a law protecting their identity, there is no legal obligation by the writer to reveal it (maybe there is moral obligation but that's up to her).

The identity of this person will most certainly remain a secret in the same way we don't know who killed JFK. Sadly, we the people, will probably continue guessing and sinning against the wrong person(s).

I don't think Bishop Reyes was the one who leaked it. We should NOT even consider that.

Ernie said...

To Joe Tale,

I hope you have NOW recovered completely in your bout with malaria parasite.

Just watchout, there maybe bigger parasites in your midst that seemingly walks and looks harmless.

We'll pray for your protection and empowerment to discern who is with you and who is against you.

ErnieS

Deo Volente said...

About the leaked letter...

Not sure how relevant this is or what clues we can get, but here's what I can see from the properties of the document:

The title was originally "Microsoft Word - Document 1". So this likely came from an MS Word document and saved as PDF. The author called "MarkDT" converted it to PDF on 4/18/2008 3:30:47AM using a product called "PrimoPDF".

It's possible that this "MarkDT" is an employee of ABS-CBN. It's also possible the document was already PDF when sent to ABS-CBN.

It's also possible none of these means anything :-)

Anonymous said...

Like Meloto and other Catholics, LNP, CFC or otherwise. I also seek clarification from the church!

MY OTHER QUESTIONS ARE:
1. Why are we too quick to condemn GK?

2. Who represents the poor here? When the influence peddlers get their way always?

3. Aren't we being hypocrites ourselves by shouting "LORD. WE PRAISE YOU!" Yet can't even feed the hungry?

If you wish to join fellow Catholics who have the same questions, please feel free to comment. Thanks!

------------------------

Meloto seeks clarification of Church policy on social action


By Jeannette Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:41:00 04/18/2008


MANILA, Philippines--Former Gawad Kalinga head Antonio Meloto on Friday sought "clarity and consistency" in the Catholic Church’s policy on funding for projects, declaring that GK’s work has always been pro-life.

Meloto told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net): "If saving the children from tuberculosis and malnutrition is a sin for me as a Catholic, then I am a sinner. I just need to be guided by a clear direction from our church leaders."

The GK founding member was responding to the March 11 Vatican "correction" sent to Couples’ for Christ president Jose Tale in which the Pontifical Council for the Laity mentioned the Gawad Kalinga’s purported shift of focus from the spiritual to the social as well as its alleged openness to donations from companies that promote artificial family planning.

"Should all Catholics who work with pharmaceuticals resign? Shall we all stop buying medicine to be in faithful compliance? Is Ateneo less Catholic because they partnered with a pharmaceutical for their successful leaders for health? Why is it okay for many Catholic organizations to receive support from them and not okay for GK in caring for the poor. With all due respect, we just want clarity and consistency," Meloto said.

The GK has more than 350 partner-corporations that support its work with the poor.

He further lamented: "What can be more pro-life than feeding the hungry and saving children from malnutrition, TB, and other diseases? Or transforming slums and troubled communities and stopping people from killing one another?"

Meloto pointed out that Gawad Kalinga has been working in over 1,700 villages nationwide together with people of other faiths, including born-again Christians and Muslims "who love God and country."

"If loving this country, serving the poor and saving the children is anti-life then I need to be enlightened again as a Catholic because I only desire to be faithful," he said.

He said he was a devout Catholic and remained an active member of the CFC.

"My pain as a Catholic and as Filipino is seeing our people suffer from poverty and our country labeled as corrupt. We have not done enough for our poor countrymen. Poverty in the only Catholic country in Asia is a failure in discipleship and Christian stewardship. My dream is for the world to see that it is possible for a Catholic country (to) rise from poverty because we practice what we preach," he said.

On Thursday, Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes , chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines' Episcopal Commission on the Laity, said that the Vatican merely intended to guide and correct the GK’s overemphasis on social work when it sent a letter to the CFC.

GK was founded by CFC and has been credited for providing slum dwellers and other low-income groups with decent housing and livelihood.

The Antipolo bishop maintained that the guidance also covers the acceptance of funds from pharmaceutical companies purportedly supportive of artificial family planning.

nw19socal said...

Bishop Reyes, as spiritual director, should answer the questions raised by Tony Meloto and I hope he does not seek guidance from the Vatican to answer them this time.

