Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lipa Archbishop Arguelles Speaks.



If you all can recall, Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles was accused of lawyering for CFC by Frank.

He responded to William Esposo's April 29 article.

Updates on the Pharisees, GK and CFC
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles responded in writing to my previous columns denouncing the Pharisees who continue to pester Gawad Kalinga (GK) and the Couples for Christ (CFC).

Archbishop Arguelles’ letter, dated April 29, sought to explain the circumstances behind Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko’s letter which had put CFC and GK in bad light after a media report gave a misleading impression that the letter was hitting both organizations.

Archbishop Arguelles’s letter stated:

“On March 03, 2008, I was with Mr. Joe Tale and Mr. Roquel Ponte, two of the seven members of the International Council of the CFC, to meet Cardinal Rylko in his office in Rome. In fact, I admit that I facilitated that encounter. I was berated for doing so by some sectors opposing the present CFC International Council. But I was in Rome for another more important reason.

“Cardinal Rylko did not at all chide the CFC. He regretted the division in the CFC. He asked for prayers and urged efforts to heal the wounds of disunity. The Holy See insists on reconciliation especially because the CFC is the only Lay Association of the Faithful originating in Asia and recognized by the Vatican. He suggested that it would be good that the present International Council will humbly declare:

1. That CFC would no longer accept donations from or enter into partnerships with individuals or groups perceived as promoting anti-Catholic principles (the Holy See is aware that these partnerships were entered into long before the split in the CFC);

b That CFC would publicly acknowledge the authority of the local Church (the so-called ‘disobedience’ to the bishops was a criticism of the CFC leadership long before the June 2007 elections of the new International Council which three bishops advised against);

b That the excellent ‘charitable or social works’ should remain as a result of the recognition of the primacy of love and service of God and not independent of it (GK is an essential part of and the necessary result of the evangelization and spiritual commitment of CFC);

4. That the CFC by the public declaration of the three above-mentioned issues would strive to bring the unity of the leaders;

5. That the crisis of the leadership in the Philippines should hopefully be kept as a Philippine problem so as not to disrupt the successful evangelization efforts in other countries.”

I give Archbishop Arguelles and Cardinal Rylko the benefit of the doubt that they mean well and seek to reunite CFC and the CFC-FLL breakaway faction of Frank Padilla whose members claim to be workers in the Lord’s vineyard.

The Archbishop’s letter failed to address though two issues that need to be clarified. One is about the supposed ‘disobedience’ of the CFC International Council when it held elections in 2007. Bishops Gabby Reyes, Soc Villegas and Angel Lagdameo had requested a postponement of the election date although the majority of the other Bishops did not oppose it.

The second issue is about Cardinal Rylko’s request for CFC to make a public apology for the ‘scandal’ the rift had caused. Archbishop Arguelles’s letter downplayed the suggested apology in Cardinal Rylko’s March 11, 2008 letter to CFC’s Joe Tale. Cardinal Rylko’s letter can be read on the ABS-CBN/Newsbreak website.

Anyone who reads the letter of Cardinal Rylko can easily deduce that he had fallen for the position of the Pharisees, a position that was apparently espoused and presented by Bishop Reyes who heads the National Council of the Laity here. In the CFC-FLL blog, Frank Padilla admitted having briefed Cardinal Rylko in 2007.

Bishops Gabby Reyes, Soc Villegas and Angel Lagdameo should not have asked the CFC to postpone its International Council elections for two very good reasons.

One, CFC is a lay organization and a lay initiative. Church interference in its organizational policy and procedures is therefore out of the question, especially when this is fueled by sour-graping Pharisees who don’t mind subverting the will of the majority of CFC.

Two, the elections followed CFC statute and it is neither right nor fair to compel CFC to set aside a statute just because Bishop Gabby Reyes favors the side of the Pharisees.

I was told that Bishop Gabby Reyes met with the CFC International Council last Wednesday afternoon and that he was fuming mad over the negative publicity he attracted. During the meeting, Bishop Reyes reportedly declared that recognition of CFC in the Philippines is on a diocese-to-diocese basis. However, this assertion runs counter to the pronouncements of the CBCP and the Vatican.

