National Church News

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.

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.

October 24, 2012 10:56 PM

MANILA, Oct. 24, 2012— Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle as the Catholic Church’s newest cardinal.

The pontiff elevated Tagle, head of the Philippines’ largest archdiocese, to the College of Cardinals along with 5 other archbishops from different countries.

October 17, 2012 01:44 PM

(A Statement of Catholic Bishops in Mindanao on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro)

We view with vigilant optimism the announcement of a coming peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as the first steps towards forging “a just and lasting peace in Mindanao.” We believe that continuing consultations with all stakeholders are necessary to bring the peace process forward.

September 26, 2012 03:50 AM

MANILA, Sept. 25, 2012— President Benigno Aquino III’s much-vaunted ‘straight path’ campaign would remain a slogan if the government would not pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill.

In a statement, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines wondered why Aquino has not certified the FOI as an urgent measure if only to eliminate corruption in the government.

According to the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace (Nassa), the measure adheres to the principle of transparency and accountability. 

September 5, 2012 07:29 AM

MANILA, Sept. 4, 2012— A Catholic bishop rejected the touted new version of the reproductive health (RH) bill because of the Church’s uncompromising stand on artificial birth control.

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said that even if proponents changed the name RH bill, “it’s still the same measure with the purpose of depopulation.”

August 17, 2012 02:52 AM

MANILA, August 15, 2012— Senator Vicente Sotto III has won praise from ranking Catholic bishops for his expose surrounding the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill.

Sotto, in the continuation of his speech Wednesday, revealed the various international lobby groups behind the measure and their motives that would allow abortions to be performed in the country.

June 28, 2012 09:50 AM

MANILA, June 27, 2012— There is nothing wrong with the Aquino administration helping other countries but it should first prioritize the needs of the country, at least two Catholic bishops said.

Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad said it would be better for President Benigno Aquino III to address first the pressing problems of the country that needs immediate attention.