Anonymous said...

when will cfc and gk accept that they made mistakes and have to correct them? when will tony humbly accept the reality?

when will members realize their leaders' shortcomings and encourage their repentance instead of justifying them?

akosikeenn said...

Brothers and Sisters,

Don't react too harshly. Parang ang ilan sa inyo handa nang umalis sa simbahang Katoliko para sa GK! Read the letter from Archbishop Rylko first. The original news item from ABS-CBN is meant to create controversy and so far it is succeeding.

I won't post the letter here because that is CD's job but just to mention some points:

1. The apology being requested is with regards to the public scandal caused by the split. The good archbishop is not requesting an apology for implementing GK. In theory, Padilla should also be requested to apologize but since CFC is the one recognized by the Vatican, then it is the one requested to do it.

2. He indeed mention about counterbalancing the overemphasis on social work but that was after he mentioned what is to be the counterbalance - continue to build up the family in complete fidelity to the church.

3. I also want to add that this is consistent with Catholic social teaching. To bring a little comparison, the Pope visited the US this week and met with top Catholic educators and challenged them not to use the "principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith". He went on to say " Teachers... have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice". In a similar fashion, what the church is saying to CFC (at least as I understood it) is that social work must also follow Catholic doctrines. Being a Catholic organization, it is responsible for ensuring that the Catholic identity remains. Otherwise, it can fall to the same trap that Latin American countries fell into back in the 70's and 80's when Liberation Theology was at its peak. The "preferential option for the poor" was that theology's driving force.

4. The archbishop did ask that funding from sources not consistent with Catholic teaching must be stopped. I think this is what got Meloto all riled up. In truth, after reading the Inquirer column he reminded me of some people here (reason I came back). Though I understand where he is coming from, for the sake of CFC I'm glad he's no longer a member of the IC based on those comments. Anyway, I am sure that bishop Reyes or whoever from the Vatican or maybe someone from the IC or BOE will answer him so I will reserve my comments. What I invite everyone (including myself) with questions to do is to read up on Catholic social teachings and principles.

FINALLY, to all of you who are quick to put the blame on Frank or the FFL or the devil (not so sure all of you think those 3 are different) to anything bad that comes along to CFC...

... please lang kuya... ate... huwag naman.
... take the same stand as your IC : WE are responsible and WE will fix it! Thats the way to do it!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous asks: "when will cfc and gk accept that they made mistakes and have to correct them? ..."

I am a CFC member since 1990 and my wife and I grew in faith, in loving relationships, and in service in a community which we still consider a thing of great worth and value in our life as a couple. We've seen leaders and members make mistakes all the time; all of us are flawed and weak as imperfect as we all are.

But when the time came when we were forced to choose, my wife and I were one in affirming that CFC is still a treasure to us. We accept the mistakes and flaws of CFC and GK - BUT we stay because there is hope in setting these mistakes aright and we are working and will work some more because after all, we're not doing these for a movement or for a leader or for the recognition that we are legitimate or for the vindication that we are right.

We accepted also that there were some brothers and sisters who chose to find their treasure in the eastergroup because basically they've lost hope of finding it in the original community for reasons (i.e., issues related to leaders, church, charism, GK, relationships, etc.) they've taken as valid.

And if you, Bro./Sis. Anonymous, who has lost the "pearl" in this room and who chooses to look for it somewhere else, then go with the peace of our Lord in your heart.

As for me and my wife, we keep in mind to be careful lest we find ourselves looking for pearls in a pigsty where there is mud that can cover our eyes. The pearls may be there. It is just that the search will be much harder.

Who are in the pigsty? I believe it's those who throw mud. (And it doesn't really matter which community we say we're with.)

troy of west c

johnpaul said...

the mistakes were realized, and asked pardon for them...

presently working to correct them and avoid committing them again.

in CFC we walk the talk!

can FFL claim the same?

Anonymous said...

hey, ang daming hndi pa nakilala kai KRISTO ang dami pang GUTOM at puro away nlang ang inatupag nyo!!! Ito ba ang JOY na snasbi nyo?? Nanahimik na kami at ituloy na natin ang pinapagawa sa atin ng PANGINOONG KRISTO.!! in Jesus Name!! MAGMAHALAN NA TAYO!!!

DesperatelySeekingPeace said...

