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Lessons from ‘Yolanda’

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 [...]

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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THE message of Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops put to rest the controversy that was stirred by the Synod midterm report.  It also dampened the hopes of those who were speculating that the Synod Fathers were now moving towards conciliatory language in dealing with divorced [...]

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THIS was how Pope Francis exhorted the participants of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops during the opening session on October 5.   He said:  “A basic general condition is this:  to speak clearly… It is necessary to say everything that is felt with parrhesia.  After the last Consistory (February 2014) in [...]

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ON October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines will be issuing a pastoral exhortation on Climate Change.   This follows a line of pastoral statements of Philippine bishops on the environment, which started in 1988 with the release of a landmark pastoral letter on ecology entitled “What [...]

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THUS spoke Pope Francis.  And right, indeed, he is, for “whereas God carries forward the work of creation, and we men and women are called to participate in the his work, war destroys.  It also ruins the most beautiful work of his hands:  human beings.  War ruins everything, even bonds between brothers.  War is irrational; [...]

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THE beheading of a second American journalist and the continuing acts of barbarism by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) that are tactically dispatched as propaganda materials over social media are sending a repugnant horror to well-meaning citizens of the world–and should now be raising the bar of political consensus among strategic world leaders. But [...]

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THE alarm sounded by the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul Amel Shamon Nona, is chilling.   Interviewed on August 9 by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, he warned that all Christians around would face untold violence from Islamists the way, if not worse, his diocese is undergoing now.  The Islamic State, a caliphate recently established in [...]

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EXCEPT for those who quite surprisingly preferred to insist on their own assessment of ground realities, well-meaning Filipinos who could be bereft of any political agenda saw the 5th State of the Nation Address of President Aquino swerving further away from objectivity.  The hoi polloi rendered it simply yet more bluntly this way:  “PNoy, sinungaling [...]

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Disbursing so much amount of money unconstitutionally is bad enough.  But justifying the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) to the point of threatening the independence of a constructional branch of government is worse, because it shakes up a significant nerve of democratic principles. This was the rub of the address of President Aquino last July 14—two [...]

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AMONG the thousands of posts that were weaved by social media during past few days, two stood out.  One was the apology issued by a Catholic university for inviting a person who is reputed to be a major protagonist in a political dictatorship.  The other was the video of a Redemptorist priest in Cebu who [...]

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THE Philippines is not a hopeless case.  But it will take generations for an ingrained culture of corruption to disappear, if that is possible. From day one, Philippine governance was already wallowing in dirt that was condoned by both the governors and the governed.   ​ A budding reporter of Manila Chronicle, Celso Cabrera, documented in [...]

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ON the evening of Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2014, Pope Francis called on God to bring peace where human efforts had failed and to end a deeply-rooted enmity between nations that he sees as the handiwork of the devil. Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas obliged to come to the Vatican upon [...]

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THE pilgrimage of Pope Francis on May 24-26 to the Holy Land on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem may actually have done more than just mark an anniversary. Pope Francis has moved more steps towards bridging the walls that have divided Christians [...]

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IN a recent news story by CBCPNews, Fr. Dari Dioquino, a priest who is in-charge of a home for the aged, is reportedly alarmed by the growing number of homeless people, especially in Metro Manila and in urban centers around the country.  He did not base his assessment from any government statistics or from some [...]

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