Saturday, June 7, 2008

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

Thank you Arnel. This, along with the previous entry, has been very, very enlightening.

To all: This is well worth the read. It is a perfect complement to What's in a Name Pt 2 and makes me extremely confident that we are in good hands. God is good.

Click to enlarge. You can also download the whole document HERE.





19 comments:

jconline said...

Bro Arnel,

Thank you for your letter. You helped explain the tempest that has caught many of us unaware of.

Dear CD,

This blog site has helped many of us understand more of the issues hurled upon us by our blinded (or hypnotized) brethren from ffl.

Please do not shut this site yet.

Anonymous said...

Arnel M. Santos quotes from “An Agreed Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation” dated Oct. 25, 2003, St. Paul’s College, Washington DC. Thus:
“…we must be persistent in our prayer. We must increase our expressions of love and mutual respect. We must strengthen our theological dialogue…Through our prayer, we open ourselves up to the healing presence of our Heavenly Father…Our reconciliation will not take place without countless acts of love, forgiveness and mutual respect…Our reconciliation will not take place without theological dialogue. Through our dialogues, we seek the guidance of the Spirit, who will lead us in all truth…”

I wonder if that agreement between centuries-long separated followers of the “catholic”church applies to the CFC and FFL. There is no theological difference to speak of in our present situation, there is only the difference of who will lead CFC, which FP as the immeidatel-past “absolute” ruler until his voluntary resignation wanted to get back based on questionable charges of veering away from the original CFC charism. At best, Bro. Arnel showed an example of an authentic religious conflict.

Yes the present conflict or break up of CFC only arose when FP wanted the elections stopped. All other references to him being ‘founder’ and therefore the “keeper of CFC charism” are shallow, and false claims. They don’t have theological moorings, but are simply misdirected definition of terms, which don’t conform with ordinary, Webster’s English definitions.

Thus, much as I really appreciate so much the scholarly reflection of Bror Arnel Santos, I have still to know the basic difference between CFC and FFL except the leadership. Well, of course, by now, since FFL does not follow the Vatican-approved statutes of CFC, it cannot lay any claim to it, and I fully agree with Bro Arnel that Frank and FFL are the ones who have veered away!

Anonymous said...

Arnel M. Santos quotes from “An Agreed Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation” dated Oct. 25, 2003, St. Paul’s College, Washington DC, thus:
“…we must be persistent in our prayer. We must increase our expressions of love and mutual respect. We must strengthen our theological dialogue…Through our prayer, we open ourselves up to the healing presence of our Heavenly Father…Our reconciliation will not take place without countless acts of love, forgiveness and mutual respect…Our reconciliation will not take place without theological dialogue. Through our dialogues, we seek the guidance of the Spirit, who will lead us in all truth…”

I don’t’ think that agreement between centuries-long separated followers of the “catholic” church – between the Roman (“Western”) Catholic and the Orthodox ("Eastern") Catholic churches – applies to the CFC and FFL, basically because there is no theological difference to speak of in our present conflict. There is only a superficial difference, one involving the question of who will lead CFC, which FP as the immediate-past “absolute” ruler until his voluntary resignation, wanted to take back.

At best, Bro. Arnel showed an example of what an authentic religious conflict is, and how the CFC-FFL conflict can be comic in comparison!

Yes the present conflict between CFC on the one hand, and FP and FFL on the other, arose only when FP wanted the elections stopped. All other references to him being ‘founder’ and therefore the “keeper of CFC charism” are shallow.

Except for that probably “unintended comparison” , I consider the reflection of Bro Arnel very scholarly and convincing.

WillyJ said...

These past two recent excellent posts reveal the plus side of this conflict, in that opportunities present themselves wherein we are obliged to study the points questioned more diligently, thus any contentious issue raised becomes an occasion of deep learning.

In all the issues brought forth and carefully examined, principle becomes a good test of doctrine. As witnessed throughout its history, the Church has stood out to errors brought about by doctrine without active principle, or active principle without doctrine.

The search for truth in this conflict can be seen as an uphill climb. As we climb from ledge to ledge, the more tired we become, but at the same time our views become more extensive. As we near the summit, there we marvel at the truth in all its splendor – a conviction of Faith and Reason which does not take sides in quarrels even among holy men – at the summit of a search which Pope John Paul II describes in Fides et Ratio: “Faith asks that its object be understood with the help of reason; and at the summit of its searching, reason acknowledges that it cannot do without what faith presents.”.