During church collection, do the ushers ask the parishioners if they are sinners or saints?

How can a collection in church for the support of church projects be any different from GK receiving donations from various companies, regardless of what their position is on contraception?

Isn't it that even the late Cardinal Sin himself said he doesn't mind getting donations from the devil himself and then he will give them to the poor?

Anonymous said...

johnpaul,

thank you for reiterating that the IC has indeed acknowledged some misgivings and promised to rectify the problem. I've seen that in the 7-point agenda laid out a few months ago as well as the apology printed in the recent ad.

I would avoid asking though if FFL is walking the talk. They are already a separate organization so it might be inappropriate to criticize them (out of delicadeza and respect for their autonomy). Let their leaders criticize us if they want but it doesn't mean that we should criticize back. We can however refute any mis-statements.

I feel and understand your frustration though.

God bless you!!!

johnpaul said...

akosikenn..

the reaction is not directed to Archbishop Rylko or Vatican or the Catholic Church even. they are not the issue so don't take the discussion there.

the posts and reactions came about because of the party/parties behind the article.

johnpaul said...

to anonymous:

i agree that they are now a seperate organization. and this i believe.

only for this reason i will refrain from criticizing.

Deo Volente said...

Yes, I can sense the frustration of brother Tony Meloto here. In a way, both him and Cardinal Rylko are acting according to what they believe is right. Cardinal Rylko has all the right to correct and guide GK. And I understand the point of the Cardinal that it's difficult for the Church to make a stand if there is a point of criticism against the Church. One can also say that Brother Tony is within reason to feel frustrated for this negative focus on GK despite the spirituality of helping the poor overall.

I understand the need for clarification by the Church once and for all. Over the years, we're not really getting a consistent and official stand on these matters with unquestionable clarity.

For example:

1. The "Institute for Religious Works" (Vatican owned bank) used to have investments in the Canadian pharmaceutical company that manufactured contraceptives.

2. Mother Teresa when asked if she was accepting donations from the Mafia replied “It is not the practice of the church to ask donors where their donations come from. Our duty is to make sure that all donations go to the poorest of the poor.”

Those cases however are old cases and I think the Church is clearer now in its stand against such acceptance of dirty money. I'm not justifying the unconditional acceptance of donation. My point is that it is easy to make a mistake on this because there are a lot of variables and possible interpretations.

Even John Fagundes of Priests of Life said "Acceptance of donations from people or companies who happen to be involved with
abortion/contraceptives is morally permissible because there is no direct involvement with these evil practices. You are using the money for an important Christian ministry.".

I hope when Bishop Reyes unequivocally presents the official stand, he would answer the following questions too:

1. Is it OK to accept from a purely contraceptive-manufacturing company such as Durex? (Easy, I assume a big NO).

2. Is it OK to accept from a multi-divisional or multi-product company such as Pfizer?

3. If a contraceptive drug such as Depo-Provera is also used NOT as a contraceptive but as treatment of a valid medical condition, is donation by the manufacturer still dirty?

4. If Pfizer donates medicine (not money) for treating TB/etc or to prevent death, should we decline and face the possibilty of death of our brethren? In a hypothetical scenario where a decision needs to be made within 5 minutes or the patien dies, is it morally justifiable to accept the donation?

5. If we can't accept that medicine from Pfizer to prevent death of our brethren, and there's still time, should we buy it from Pfizer or from a different manufacturer? Is accepting a discount still dirty?

6. What if Company A manufactures contraceptives and Company B does not, but they are owned by the same investors (or family or clan or group of companies), is it OK to accept from Company B?

7. What if a local subsidiary is clean and does not manufacture contraceptives but it's parent multinational company manufactures contraceptives in other countries, is the local subsidiary allowed to donate?

8. Does all of this policy only apply to organizations/companies, or does it also apply to individuals?

9. If the president of a dirty pharma donates from his own pocket, is that acceptable? What if it's a lesser profile employee?

10. What about those related to gambling or suspected crime money (organized or invididual)?

11. What about accepting from corrupt government officials or non-corrupt govt officials that voted for anti-life bills (or bills/laws that goes against the teachings of the church such as Death Penalty or Divorce)?

12. What about accepting donation or services or help from a govt agency that also facilitates distribution of contraceptives?

