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The call to conversion

WHEN Cardinal Mario Bergoglio assumed the Petrine ministry and took the namesake of St. Francis, a Filipino archbishop already surmised that the new pontiff will pursue an agenda inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, namely: the poor, the environment, and peace. He was right. During his inaugural address in March 2013, Pope Francis already outlined [...]

LAST week, the House of Representatives passed on second reading the so-called economic charter change bill, formally known as Resolution of Both Houses 1 (RBH-1). Co-authored by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and Senator Ralph Recto, RBH-1 seeks to enable the removal of constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership of Philippine businesses and property through the insertion [...]

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DURING his May 24 Regina Caeli address at St. Peter’s, Pope Francis trongly called on the international community to help several boat loads of refugees that are reportedly still stranded after attempting to sail across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. “I continue following with great concern the events of the many refugees [...]

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“WHOEVER lives the mission of Caritas is not simply a charity worker, but is a true witness of Christ, one who seeks Christ and allows Christ to seek him, one who loves with the spirit of Christ, a spirit of gratuitousness and gift.  All our strategies and plans remain empty unless we carry this love [...]

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THE members of Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses that includes the national and local committees that are tasked to prepare for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress  gathered in Plenary Assembly in Cebu City this April 24-28, 2015.   The Plenary convened around 82 international and local delegates of bishops, priests, religious and lay from 47 [...]

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YES, the political scene in the country is anything but a reason to celebrate, a phenomenon to jump for joy.  Yes, the political culture imbibed by the Filipinos in general is certainly neither that inspiring nor that convincing to proclaim.  But yes, signs of hope are there for politics in the Philippines to be commendable and wherefore [...]

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ONE of the more objective thoughts on the issue of peacemaking and the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is that of Archbishop Socrates Villegas which, as he premised, he is sharing neither as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines nor as Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan, but “as a Filipino and a believer in [...]

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ON the second anniversary of his election, on March 13, Pope Francis announced the celebration of an extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy that will commence on Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the closing of Vatican II, and will conclude on Nov. 20, 2015, the Solemnity of [...]

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BEING immersed in the lives of the poor, continuing dialogue despite adverse socio-political realities, and pursuing what Pope Francis calls a “culture of encounter”, these, among others, bring about the vision of the Second Vatican Council to the world today. In an interesting interplay of concrete stories and profound theology, this was what Manila Archbishop, [...]

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IT was already on the fourth day when President Simeon Benigno C. Aquino III formally addressed the nation about the Mamasapano crisis that happened on January 25.  Except to give a haphazard report about the 44 casualties from the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police in an encounter with the Moro Islamic [...]

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What now! Now what?

So many advertised meetings here and there. So many exuberant declarations through so many media outlets. So many ceremonial smiles, clapping, self-congratulations. So many promises and proclamations made. So much hope was raised for so many times. So many grandiose affirmations announced and so many loud proclamations made. So many partisan political comrades applauded eagerly, [...]

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WEATHER forecasters were certain that tropical storm Amang was going to barrel through the islands of Samar and Leyte with maximum sustained winds of 100 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 130 kph.   But Pope Francis was determined.  As scheduled, he had to proceed to Tacloban, ground zero of super storm Yolanda [...]

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THE Church is universal. She is found established—praying, teaching, serving—in big or small groupings of people all over the world, among individuals of all races, colors and languages. So is it that with all these particulars, the Church is universal with billions of members, among whom are millions of nuns, priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals. [...]

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THE lessons, or better yet, the trauma that super typhoon Yolanda (internationally code-named Haiyan) etched on the psyche of typhoon survivors has lessened to a very great extent the damage caused by the recent typhoon Ruby (Hagupit).              A day before the first landfall in Dolores, Eastern Samar people had already scampered to evacuation centers [...]

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ON November 30, the First Sunday of Advent, the Church in the Philippines will enter the Year of the Poor.  This will unfold in the context of the nine-year preparation for the five hundredth anniversary of the Christianization of the Philippines, which commenced in 2013 with the Year of Faith and will culminate in 2021 [...]

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THE recently held Episcopal Synod–a fraternal meeting of Bishops chosen from all over the Catholic world formally summoned by the Pope in order to assist him in the exercise of his Papal ministry–received a good amount of attention from the general public primarily because of the amiable personal traits and unique relational attributes of the [...]

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