Latest Church News

June 22, 2013 11:12 PM

MANILA, June 22, 2013—In an attempt to settle debates pertaining to the constitutional provision on the separation of the church and state, a Catholic prelate said that the church hierarchy is entitled to speak and express its opinion on public policies that could affect the welfare of the majority.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo cleared out debates on the controversial separation of the two institutions, saying that taking part in public discourse fulfills the social responsibility of church officials as citizens of the country.

June 15, 2013 03:48 AM

MANILA, June 13, 2013—A farmers’ group called on President Benigno Aquino III to distribute the land to landless peasants nationwide before the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) Law expires on June 14, 2014.

Task Force Mapalad (TFM) stressed that the president is mandated by law to complete the distribution of 1,209,236 hectares of land by the time he leaves from office in 2016.

Distributing the land to farmers before the law’s expiration would give a reason for the celebration of the 25thanniversary of CARP, it said.

June 15, 2013 03:45 AM

MANILA, June 13, 2013— A Catholic bishop from Eastern Samar province has appealed to all stakeholders to put an end to child labor.

Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez said child labor is a terrible phenomenon, as he called for an intensified crusade against it.

The 52-year old prelate particularly called on the government and the parents to be interested in the welfare of their children.

June 15, 2013 03:41 AM

QUEZON City, June 13, 2013—Environmentalists today called on authorities to stop the ceremonial burning of confiscated elephant tusks, saying the act would send a wrong message to the public.

Although they fully support the global effort to stop the illegal wildlife trade, the groups said, burning the seized ivory tusks is not acceptable due to its environmental impact.

“Even if the intent is only to conduct ‘ceremonial burning,’ we remain anxious as this will likely send a confusing message to the general public from the environmental authorities that open burning is acceptable,” the environmentalists said in an e-mail sent to the DENR secretary and Wildlife director Theresa Mundita Lim.

June 10, 2013 09:51 AM

MANILA, June 6, 2013— Amid talks of a looming change in the Senate leadership, a retired Catholic archbishop said it may be a prelude move to boost the Charter change train.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said that amending the 1987 Constitution is something the public should watch out for under the Aquino administration.

“Better watch out for the coming three years when the Philippine Constitution could be amended,” Cruz said.

June 10, 2013 09:48 AM

VIGAN City, Ilocos Sur, June 9, 2013—The Catholic clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia criticized the inaction of the government on the issue of black sand mining in the province.

In protest to the mining activities along the province’s shoreline, Archbishop Ernesto Salgado and the diocesan clergy led the Catholic faithful in a rally against black sand mining last February 9 in front of the Vigan Cathedral.

On February 18, the Catholic clergy and the laity sent a letter to President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III complaining about the illegal mining activities but have not received any action from the government.

May 9, 2013 04:25 AM

MANILA, May 7, 2013— Vote buying in the country has become more sophisticated and rampant than ever as the May 13 election approaches, a Catholic Church-backed poll watchdog said.

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said that political parties had become wiser about buying votes to avoid detection and to ensure victory. 

Ana Singson, PPCRV communications and media director, said candidates or their emissaries are tempted to buy votes “in the dead of night.” 

March 14, 2013 01:32 AM

MANILA, March 13, 2013— Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle’s Facebook page showed an unusual spike in “likes”, growing by more than 5,000 in four days. 

The notable increase was particularly started a day before the cardinals around the world sequestered themselves in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican for the conclave. 

As of Wednesday, over 130,000 people have “liked” Tagle’s Facebook page, which is run by Jesuit Communications. 

“The increase actually started that day (Feb. 26) when he left for Rome,” said Raymon Ritumban, JesCom production coordinator. 

February 11, 2013 11:37 AM

For the first time, the Alay Kapwa (AK) Program of the CBCP-NASSA launches its National Lenten Campaign simultaneously in three Dioceses, one from each of the three regions in the Philippines. This year, 2013 the theme is “CHALLENGES AND RESPONSES OF STEWARDSHIP IN THE YEAR OF FAITH.”

The hosting Dioceses are: Diocese of Digos (from Mindanao region) which will launch the Lenten Campaign on February 15, 2013; Diocese of Catarman (from Visayas Region) which will launch on February 13-15, with a series of activities; while Diocese of Caceres (Naga, Luzon) will launch the campaign on February 20.

February 2, 2013 08:13 AM

MANILA, Feb. 1, 2013— Catholic bishops are making no attempt to hide their dismay over President Benigno Aquino III’s commitment towards genuine land reform in the country.

The church leaders reiterated their concern of the government’s underperformance in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with extension and reforms (Carper), which ends by July 2014.

February 2, 2013 08:11 AM

MANILA, Jan. 31, 2013— Two months after being elevated as cardinal, the head of Manila’s Catholic Church on Thursday has been appointed to two vital councils in the Vatican.

Pope Benedict XVI has given Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle new assignments to help him govern the universal church.

The pope named Tagle as member of presiding committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

January 30, 2013 01:27 AM

MANILA, Jan. 29, 2013—While Church leaders remain mum on the controversy ensuing from a court ruling that convicted pro-contraception tour guide Carlos Celdran for disrupting a Eucharistic celebration at the Manila Cathedral in 2010, Catholic netizens have voiced their opinion against the tour guide’s public display of disrespect to the holy gathering.

Facebook users who are members of the YouthPinoy fan page were one in saying that Celdran deserve his jail term of a minimum of two months to a maximum of one year for disrupting an ongoing Mass by dressing up as Jose Rizal and holding up a placard with the word “Damaso” before the Papal Nuncio, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, several bishops and other religious.