Let us all pray that we can a get a clear and specific policy on these issues as different interpretations even from those within the Catholic church is very divisive (or can be used to cause disunity).

God bless!!!

Paulijah said...

'Happy to be a Catholic. 'Happy to be in CFC. 'Happy to be with GK. In the end, what matters most is if I have loved enough.

akosikenn said...

johnpaul said...
the reaction is not directed to Archbishop Rylko or Vatican or the Catholic Church even. they are not the issue so don't take the discussion there.


My post is mainly in response to jonitanitayturin's post and is meant to discuss the letter. Some posters also ask about church policy (review just a few posts before mine). If an understanding of Archbishop Rylko's letter is needed then it must also include an understanding of the Catholic church's social teachings. So it is appropriate to take the discussion there even if the reactions are not directed at the archbishop or the Vatican directly.

I do not profess mastery of the Church's social teachings that is why I also invited everyone (me too) to read up on it.

Anonymous said...

FACT: CFC IC did not follow our 3 bishops' STRONG recommendations last year.

RESULT: Split

QUESTION: Will CFC IC follow Vatican's instructions this time?

RESULT: ?

CS Lewis said...

"We accept the mistakes and flaws of CFC and GK - BUT we stay because there is hope in setting these mistakes aright and we are working and will work some more because after all, we're not doing these for a movement or for a leader or for the recognition that we are legitimate or for the vindication that we are right."

How true Brother. If Everyone has your understanding, then these controversys would never have happened in the first place. But pride and fate dictates otherwise.

nw19socal said...

To Deo Volente,
The questions you listed are very valid and should be answered by a respected, impartial, highly trained Philippine Catholic Church representative. Earlier, I suggested that Bishop Reyes answer similar questions raised by Meloto, but after reading the bishop's April 3rd letter that was just posted, I take back my suggestion. I no longer believe the bishop is qualified based on the parameters I stated. And, these questions also concern all Catholics in the Philiipines and not only CFC members.

Anonymous said...

Disagree ako...
FACT: CFC IC did not follow our 3 bishops' STRONG recommendations last year.
RESULT: Split

Non-sequitur sa akin.

FACT: The Elders' Assembly held a referendum as agreed - and voted to go on with the elections.

The bishops' recommendation was just that - a recommendation. But it turned out that 'defying' a recommendation is disobedience pala. Sa 'kin lang: how could one defy a recommendation? How could one be disobedient to advice. Na kung hindi ka susunod e magagalit sa iyo.

May nagsabi pag nagsalita ang Bishop, 'yun na 'yon. Pero sana nagutos na lang para wala nang diskusyon. Nag-referendum pa tuloy. Noon pala all the while Bishop Reyes was expecting CFC to simply obey. Nagatungan pa siguro...

Baligtarin natin:

RESULT: Split.

CAUSE: Hindi ba Frank Padilla's group wanted to have their way even if it was outvoted in the referendum? Hindi ba ito disobedience sa leaders (na sabi natin annointed) and the will of the majority (vox populi, vox dei)? Ang cause talaga e wala nang unity sa itaas kaya ... splitsky hanggang ibaba.

Pa-justify pa na hindi dapat blind obedience. Pa-justify pa na mas grabe kung disobedient sa Bishops.

Napakasimple sa akin, mga tsong, mga tsang, mga tsing.

PRIDE ang pinagmulan ng lahat. Sabi nga ni Al Pacino sa Devil's Advocate, "Vanity! Definitely my favorite sin!"

'Yun 'yon kaya walang union tayo ngayon! (Pwedeng lyrics ng kanta...)

Nagpupumilit magmahal sa inyong lahat,

Gowestc

Anonymous said...

The Vatican recommendation for an apology is YET to be accomplished. When are WE planning to do this? The letter was dated March, it's April. What are we waiting for? And again, WHY is the letter not OFFICIALLY published by IC?, just like any other letter we get from the Vatican -- Jacobo Pumaling, Northeast.

C.D. said...

To Jacobo Pumaling, Northeast:

Please read this:
http://defendingcfc.blogspot.com/2008/04/admonishing.html

Where you'll find,

"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:"

Then click here to see:

http://img255.imageshack.us/my.php?image=philstarad001rd4.jpg

I hope that can put your fears to rest on whether the IC is taking the nec. steps to follow the Vatican's instructions. As for the letter getting published, the IC obviously respected Cardinal Rylko enough not to publish it without his permission, unlike ABS-CBN.

