Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mission & Ministry Calendar(Updated Dec 31,2013


Jan 1(Wed) St Jude Cebu City
Jan 4(Sat) Handmaids of the Lord,Lapu2 City
Jan 5(Sun) Tagbilaran City
Jan 10(Fri) St Cecilia's Dorm,Cebu City
Jan 11(Sat) Calape,Bohol
Jan 12(Sun) CCR-Cebu Anniversary
Jan 18(Sat) Xavier College,San Francisco,Agusan Sur
Jan 19(Sun) Sinulog Festival,Cebu City
Jan 24(Fri) Talamban,Cebu City
Jan 25(Sat) Initao,Misamis Oriental*
Jan 26(Sun) Open


Feb 1,2(Sat,Sun) Univ of Southern Philippines,Cebu City
Feb 2(Sun) Tagbilaran City 2pm
Feb 6,7(Thur,Fri) Maasim,Sarangani Province*
Feb 8,9(Sat,Sun) Open
Feb 15,16(Sat,Sun) Open
Feb 20-March 2 Israel,Egypt,Jordan


Mar 8(Sat) Tisa Natl High School,Cebu City
Mar 9(Sun) Tagbilaran City Word Anniversary
Mar 15(Sat) Tisa Natl High School,Cebu City
Mar 16(Sun) Open
Mar 21,22(Fri,Sat) Love of Holy Spirit,Cebu City
Mar 23(Sun) Open
Mar 28,29(Fri,Sat) Bula,General Santos City
Mar 30(Sun) Maasim,Sarangani Province*


Apr 5(Sat) Open
Apr 6(Sun) Tagbilaran City
Apr 9,10(Wed,Thur) M Lhuillier Cebu North Region
Apr 11,12(Fri,Sat) Lectors,Patin-ay,Agusan Sur
Apr 13(Sun) Open
Apr 18(Good Fri) Lite Shipping
Apr 19(Sat) ICP,Butuan City*
Apr 20(Easter Sun) Open
Apr 26,27(Sat,Sun) Fatima Parish,Gensan City


May 3(Sat) Open
May 4(Sun) Tagbilaran
May 10,11(Sat,Sun) Open
May 17,18(Sat,Sun) Open
May 24,25(Sat,Sun) Nasipit,Agusan Norte
May 31(Sat) Open

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

End Times Prophecy: A Catholic Perspective

*Catechism of the Catholic Church on the tribulation, the great apostasy and the Antichrist:

Before Christ's SECOND COMING the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.

The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth.

The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo- messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

Section 675, Catechism of the Catholic Church

*Catechism of the Catholic Church on Millenarianism:

The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgement. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.

Section 676, Catechism of the Catholic Church

*Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Climactic triumph of the Church:

The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.

The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.

God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.
Section 677, Catechism of the Catholic Church

Signs of the End Times
(Source:Catholic Encyclopedia)

1.General Preaching of the Christian Religion

Concerning this sign the Saviour says: "And this gospel of the kingdom, shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come" (Matthew 24:14). This sign was understood by Chrysostom and Theophilus as referring to the destruction of Jerusalem, but, according to the majority of interpreters, Christ is here speaking of the end of the world.

2.Conversion of the Jews

According to the interpretation of the Fathers, the conversion of the Jews towards the end of the world is foretold by St. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans (11:25-26): "For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, . . . that blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved as it is written: "There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob"

3.Return of Enoch and Elijah

The belief that these two men, who have never tasted death, are reserved for the last times to be precursors of the Second Advent was practically unanimous among the Fathers, which belief they base on several texts of Scripture. (Concerning Elijah see Malachi 4:5-6; Ecclesiasticus 48:10; Matthew 17:11; concerning Enoch see Ecclesiasticus 44:16.)

4.A Great Apostasy

As to this event St. Paul admonishes the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 2:3) that they must not be terrified, as if the day of the Lord were at hand, for there must first come a revolt. The Fathers and interpreters understand by this revolt a great reduction in the number of the faithful through the abandonment of the Christian religion by many nations. Some commentators cite as confirmatory of this belief the words of Christ: "But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?" (Luke 18:8).

5.The Reign of Antichrist

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 sqq., St. Paul indicates as another sign of the day of the Lord, the revelation of the man of sin, the son of perdition. "The man of sin" here described is generally identified with the Antichrist who, says St. John (1 John 2:18), is to come in the last days. Although much obscurity and difference of opinion prevails on this subject, it is generally admitted from the foregoing and other texts that before the Second Coming there will arise a powerful adversary of Christ, who will seduce the nations by his wonders, and persecute the Church.

6.Extraordinary Perturbations of Nature

The Scriptures clearly indicate that the judgment will be preceded by unwanted and terrifying disturbances of the physical universe (Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25-26). The wars, pestilences, famines, and earthquakes foretold in Matthew 24:6 et seq., are also understood by some writers as among the calamities of the last times.

7.The Universal Conflagration

In the Apostolic writings we are told that the end of the world will be brought about through a general conflagration, which, however, will not annihilate the present creation, but will change its form and appearance (2 Peter 3:10-13; cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:2; Apocalypse 3:3, and 16:15). Natural science shows the possibility of such a catastrophe being produced in the ordinary course of events, but theologians generally tend to believe that its origin will be entirely miraculous.