CFC and GK have a long history of being overly loyal and subservient to the Church leaders. CFC leaders will unquestioningly apologize even for things they are not guilty of — as a Christian gesture of turning the other cheek.

It’s not un-Christian however to refuse to turn the other cheek — not when it involves repercussions that will badly affect others. It is following in the footsteps of Christ to denounce Pharisees.

Misguided religious leaders can do more harm to a nation than a succession of bad temporal leaders.

Thank you Archbishop Arguelles, for clearing that up. It's unfortunate that you even have to address it, and that the Easter Group had to question your actions publicly, "lawyering" they say.

I linkified "chided" in the article to show what context the word was used in by the Easter Group.

Much like "admonish", and "chastise", Frank should really look into their actual meaning before using them. These are words whose definitions are far removed from the actual event, so I can only assume they're being used for effect. I'm not sure how Christian that is.

Credibility, Frank. You write books don't you? I would think using words in the right context will be almost automatic to you by now. Using words for effect and not for their actual meaning belong on gossip columns. Surely I don't need to chide you about that?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI:

Bishop Reyes gives update on CFC name usage...

http://www.cbcpnews.com/?q=node/2485

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't CFC change its Spiritual Director?

One that would support instead of put down.

One that would uplift instead of discourage.

I vote Bishop Arguelles to replace Bishop Reyes.

Anonymous said...

Just read Bishop Reyes' update I feel more confused now with his directives. Did he even ask the IC or the CFC members if they want to share the CFC's name? So do we follow Bishop Rylko or Reyes?

Anonymous said...

Bishop Reyes is ENDORSING FFL around the world to the ArchBishops/Bishops.

So, How can the OTHER BISHOPS REFUSE!

SOULSEARCHER said...

Ano ba itong si Bishop Reyes? Galing na sa Vatican 'yung sulat gumawa pa rin siyang sarili niyang directives. Ano ba talaga?

Anonymous said...

He further said "Abroad Couples for Christ – Foundation for Family and Life may not use CFC in their names."

What does "may not" mean?

Does it mean they can if they want to?

Anonymous said...

Pace e bene!

"I was told that Bishop Gabby Reyes met with the CFC International Council last Wednesday afternoon and that he was fuming mad over the negative publicity he attracted. During the meeting, Bishop Reyes reportedly declared that recognition of CFC in the Philippines is on a diocese-to-diocese basis. However, this assertion runs counter to the pronouncements of the CBCP and the Vatican." -from William Esposo-

Comment: Truly,he attracted a very negative publicity, and he cannot blame it to the CFC International Council or to anybody in the CFC & GK side.

The problem is, he allowed himself to be used by Frank, second, he continues to "baby" Frank, and third, he allowed FFL to continue to misconstrue his statements in such a way that it will favor FFL and because of this, it brings more confusion to both CFC members and the general public. How will he not be attracting a negative publicity then?

Another problem is, whenever he makes clarifications, it is always putting the CFC in a badlight, and he forgot that many poor and modern-day heroes loved CFC and GK so much. So he is seen as one of the FFLs who attack CFC and GK.

What he must do? Distance himself from both CFC and FFL. He must be seen by the public as a neutral and source of healing ang unity instead of becoming a source of conflict to both camps.

And finally, whenever he chide the CFC in public or in media, he must do the same to FFL. (marami din silang palpak ha...akala niyo?)

God bless Bishop Gabby! Alam ko pagsubok lng yan...kaya mo yan!

Bro. Mero :-)

Anonymous said...

to add to Bro. Mero.

He even had the wrong copy of the letter from the Cardinal/Vatican. It was FFL's "version" of the letter.

Clearly, he was used. If someone had to save face....

Anonymous said...

Our Spiritual Director should be from the Diocese of Cubao since our office is in Ortigas. Kaya lang we might be accused of forum shopping. Question lang was FP instrumental in BP Reyes being chosen as CFC's spiritual director,the good Bishop seems to have a bias for FFL and would like to have two CFCs. Vatican has given its directive of only one CFC but still the good Bishop sees double. Question po is the good Bishop crosseyed please check he might need an Opthalmologist.