My utmost thanks to all brothers and sisters who stepped up and helped us up that arduous climb in the search for truth in all this conflict. May we continue the good fight and “be prepared always to defend the hope that is in you..with gentleness and reverence…keeping your conscience clear..” (1 Pet 3:15). While we do this, let us hoist up our unfortunate brothers who fell behind even with their sincere intentions of searching for the truth, that “if anyone should stray from the truth and someone brings him back...will save his soul from death and covers a multitude of sins”. (Jas 4:19-20).

Again in the words of Pope John Paul II :”Men and women are always called to direct their steps towards a truth which transcends them...” .. and in prayer: “may Mary, Seat of Wisdom, be a sure haven for all who devote their lives to the search for wisdom. May their journey into wisdom, sure and final goal of all true knowing, be freed of every hindrance by the intercession of the one who, in giving birth to the Truth and treasuring it in her heart, has shared it forever with all the world.”

Danny, WB said...

I am so blessed to be part of your Household!

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Sister Hazel Cumpas, FFL, says:
“...When asked, I tell them that I crossed over not just because of loyalty to Frank Padilla, but because of a deep sense and desire for spiritual growth that I have been searching for in the community...” (CFC-FFL Restored Series No. 3: We Shall Overcome!!!, June 9, 2008)

Sister Hazel, you may find it hard to spiritually grow in a community that vowed the destruction of CFC, that wanted to restore some CFC charism by not following the statutes that kept CFC united all these years. More, you may not insult, or add injury to it, to the members of your choir and other parish personnel, by wearing FFL T-Shirt because that certainly offended them. From my “outsider’s view”, the choir you were with (which must also have CFC followers) could dispense with your presence because you sowed discord and disunity. So, while I can say that you are clearly right to think that your innate music talent could help the choir sing correctly, you were also wrong to “advertise” your “newfound group” or “leaning” before their very eyes. I think your exclusion was simply common sense.

You know, I guess you will have to also suggest to your husband Rev that you seek out your former household head in CFC for a one-on-one (in the same way that I suggest your former household head seek you out for a one-on-one). Yes, it is the usual acts of brotherhood and sisterhood (like “malling” together, going to the market together, having coffee for some small talk together, in the spirit of a loving community), even if we are not faced with trials, that nurture and sustain our bonds. The longing for company and understanding is certainly something that needs to be addressed by most everyone in CFC, not because a sympathetic outlet can be provided by the break-away FFL, but because there is simply a need to reinforce each other as members of our CFC family and community. In fact, I should say, there was really no need to create a separate group like FFL but that there was a need to be sensitive to the needs of our brethren, even as CFC grew by leaps and bounds, and that a gentle means of strengthening our brotherhood and sisterhood is a refreshing air. Indeed, neither making a big fuzz of something like “restoration of CFC charism” was needed, nor was the “solicitation” of the bishops’ recommendation to stall the 2007 election really necessary, if Bro. Frank Padilla only yielded to his voluntary resignation and to his public commissioning of the remaining four IC members then to compose the “caretaker” Council and pave the way for the regular elections.

God bless you and may your search of spiritual growth leads to your authentic “expansion” in Christian living

Bro. Mero :-) said...

Mga kapatid naisip ko lng,

When we joined CFC, sobrang pinalakas ang ating "FAITH". We come to know God, we evangelize, we preach, we serve actively in our parish, we have come into a personal relationship with the LORD. That is faith, not a ceremonial faith but a faith thru personal relationship with Christ.

Later on, when we come to know the Lord and deepen our relationship with Him and grow in Him through our faith, Christ molded us into HOPE. We become HOPE to the hopeless. Those people whom the public considers hopeless, we were able to give them hope. And because of our intense FAITH in God, we hope even to the most impossible thing to happen. (eg. GK 777.) Our posture becomes hopeful and becomes the source of HOPE.

But when this HOPE leads us to LOVE, our work becomes intensive. We work in GK, we judge no one, we accept everyone because we LOVE. And when this LOVE start to bring us to the path that we never imagined, someone shout from the desert saying, "We veer away, we should comeback to FAITH and better remain there forever."

It was so funny, God has brought us this far thru Frank, now Frank is the one saying we have to retreat and back off!

Remember, FAITH, HOPE and LOVE. And the greatest of this is LOVE!

Yes, we teach FAITH in GK, We give hope in GK, but above all it must be motivated by LOVE. without LOVE, faith is useless and so is HOPE.

If we love our poor brethren, then our priority above all is love and not FAITH. For how can you theologize, if someone is already in dire need?

The Pope says, "he who does not give God gives too little".