CD

Jacobo Pumaling said...

Brother CD, thank you. -- Jacobo Pumaling, Northeast

jonitanitayturin said...

CD, either I mis-sent this or it got “quarantined”. So, it’s here again, and if it is not published, I will know. K lang. Malay natin, baka may pagka-alarmist pa nga ‘to that time kasi, eh…

By the way, thanks for the highly-inspiring views shared here. I agree with akosikenn that the context of our discussion on the Church’s social work, vis-a-vis the "apology" for "lapses" in GK, will have to include other pastoral teachings, but johnpaul also sees my entry on the subject as a direct reaction to the author and spinner/s behind the ABS-CBN article. I did not want to drag into that discussion the nature of Mother Theresa’s social work, and I defer to anonymous’ opinion. Likewise, the spirit of stillness in the persons of paulijah and anonymous-CFC’90 is a calming presence in this stormy season, bless them.

CD, I see that the battle lines for the defensive work have expanded beyond the confines of CFC vs FFL to CFC (and the Catholic Church’s social action in GK) vs “the rest of them infidels”. If this were so, may our defenses hold, as we ask the Almighty God to make us count on all His faithful servants in CFC. If I may, too, the light shining from these brethren (seen in this thread) will help lead the way: Ernie, akosikenn, deo volente, tigress, nw19socal, johnpaul, anonymous-nonsequitur, gia garcia, soulsearcher …the list extends. Praise God!

How are the battle lines extended? Here are my insights thereto.

--------------------------------------

TWO THOUGHTS

1. THIS IS MORE LIKE IT:


Like a chameleon, Padilla sowed confusion on the morality of CFCs work with the poor by writing “GK-3” which curiously accused his GK co-workers guilty of violating some basic Catholic tenets while glossing over his 25 years of unquestioned leadership up until his voluntary resignation and break up of CFC.

“Triggered” by Bishop Reyes, Padilla’s "moral" issues have brought Cardinal Rylko (of the Vatican) into the local “labu-labu” (free-for-all). An observation from Bro. Boy in another thread: “…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.”

2. “THIS IS IT!!!” BEHOLD THE GATHERING WHIRLWIND:

Bro. Tony Meloto has now pleaded the Church for the doctrinal definition of “Catholic social action” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 04/18/2008) in order to clarify once-and-for-all the participation of all the other partners, including other religious groups, in GK.

Expect bitter and sharp polemics on the morality of social work through GK, that can make a heavy toll on all right-thinking Catholic faithful. Earlier here, I implied that there are bigots as there are “merons”, moralists, pseudo-moralists, and all other creatures waiting to pounce on the Church and its Catholic action or hesitation-to-act on the poor through such ministries as Gawad Kalinga. There’s the threat!

CONCLUSION:

They will rue the day they weaved untruths and half-truths toward a Vatican sanction and they will cry for Mama Mary’s help as they duck the bitter and burning arguments from every corner. We will all be victims as, once more from Bro. Boy, “greater and more dangerous damage will be felt by the Church as an institution.”

May I be wrong, as I dread the consequences of that moment…

Anonymous said...

I just have 1 question.

Regarding the March 3 visit to the Vatican by Joe Tale and company, is Bp. Reyes aware of the visit? Did brother Joe consult with the spiritual advisor about that visit?

Do we know this?

Anonymous said...