WEST C member said...

i've been following this blog for so long now...
my wife and I graduated last dec2006.
panawagan ko po kay BISHOP REYES, sana naman maging sensitive sya sa lahat ng member.
may PAKIRAMDAM po kaya sya?
nakakasakit na ginagawa nya.
Bishop Gabby Reyes, alam nyo po ba ginagawa ninyo?
Isn't you LAWYERING the FFL?
i'm sorry po...masakit na kasi eh.

Postmodernist said...

"One, CFC is a lay organization and a lay initiative. Church interference in its organizational policy and procedures is therefore out of the question, especially when this is fueled by sour-graping Pharisees who don’t mind subverting the will of the majority of CFC."

I am not siding with Frank Padilla's group but let us keep in mind Jesus never promised the indefectibility nor the infallibility to CFC or any other Charismatic group, other than the Catholic Church. We need to clarify what do you mean by "...Church interference in its organizational policy and procedures is therefore out of the question." Are we (being an authentic SFC) saying that even if the Pope himself the Successor of Peter, who has the power to bind on earth, would want to personally intervene on the organizational policy, or, anyone in authority he chooses to appoint would be perceived as "interference?" Again, I'm not siding with Frank Padilla (who is probably the source of the many heretical doctrines that seeped in the Charismatic movement) and remain loyal to the headship of Bro. Joe Tale, however articles like this must makes us look as if we ought to be better to be like the Protestant heretics.

Instavrare Omnia In Christo,

Bro. Mero :-) said...

To POSTMODERNIST who said:
"We need to clarify what do you mean by "...Church interference in its organizational policy and procedures is therefore out of the question." Are we (being an authentic SFC) saying that even if the Pope himself the Successor of Peter, who has the power to bind on earth, would want to personally intervene on the organizational policy, or, anyone in authority he chooses to appoint would be perceived as "interference?"

Clarification:
"Interference po in matters of organizational policy and procedures at hindi po pertaining to faith and doctrines.

Second, such organizational procedures and policies were stated in the statutes that were already approved by the Holy See.

Third, CFC ia a recognized PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE FAITHFUL, which has the privelege to run its administrative and organizational functions independently, as explained by Fr. Sobrejaunite.

Of course, anytime the Vatican who gave CFC an international recognition can interfere in any of its activities, procedures if they wishes to.

The problem is, Frank was linking the election to a concern on matters and faith resulting to the Bishops intervention. Frank has to do this to get the Bishop on his side, because he could not stop the election, get reinstated and pursue his own agenda.

Carry mo ba brod yung takbo ng gameplan nila?

Besides, the IC have also consulted the other clergy, get their opinions too concerning the issue. Among them is Fr. Sobrejuanite who gave the recollection before the election and also Bishop Arguelles who is the brother of Joe Arguelles-a member of the IC.

Kung Si Frank maraming kaibigang Bishops at kapitbahay pa si Bp. Reyes sa Antipolo, si Joey Arguelles naman may kuyang Bishop. Eh di mas matindi si Bro. Joey, dahil kapatid siya ng Bishop. hindi kaibigan, kapitbahay, kundi kapatid.

Bro. Mero :-)

WillyJ said...

Postmodernist,
Thank you for a very thoughtful observation. I myself am not in favor of the choice of the word "interference" in the paragraph you quoted from the columnist. I look at clergy interaction in laity administrative affairs as more of "concerned fatherly advise" rather than "interference".
Now as far as infallibility is concerned, it is applicable only to the Pope or a Council/ Synod of the Church in union with the Pope, when it is invoked "ex cathedra", and only in doctrinal matters of faith and morals. Such an explicit pronouncement has the clear finality to bind the universal church with the fullness and finality of supreme Apostolic authority, as was handed down from Peter, who has been given the keys with the power to bind or loose. With regards to your question as to whether if the Pope himself chooses to intervene in organizational policy, I wouldn’t consider it as "interference", but neither would I consider the substance of such intervention as "infallible". Neither would the Pope himself claim infallibility outside of explicit pronouncements on faith and morals. Indeed in the entire history of the Church, infallibility was only explicity invoked twice: once when the doctine itself was espoused, and two, when Pope Pious XII in 1950 declared the teaching about Mary. Many theologians would point to a third instance, that is in 1968 when Pope Paul VI released the encyclical Humanae Vitae. "Concerned fatherly advise" (my term) on organizational matters like laity elections and choice of spiritual leaders certainly do not fall under the infallibility clause.
Let me state however that I must concur with the point (as I perceive it) you are trying to make. We certainly should not "perceive" concerned fatherly advise as "intervention". I maintain though that neither are such advise to be considered "infallible", and as a consequence of not heeding, neither is that to be considered as disobedience much less heretical to Church dogma. It is when these distinctions are not recognized that problems soon begin. And yes, the Catholic Church did not teach that the entire church will be filled with indefectible people (Popes, Bishops and Lay leaders included), but it did teach that Christ would be with us always to preserve His Church.