I agree, but how can we give God if we do not give love- for God himself is love.

Therefore, the Pope says, "he who does not give LOVE, gives too little.

GK is not something a philantropist act, but it is an act of genuine love. Not a judgemental to anyone, but accept everyone..that is love!

Gets niyo ba FFL?

If the greatest of the three is LOVE, then no one veers away if what he only does is to LOVE as how JESUS love!

Bro. Mero:-)

Anonymous said...

Dearest Brod Mero,

You are really spirit-guided, Brod. Thanky you again for wisdom. God bless you.

European Brod

Anonymous said...

salamat sa lahat at hindi gaanong pa-galit ang mga post niyo dito these past days.

see, kaya nating huminahon -:).

andyalquiroscfcquezon said...

All of us are human beings prone to mistakes and sin. It is our nature, because none of us are perfect. I was also guilty of throwing stones and boulders to our brothers and sisters in FFL, making judgments and conclusions against them even before I started reading this blog.

I have been a member of Couples for Christ for the last 18 years and am a very active supporter of Gawad Kalinga. When the split up occurred I felt very angry and frustrated at all our top leaders, especially the group of Frank Padilla for taking this controversy too far. How could our top leaders not see eye to eye being all knowledgable in the Faith? Worst of all we were being asked which side we are on? I asked myself aren't we all on the same side? We decided to stay with CFC-GMFI because that was where we all started from. As the weeks passed, the situation worsened, as you all know thru this blog.

One day, while I was praying, I asked God to enlighten me on the events that had transpired which led me to these verses in the bible:
Acts 9: 3-5 " As he traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed about him. He fell to the ground and at the same time heard a voice saying " Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" " Who are you sir." he asked. The voice answered, " I am Jesus the one you are persecuting."
Philippians 2: 1-5. "In the name of the encouragement you owe me in Christ, in the name of the solace that love can give, of fellowship in spirit, compassion, and pity, I beg you: make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing one love, united in the spiirt and ideals. Never act out of rivalry or conceit; rather, let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others interests rather than to his own. Your attitude must be that of Christ:".

Then it hit me. I realized that I was in disobedience to my Faith in Christ. I fell flat on my knees and from the bottom of my heart asked the Lord for forgiveness. By the grace of God, all the anger, hate, and frustration left me. The Lord gave me a better understanding of my Faith in Christ.

Couples For Christ and Gawad Kalinga are mere venues or vehicles the Lord has given me to express my Faith in Christ. These venues may come and go but my Faith in Christ will always remain. My love for Couples For Christ and Gawad Kalinga will always be there and I pray to God that He give me the grace to serve in CFC and GK till the day I die.

Letter of Paul to the Hebrews:

" Therefore,holy brothers who share a heavenly calling, fix your eyes on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we acknowledge in FAITH, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him. Moses, too,"was faithful in all God's household" but Jesus is more worthy of honor than he, as the founder of a house is more honorable than the house itself. Every house is founded by someone, but God is the founder of all. Moses was faithful in all God's household as a servant charged with a task of witnessing to what would be spoken but Christ was faithful as the Son placed over God's house. It is we who are that house if we hold fast to our confidence and the hope of which we boast".

jonitanitayturin said...

Hello CD, Everyone! It seems relaxed here, and we’re blessed!

Today is June 11, 2008, and I am reading a four-page letter-appeal of CFC-IC released exactly one year ago, exhorting the membership “…to respect CFC’s principles and culture of the anointing of leaders and obedience to authority”. Also noteworthy in the same letter are these themes one also finds here in the IDOTRCFC blog: ‘conflicts among leaders,’ ‘power and control,’ and ‘our appeal’ (for Bro Frank “to be at the forefront of working at healing and unity…rather than… undermining our established leadership structure…”)

I also ‘rediscovered’ that on July 20, 2007, our Brother ARNEL M. SANTOS OF CFC WEST B3, essayed the first reflection defending GK which was posted in “Fulfilling the Mandate” blog, entitled , “A View From the Ground,” (about “His personal reflections on Frank Padilla’s CFC AND GK-3”). Earlier in this blog, Bro Arnel also defended the origin and charism of CFC against the ‘revisionist’ FFL with his scholarly “Historiography 101”. That piece debunked the latter’s redefinition of the term ‘founder’ to apply to Bro Frank in order to justify FFL’s continued use of the name ‘CFC’. These well-written pieces plus the one here with the footnoted reflections ("Signed, Sealed, Delivered" post), are more-than-enough reasons to thank God for the wisdom shared by Bro. Arnel. God Bless him!