Sayings
By Conrado de Quiros
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:17:00 04/22/2008
Most Read
Other Most Read StoriesxClose thisThe way they're going, I wouldn't be surprised if more Filipinos turned Buddhist or Islamic or downright atheist. The Catholic Church is giving them every reason to. Except for luminous exceptions like Pope John Paul II and, nearer home, Archbishop Angel Lagdameo and the Association of Major Religious Superiors, the Catholic Church seems determined to preach only the new theology that God wants to reward the wicked and punish the good.
The Church's latest disincentive to faith is the letter of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Laity to Couples for Christ seeking to "correct" what is wrong with it. What's wrong with it presumably is that it is devoting its energies to Gawad Kalinga (GK), Tony Meloto's brainchild. Still more specifically, what's wrong with it is that GK is overemphasizing social work and accepting donations from pharmaceutical companies manufacturing contraceptives.
I know Meloto, we were both scholars at the Ateneo de Manila University and worked as porters at night to pay for our room and board at the dorm. I'm convinced that if the ranks of Catholics in this country have not gotten paper-thin, it's because of people like him. He is living proof that God works in mysterious ways and prefers his tribe rather than those who claim to be "close kami ni God" [“God and I are close”] who are Vatican's lieutenants and many of this country's bishops, to convey his truth to the world. I haven't met a more resolutely Christian person. Hell, I haven't met a more resolutely sincere person.
What on earth, or heaven, is wrong with accepting donations from companies that produce contraceptives? I leave the question of abortion to the usual suspects, but contraceptives? It's not as if they are weapons of mass destruction or toxic elements that cause cancer, like cigarettes. Condoms merely prevent human substance from exploding in the wrong places. Bombs induce inhuman substance to explode in the very wrong places, like public markets and hospitals. Particularly these days when the specter of famine sweeps not just across a few lands but across the world, courtesy of a runaway population outstripping food production, you've got to wonder if the Rock, which was what Christ called the Church, hasn't become a pebble.
Why shouldn't Meloto accept money from those companies to feed and house the poor? Tony himself cries out eloquently, and not without a trace of sarcasm: "Should all Catholics who work with pharmaceuticals resign? Why is it OK for many Catholic organizations to receive money from them and not OK for GK to care for the poor...? If loving this country, serving the children, is anti-life, then I need to be enlightened again as a Catholic because I only desire to be faithful."
What I myself find galling is that the Vatican should worry about GK accepting money from companies that manufacture contraceptives and be smug about its clergy in the form of the Filipino bishops accepting money from a patently poisonous source. That poisonous source, or cholera-producing well, being Malacañang and its milking cows, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. The latter two directly engage in gambling, an activity that, completely unlike safe sex, has been known to spread disease, if of the mind. Meloto merely accepts money from pharmaceuticals that promote contraception, the bishops accept money from someone who promotes the abortion of democracy. Meloto merely accepts money from pharmaceuticals to do nothing more than feed and house the poor. The bishops accept money from a hypocritical to do everything in their power to keep her in power just so they could fatten and gladden themselves.
But the more mind-boggling thing is the charge that GK is overemphasizing social work. You would laugh, except that it hurts. Again Meloto cries out: "My pain as Catholic and as Filipino is seeing our people suffer from poverty and our country labeled as corrupt. We have not done enough for our poor countrymen. Poverty in the only Catholic country in Asia is a failure in discipleship and Christian stewardship. My dream is for the world to see that it is possible for a Catholic country to rise from poverty because we practice what we preach." That makes him more Christian than Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. Hell, that makes him more Christian than the Pope.
How in God's name is it possible for anyone to do too much social work in this country? That is like accusing a doctor of prescribing too much medicine to someone fighting for his life. At the very least that a lay organization like Couples should somehow betray the Christian spirit by moving heaven and earth to feed the hungry and house the homeless is batty. What, they get to be more Christian by spending their time attending Mass and avoiding de-coupling while living sad, sad lives?
At the very most, that even a religious organization itself, which the clergy represents, should somehow betray its Christian teachings by plucking the hungry from the claws of hunger and the homeless from the lash of wind and rain is battier. Didn't Christ say what you do for the least of your brethren you do for him? Didn't Christ say not everyone who says, "Lord! Lord!" will enter the kingdom of God? And didn't Christ spend his time on the road with fishers and a well-known prostitute rather than in the temple with the Pharisees who were better-known prostitutes? I do not claim to know the ways of heaven, but when St. Peter goes out one day to meet Meloto who has praised his God silently by doing the most for the least of his brethren, and the bishops who have praised their God loudly by refusing to condemn the most corrupt of their "sisthren," I have a good idea whom he will send upstairs and downstairs.
Christ did say one other thing. It wasn't that the sick shall inherit the earth, it was that the meek would.

jonitanitayturin said...

BOMBS AWAY!!! Conrado de Quiros (of PDI, 04/22/2008) delivers the first “nuclear strike” against the moral pretenders in the Church, shaking its very foundations.

I have dreaded this “gathering whirlwind” earlier with: “They will rue the day they weaved untruths and half-truths toward a Vatican sanction...”