January 17, 2013 06:58 PM

MANILA, Jan. 17, 2012— For Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, there is no way that the he will ‘reconcile” the morality with immorality.

Reacting to Malacañang’s call for reconciliation after the dispute over the controversial Reproductive Health Law, Arguelles said there is no way that the Church can accept the measure.

January 9, 2013 05:45 AM

MANILA, Jan. 8, 2013— As devotees of the Black Nazarene continue to grow, the Quiapo Parish Church has tried to improve its formation programs and catechizing people about the devotion.

Citing superstition or occultism in the devotion, Quiapo Church parish priest Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio said they are doing everything to address these concerns.

“There are things that still need to be purified in our expressions. Human as they are, our expressions need to achieve their perfection,” Ignacio said.

January 1, 2013 10:27 PM

MANILA, Dec. 31, 2012—Catholic Church officials expressed deep sadness over the death of Jesuit priest Fr. James Reuter.

“I am very sorry to hear of his death. He was a very pious and exemplary Jesuit priest who was always wearing his sotana, the habit of Jesuits,” said Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon.

“He was a great communicator of the Good News of Jesus, using modern media, even musicals, plays and movies,” the bishop said.

December 31, 2012 11:49 AM

MANILA, Dec. 29, 2012–An Ateneo de Manila theology professor has resigned, realizing that he could “no longer share the path” taken by the Jesuit-led university community that went all-out for the passage of the reproductive health (RH) law despite opposition from the Catholic Church.

Prof. Rafael Dy-Liacco, in a resignation letter, decried the “failure” of Ateneans to reject what he said was an alliance with a “spirit of disdain for the Church” that had worked for the RH bill’s passage.

December 18, 2012 07:09 AM

MANILA, Dec. 17, 2012—The reproductive health (RH) bill was passed on third reading today at the House of Representatives, with a 133-79 vote in favor of the measure, with seven abstentions.

It was a full house, with nominal voting concluding in less than two hours, and with key people from both sides of the issue present to witness the proceedings.

Antipolo Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes, chair of CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL), who had been attending the proceedings in the last several session days, lamented the voting outcome and the apparent intervention of the Palace.

December 11, 2012 06:42 AM

MANILA, Dec. 10, 2012— Catholic bishops will troop to the House of Representatives on Wednesday as the House of Representatives will try to put the “reproductive health” bill to a vote.

Ironically, the voting on the controversial population control measure falls on the feast day of the Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the unborn.

For the Church, it is a significant day as bishops called on the faithful to pray so that the RH bill will not be passed.

December 6, 2012 02:30 AM

MANILA, Dec. 5, 2012— A Catholic Church official has criticized Malacañang for allegedly pressuring members of the House of Representatives to favor the reproductive health (RH) bill.

Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Commission on Family and Life, claimed that the Palace “continues to raid the pro-life ranks” of lawmakers to muster enough votes for the enactment of the measure.

“Malacañang is monitoring the ‘solid’ votes of the anti-RH bill and calls them up and persuades them to soften up because it’s ‘shameful to the Speaker, it’s shameful to the President,” Castro said.

December 5, 2012 03:06 AM

MANILA, Dec. 4, 2012— The head of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church has joined calls for lawmakers not to rush the passage of the reproductive health (RH) bill.

In a statement, Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and 15 other bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Manila said that there is a need to discuss the proposed legislation thoroughly.

“We are appealing to the Honorable Representatives to give ample time to deliberations and discernment and not to unduly rush them,” part of the statement reads.

December 1, 2012 04:48 AM

CEBU City, Nov. 29, 2012—The people’s expression of faith and the fervor of their devotion to the new Filipino saint was truly astounding, a Church official said.

The fervent devotion shown by the faithful during the “Duaw Nasud” was truly a religious experience, said Fr. Marvin Mejia, assistant secretary general of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

November 29, 2012 07:15 AM

MANILA, Nov. 27, 2012— Some Catholic bishops sent a powerful message to their critics who are pushing the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill: Do not underestimate us.

Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad said the birth control measure is a serious issue that must be dealt with by the Church by campaigning against those who are favoring the bill.

“If the bishops are really determined to campaign against those who are pro-RH bill, I think we can come up with a Catholic vote,” Jumoad said.

November 21, 2012 02:14 AM

MANILA, Nov. 20, 2012—Catholic bishops acknowledged Tuesday that the proposed reproductive health (RH) bill has been watered down, but gave no sign they will accept the measure.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) maintained that the birth control measure will remain unacceptable to the Church.

“Despite some amendments, this latest version of the House Bill 4244 is not acceptable because of its bad provisions,” said Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes in a statement.

November 17, 2012 12:21 AM

NAGA City, Nov. 16, 2012―Archbishop Rolando Joven Tria Tirona, OCD was installed November 14 as fourth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Caceres in a two hour solemn liturgical rites.

Tirona succeeded Dominican Archbishop Leonardo Zamora Legaspi who served as metropolitan bishop of Caceres for 28 years.

The new prelate called on the clergy, religious and laymen and women to further help in making the local church responsive to the needs of the times.

He also expressed his thanks to the “best clergy” he ever knew, the clergy from the Prelature of Infanta, drawing loud applause from the congregation.

October 28, 2012 02:43 AM

MANILA, Oct. 27, 2012— The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) has called on its member schools to shun holding Halloween parties.

Fr. Greg Bañaga, CEAP president, said that Catholic institutions should lead in upholding the dignity of deceased persons by not celebrating All Saints Day and All Souls Day with scary costumes.