CD, those times in mid-June last year, were certainly frantic and harried, as can be gleaned from the letters between the IC and the three revered bishops (Lagdameo, Reyes, and Villegas), regarding the regular elections. Now, I think things are more settled, with the attainment of the strategic objective of FFL as elusive as ever – because CFC has withstood its ground, and the structure has been holding on fast, even rejuvenating! For, how can FFL destroy and thereafter restore our CFC that has become stronger and more committed to evangelize more intensively with, or through, GK? And, far from cowering in fear from the dreaded effect of Bro Frank’s abandonment, we can now confidently accept his separation and firmly advise him to go ahead without using the name ‘CFC’ in order to avoid confusion, as we eagerly offer prayers for God’s blessings on his future charismatic life in FFL... we who have become joyful and triumphant as a liberated people, who bask and bathe in God’s redemption and salvation, free from any fear but full of love, kindness, humility, patience, and peace...

MinaFrancisco said...

PRAISE GOD FOR THIS DEVELOPMENT -
FROM OUR IC:

"INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL STATEMENT
June 11, 2008

WE SHALL PREVAIL

Dear brothers and sisters in Couples for Christ,

The time to “be still” is over. We are now called upon to rise to the defense of the
name and the life and mission of Couples of Christ. We will wage this campaign while keeping our focus on Jesus and moving on with the mission.

We, the members of the International Council, ask you all today to pray hard for our
beloved community as we gird ourselves to fight the good fight for our name and for the values that Couples for Christ stands for.

In the past few days, it has become evident that there is an attempt to wrest from us the use of our name Couples for Christ through the revival of the old registration of Couples for Christ Foundation, Inc. at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

To understand the current issue, the following background review is necessary:

1. In 1984, while under the Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon, CFC was registered with the SEC as Couples for Christ Foundation, Inc.

2. In 1993, when CFC broke away from Ligaya, we registered Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation, Inc. to replace CFC Foundation, Inc as the corporate entity of CFC.

3. The old registration was allowed to lie dormant and the regulatory reports and fees were no longer paid, as per the decision of the CFC-GMFI Board which Frank Padilla headed. In consequence, SEC declared the CFC Foundation,Inc. registration revoked on August 11, 2003 which meant it no longer had any corporate life.

4. In July 2007, the breakaway group of Frank Padilla formed their own organization and sought SEC registration as Couples for Christ Foundation for
Family and Life.

5. In anticipation of any adverse move and realizing that we needed to protect the CFC name, we filed, as early as on July 30, 2007, a letter with the SEC “to register our objection/opposition to a reinstatement of the abovementioned Couples for Christ Foundation, Inc. or to any reservation and registration of an
entity, foundation or corporation that bears the same name and/or something similarly confusing to Couples for Christ and CFC.”

To date, FFL has not succeeded in securing SEC approval of their registration as CFC-FFL. Providentially, we uncovered their plot to revive the old CFC-FI registration without any notice to us, notwithstanding our continuing objection. If they had succeeded in this, this would have meant that there would be two CFC
organizations, thus exacerbating the already confusing situation.
We are not going to allow this plot to succeed. We will proceed to implement all steps necessary, including the legal and judicial process to thwart their plan. We ask for your full support in this battle. Our collective actions and petitions to God are key to our victory in this battle.

We, your International Council, are committed in leading the fight to protect and preserve our CFC name. We hope that you will repose in us your full trust that we will do everything appropriate and necessary to see this fight through. We also hope
that when the time comes that we need your support to keep this fight going, that you will not hesitate to step forward.

In the meantime, we ask for your prayers. We face an uphill climb but if we go hand
in hand and continue to support each other, we shall prevail.

May God bless us all.

THE CFC INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL
Joe Tale
Joe Yamamoto
Ernie Maipid
Rouquel Ponte
Lito Tayag
Melo Villaroman
Joey Arguelles

jonitanitayturin said...

A CLARION CALL

CD, Sis Mina, All:

SALAMAT…I am stirred and thrilled, a little edgy but otherwise generally comfortable and peaceful that this powerful clarion call to end the time of "being still" and commence the battle for the CFC name has been clearly sounded by our prayerful CFC International Council.

This call is supported by the results of the IDOTRCFC "informal" survey here, the results of which (as of this early morning of June 12)are as follows:

1. Of 247 respondents asked about ending the CFC name issue:
- 44% opt to go legal or lodge a formal petition with CBCP or the Vatican for clarity, while
- 5% opt to share it with FFL, and
- 31% decide to be still

2. Of 130 respondents asked if they want their voices to be heard:
- 86% say yes,
- 13% say they want to remain silent and be still.