Time to duck and find shelter. But WHERE?

I find this song of the “sodalists” of the Blessed Virgin Mary uplifting. This and our CFC battle song, “Fight the Good Fight of Faith” can call us to arms with our “heads lifted high”! Here:

An Army of Youth

An army of youth
Flying the standards of truth,
We're fighting for Christ, the Lord.
Heads lifted high,
Catholic Action our cry,
And the Cross our only sword.
On earth's battlefield
Never a vantage we'll yield.
As dauntlessly on we swing
Comrades true, dare and do
'Neath the Queen's white and blue,
For our flag, for our faith,
For Christ the King.
Christ lifts His hands,
The King commands; challenge, 'Come and follow me.'

From ev'ry side,
With eager stride,
We form in the lines of victory.
Let foemen lurk,
And laggards shirk,
We throw our fortunes to the Lord
Mary's Son,
Till the world is won,
WE have pledged you our loyal word.
'An army of youth'


[Daniel Lord, S.J. The Queens Work, St. Louis, MO, 1932]

DesperateSeekingPeace said...

If Bishop Gabby is the Spiritual Adviser of CFC, why didn't he go with Bro. Joe Tale and Bro. Roquel Ponte to the Vatican?

Why was it Bishop Arguelles who accompanied them?

Is it because Bishop Gabby's bias for the FFL very evident?

Anonymous said...

When CD was asked in the first entry why every time there is something negative said to CFC, he blames FFL, this is part of what he said:

C.D. said...
To Anonymous,
“If you can prove to me that no members of the FFL were behind that abs-cbn news release, I will apologize, publicly, and dedicate 10 entries of this blog to them. Deal?”

He’s putting the burden of proof to FFL instead of himself, the accuser? And all these so-called real CFC members are okay with it? When did CFC start acting like this?

Anonymous said...

BROD/SIS ANONYMOUS (sa FFL, seguro, no?):

Umaandar na, lumalakad na... "DON'T PUT THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE"; hindi tayo makaalis n'yan!

Claro man gud pud ang premises ni CD, no? Go ahead, just answer. If you say may proof ka na hindi FFL ang nag-initiate ng publication with ABS-CBN go right ahead; if none, say so, too, now that you have joined.

Ganyan lang lang tayo dito sa CFC, we want to move on - but be careful, lawom baya, malalim po sa mi unahan. (Sori, puedeng pa-turn, pabalik lang ng konti sa memoray lane, but still with the horse pulling the cart? Certainly, after a peaceful and joyful cruise, we don't make a sudden turn of 180 degrees to disown what we have done together and claim: Labas na tayo dito, wala na, stop na ang "social" work and "padugo" for the poor through GK. Mag-evangelize na lang tayo muli through visible and audible prayers without the poor, tayong mga "close ni God".)

Jesus said...

"He said the letter was probably intended to prevent a similar conflict from occurring in other CFC organizations in other countries."

Too late! Apparently Bishop is unaware that the conflict has already been exported overseas. After the elections FP moved to change leaders and composition of Councils here in the U.S. until the IC got wind of the shenanigans and removed him from his directorship.

We also all know that the same happened elsewhere in other countries.

Is he, the Bishop, really that unaware of what happened? It has been a year already and he sounded like the conflict is local and contained in RP.

If this is his or the Vatican's perception I hope they will be made aware of the magnitude of the damage to the community this senseless conflict caused.

Peace of Christ everyone!

jackot

Anonymous said...

Here is a column that just goes to show that Frank Padilla has brought CFC to deceit, to lies, to evil schemes, to the brink of destruction.
The devil now dances over our heads. We pray for His protection, we pray for the heart to forgive and we pray for the strength to love him despite all this that he has brought upon our community.
Let us love one another as God has loved us.