ad Majorem dei Gloriam,
- WillyJ

Janeiro said...

hi postmodernist,

The way I understand it, the pope is infallible only on defining(or interpreting) our beliefs. A few examples are the Assumption, the host and wine becomes literally the body and blood of christ, Jesus is 100% man and 100% God, indulgences(yes! it is an infallible teaching)etc.
The pope, like all of us is also human and therefore make mistakes(sins). That is why it is highly unlikely that the Pope will make the "interference" in organizational matters an infallible teaching :)

Besides, our statutes which was approved by the Vatican clearly states that we are autonomous in terms of organizational matters.

God bless!

Postmodernist said...

To my CFC brothers,

Thank you for your replies, my only intention for posting my comment was to avoid the further confusion existing in our community. We in SFC are greatly bothered in these turn of events, but we continually pray to our Lord for enlightenment. Now about the comments on the dogma of Church (Papal) infallibility, I would have to disagree with the point presented namely that one can automatically disagree with the pope even though it is not under the status of ex cathedra Vatican II says:

“Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.” –Lumen Gentium 25

Again, I’m not saying that one cannot disagree with the Pope in his private capacity (e.g. as a theologian, as a priest, as a German, as a world leader, or as a politician, etc. But when the Pope invokes his authority as pope (even though it is not under the umbrella of infallibility) on judgments, one must “sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.” Further more on bro Willy’s comment:

“Indeed in the entire history of the Church, infallibility was only explicity invoked twice: once when the doctine itself was espoused, and two, when Pope Pious XII in 1950 declared the teaching about Mary. Many theologians would point to a third instance, that is in 1968 when Pope Paul VI released the encyclical Humanae Vitae.”

Vatican II and Church History disagree, since the infallibility of the Church has been exercised numerous times other than your above examples e.g. Niceae I on the Divinity of Christ, Constantinople I on the Divinity of the Holy Spirit, Ephesus I on Mary as theotokos or Mother of God, on Chalcedon on the Hypostatic Union, Lateran IV defined transubstantiation of the Eucharist and Papal Primacy, Trent on Justification, canon of the bible, the seven sacraments, etc, and Vatican I on the Papal Infallibility, etc. Although there is no rule as to how many irreformable dogmatic definitions made by the Church, nevertheless the Ecumenical Councils that delimited the doctrines of Catholicism (e.g. Jesus is God, Holy Spirit is God, Eucharist is God, only seven sacraments) are believed to be infallible declarations since those who would reject this dogmas will be under their respective anathemas. And no Pope or council ever authoritatively contradicted one or the other on this issue. Again Lumen Gentium clarifies this:

“Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.” -ibid

Let’s be reminded that we are first and foremost Catholics, and that our membership with CFC (in my case SFC) is based or founded on our Catholicism. Once more, I disagree with both our former Spiritual Director (who is a bishop himself) and Bro. Frank Padilla. But we must not let our emotions get the best of us when the Vatican and especially the Pope would be reprimanding us, rather we should tell our Church elders the real deal with respect, humility, and full submission to the authorities, the successor of the very Apostles Christ entrusted the “universal sacrament of Salvation” viz. the Catholic Church. Let’s walk the talk, and not only hear these things in CLPs or conferences, otherwise sayang lang pala mga binayad ko at ninyo if we won’t be a light to the world.