CD, being “edgy” as I have stated above does not bring me discomfort at all. It is just an initial “fearful” feeling that, as the IC has finally stirred up to clasp the sharpened sword, I stand in awe and fear at the Mighty Hand of God.

LET US PREPARE THE WAY AND PRAISE GOD FOREVERMORE!!!

Anonymous said...

From: The Blue Sky...
An article on "Law on the Legal Status of Churches, Religious Communities and a Religious Groups"
Article 8 :
The legal status of the church, the religious community and the religious group is gained through registration in authorized the court with what the church, religious community and religious group gains the capacity of legal entity.
The authorized state body to establish special evidential-statistical nomenclature for registering a church, religious community or religious group.
For one confession, to register only one only one church, religious community or religious group It is not clear what the term "confession" means. The term "confession" could be understood as "authoritative formulation of the beliefs of a religious community (or, by transference, of individuals)", longer more detailed doctrinal declaration.
The term "confession" could also be understood as synonym for "denomination". The term could mean e.g. Christianity as such or Orthodox Christianity, Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, Judaism, Islam, as such or Sunnite Islam, Shiite Islam, Sufi Islam.
3.8 Article 10.
The draft law (Article 10(2)) could be understood as prohibiting the registration of a church, religious community or religious group that contains the name or the symbol of other states. This could mean that it would not be possible to register a church or dependencies thereof such as the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, the church of Sweden, the Russian-Orthodox Church, or the Greek-Orthodox Church.
It is not clear why the provision should be necessary. The name of a religious entity can well be part of its religious identity; it is a manifestation of religion or belief. Limitations on the right to manifest one's religion in public must pursue a ligitimate aim and must be necessary in a democratic society. If in a specific case using a specific name for a church, religious community or religious group should be regarded detrimental to any of the legitimate aims of limiting the manifestations of religion or belief it would be possible and sufficient to prohibit using that specific name.
CD, I'm not a lawyer,so I could not interpret this article legally. Do you think this will help a little to solve "what's in a name"?
Do you think thier accusations, making confusions to CFC members etc....is detrimental to CFC?

MinaFrancisco said...

Hi CD - this entry is out of topic. Just to let you know that when we click the anniversary announcement link on this page, it brings us to the kenosis concert announcement of last year. thanks- Mina

Anonymous said...

With due respect, Brother Mero, God will prevail, even among the FFL followers; so it is with more reason that those battling them may not unilaterally claim they have Him on their side. Certainly, God will prevail against the Evil One! Buti na lang seguro (Better still,) say that “we will prevail” and strive to make it happen with God’s help, rather than like put Him “on the spot”(?). I am sorry, this is not really “what I meant at all, that is not it at all,” so I trust you will feel the import and intent of this phrase - I only want to suggest a different view. In this context, may we let the opening phrase of the IC letter be?

Side ko lang ito, Brod, and I feel I need to talk about it here lang. Thanks and God Bless.

Anonymous said...

MIX-MIX

1. CD, it appears that all posts are automatically entered (Could you have waived "screening" them in order to accommodate those wanting to register in support of our CFC-IC?);

2. As it is, perhaps it is still ok to mix the registration of names with the comments because it evokes a "personalized and human" milieu on an otherwise "cold" blog;

3. However, I'll content myself with making comments on various matters here in this page, in the meantime, until we've rationalized the registration process (as more bloggers come out in the open).

4. About Brother Mero's mention of Bishop Reyes' comments (page A17 of PDI dated 11 June 2008):
a. is it really Bishop Reyes doing the 5-page letter? (I admire his stamina)
b. sorry, Bishop but I suspect it is FP who's doing the whole write-up by reviving rehashed issues;
c. now "Bishop Reyes" really speaks for the FFL, and publicly "dabbles" with the theology and philosophy of "casuistry" which has been a method of ethical argument to address specific moral questions (this form of moral argumentation was spearheaded by the Jesuits hundreds of years ago...)
d. nice try, Bro Frank, we continue to pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Through your efforts we have remained inspired to continue the mission God has called us for. Please be assured of our continous support and prayers..

God bless!

Apple Valencia
CFC SFC SOuth B
nhels_75@yahoo.com/nela@piasi.com

Anonymous said...

Through your efforts we have remained inspired to continue the mission God has called us for. Please be assured of our continous support and prayers..

God bless!

Apple Valencia
CFC SFC SOuth B
nhels_75@yahoo.com/nela@piasi.com