READ THIS BROTHERS!!!!!!!!!
Tony Meloto's sanctification
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Whenever Fr. Guido Mirti encountered someone who subjected him through an ordeal, he would gratefully say: "Thank you for being part of my sanctification."
Fr. Guido, also known as Cengia, was the Catholic priest who led the team that established the Focolare Movement in the Philippines in 1966. He lived Christ's commandment of love which extended even to those who can be regarded as enemies. Fr. Guido has since passed away and those who knew him have no doubt that he has received the sanctification he has aspired for in life.
Fr. Guido came to mind as I was mulling over the old issues being resurrected against Gawad Kalinga (GK). There is little doubt that the new Pharisees who have made it their business to torment GK and its moving spirit, Tony Meloto, are at it again.
Media had immediately seen through the motives of the new Pharisees when these issues were first circulated. These issues resulted in the breakaway of the former head of the Couples for Christ (CFC), Frank Padilla.
Despite the breakaway group's attempts to discredit GK, the whole world continues to recognize GK as an outstanding phenomenon that addresses poverty through Christian-driven brotherly love and caring. Hardly any print or broadcast media had been ventilating the issues of the new Pharisees anymore while GK continues to enjoy credibility and, hence, media support.
The issues found resurrection when Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko, the head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council of the Laity issued a letter to the CFC that they should ensure the Catholic focus of GK. Here comes poor Cardinal Rylko from over 10,000 miles away reportedly asking CFC to apologize for non-existent issues. It reeked of scandal-mongering new Pharisees at work.
The original Pharisees were the self-righteous religious leaders who slyly engineered the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Trust the Pharisees to manage to mete a death penalty on the noblest of deeds. They do this while occupying center stage in the temple to demonstrate their hypocritical profession of piety and holiness.
In a September 20, 2007 posting on www.restorecfc.multiply.com (website of Frank Padilla's breakaway group), Padilla admitted having sought and talked to Cardinal Rylko.
Padilla stated that he went "to speak with Archbishop Rylko and apprise him of the situation of CFC. That is my responsibility as the one who got our recognition and as the one whose name appears in our recognition."
Now, do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko the whole unvarnished truth or did he try to sell to the Cardinal his slanted version of the controversy?
In singling out a pharmaceutical company as core issue, do you think Frank Padilla even bothered to put things in perspective by explaining that the company's support to GK was given way before it acquired a company that produced contraceptives?
Did Frank Padilla bother to tell Cardinal Rylko that the donation had no strings attached?
Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that a top executive of that pharmaceutical company is a long-standing CFC member, a practicing Christian who sincerely believes in the CFC and GK mission?
Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that the issue that GK was allowing the Mormons to donate and preach their religion was also a non-issue because GK never allowed the donation under the unacceptable Mormon conditions?
Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that the issue being raised that GK funds are unaccounted for is pure rubbish because he knows very well that there is an auditing firm that accounts for all these?
Still on the issue of funds, do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that it was during his watch in CFC when they received funds from the Arroyo regime to the tune of P50 million which has since become the source of controversy?
These were some of the issues that Padilla and his demolition gang were raising against Tony Meloto and GK. How fair and balanced was Padilla when he briefed Cardinal Rylko on these issues?
Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that even the few Bishops here, notably Bishops Gabby Reyes and Soc Villegas, who started to sympathize with his breakaway group have since taken the eventual CBCP stand of disallowing his breakaway group from grabbing and using the CFC name?
Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that the clear majority of CFC did not side with him or leave with his breakaway group?
Do you think that Frank Padilla told Cardinal Rylko that all this started from personal envy, from the jealous few who could not accept the success of GK and the role of Tony Meloto in steering GK as a highly effective Christian anti-poverty movement?
Frank Padilla justified his meeting with Cardinal Rylko as "my responsibility as the one who got our recognition and as the one whose name appears in our recognition."
Is he aware that his statement smacks of the smug arrogance of one who regards CFC as a personal fiefdom? He was no longer CFC top honcho and yet he feels it is still his responsibility to brief the Cardinal about the recent CFC events.
Do you think it is right if Cory Aquino spoke before the UN to explain why Joseph Estrada was ousted as president in 2001 — just because she was the one who restored democracy in the Philippines in 1986?
Christ said: "Not he who says Lord, Lord loves me but he who follows my commandment." And that commandment is essentially this: "Whatsoever you do to the least of your brethren, you do unto me."
Do you think that Frank Padilla internalized at all the essence of the Christianity he professes to evangelize? Don't you think that Tony Meloto and the GK movers are indeed the genuine Christians for what they are doing to the least of their brethren?
* * *
Chair Wrecker e-mail and website: macesposo@yahoo.com and www.chairwrecker.com

http://www.philstar.com/archives.php?aid=2008042699&type=2