8.The Trumpet of Resurrection

Several texts in the New Testament make mention of a voice or trumpet which will awaken the dead to resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; John 5:28). According to St. Thomas (Supplement 86:2) there is reference in these passages either to the voice or to the apparition of Christ, which will cause the resurrection of the dead.

9.The Sign of the Son of Man Appearing in the Heavens

In Matthew 24:30, this is indicated as the sign immediately preceding the appearance of Christ to judge the world. By this sign the Fathers of the Church generally understand the appearance in the sky of the Cross on which the Saviour died or else of a wonderful cross of light.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Japan population shrinks by record in 2010(Yahoo News,Sat Jan 1, 1:45 am ET)

Sat Jan 1, 1:45 am ET
TOKYO – Japan's population fell by a record amount last year as the number of deaths climbed to an all-time high in the quickly aging country, the government said Saturday.
Japan faces a looming demographic squeeze. Baby boomers are moving toward retirement, with fewer workers and taxpayers to replace them. The Japanese boast among the highest life expectancies in the world but have extremely low birth rates.
Japan logged 1.19 million deaths in 2010 — the biggest number since 1947 when the health ministry's annual records began. The number of births was nearly flat at 1.07 million.
As a result, Japan contracted by 123,000 people, which was the most ever and represents the fourth consecutive year of population decline. The top causes of death were cancer, heart disease and stroke, the ministry said.
Japanese aged 65 and older make up about a quarter of Japan's current population. The government projects that by 2050, that figure will climb to 40 percent.
Like in other advanced countries, young people are waiting to get married and choosing to have fewer children because of careers and lifestyle issues.
Saturday's report showed 706,000 marriages registered last year — the fewest since 1954 and a sign that birth rates are unlikely to jump dramatically anytime soon.
Japan's total population stood at 125.77 million as of October, according to the ministry.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Are Characteristics Of The New Evangelization? By Dave Nodar

What Are Characteristics Of The New Evangelization?
By Dave Nodar

In Pope John Paul II's encyclicals, speeches and other writings he uses the term new evangelization. Catholics as well as other Christians have been intriqued and interested in his frequent use of this term. What is he referring to and what are characteristics of this new evangelization'?

According to the pope, "The expression New Evangelization was popularized in the encylical of Pope Paul VI Evangelization in the Modern World, as a response to the new challenges-that the contemporary world creates for the mission of the Church."1 Pope John Paul II sees the need for a "great relaunching" of evangelization in the present life of the Church in a variety of ways.2 In Mission of The Redeemer (Redemptoris Missio ), John Paul II presents a new synthesis of the Church's teaching about evangelization in modern times.

The pope's call to a new evangelization is a prophetic and revolutionary calling to the Roman Catholic Church. As we approach the third millennsium, Pope John Paul II is re-directing and re-focusing the Church's priorities. John Paul II proclaims "the moment has come to commit all of the Church's energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples."3 The Catholic Church committing all c of it energies to a new evangelization and mission to the nations is a radical change in emphasis. The reality is that the vast majority of Catholics (clergy and laity) are not inclined to evangelization. The term, evangelization, itself for most Catholics sounds Protestant. Additionally the Catholic Church is understood by many her own members, as well as by those outside her life, to be primarily liturgical pastoral and hierarchical. One might argue: "Isn't evangelization and missionary activities something Protestants do?" Yet the Church teaches that she is missionary by her very nature, evangelization is a duty of every Christian.4 Pope Paul VI in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi states, "We wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church. It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present day society make all the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize. . ."5 While the notion of evangelization may seem foreign to Catholics, in light of the times we are living in, the changing world scene, the deterioration of western civilization, and the weak condition of the Church in many parts of the world, Pope John Paul lI's urgent call to a new evangelization is imperative. The entire Church must come to embrace this calling and make it a normal part of Catholic life.

When Pope John Paul II uses the term "a new evangelization" he does not mean a new message. "Evangelization cannot be new in its content since its very theme is always the one gospel given in Jesus Christ."6 In its writings about evangelization the Church means most fundamentally the proclamation of the basic Christian message: salvation through Jesus Christ.7 On this foundation of the basic message of eternal life in God, John Paul II extends the notion of evangelization. He notes that there are a diversity of activities in the Church's one mission. He states that evangelization should not be limited to individual unbelievers but also addressed to non-practicing Christians and to entire cultures (those that need re-evangelizing and those who do not yet believe in Christ).8 When the pope talks about evangelization that is new he states "evangelization can be new in its ardor, methods and expression."9 It must be adapted to the people of our day.

In Redemptoris Missio John Paul II sketches out some of the characteristics of the new evangelization. Although this presentation is by no means comprehensive I have attempted to point out some of these characteristics that distinguish the new evangelization.

1. The New Evangelization is Christocentric.

The new evangelization like all evangelization must be founded on the person of Jesus Christ and His gospel. "Evangelization will always contain -- as the foundation, centre and, at the same time, the summit of its dynamism -- a clear proclamation that, in Jesus Christ . . . salvation is offered to all men, as a gift of God's grace and mercy." "The new evangelization," according to John Paul II, "is not a matter of merely passing on doctrine but rather of a personal and profound meeting with the Savior." This is not new in the Church's proclamation. However I believe that Pope John Paul I l's constant emphasis and exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord is very significant for the Church at this time in history. It is very easy for us as Catholics to be distracted with the riches that God has given to the Church: her history, apostolic succession, her liturgy, her theology, the church fathers and saints, her art, etc. With so many wonderful treasures we can be, it seems, distracted from the pearl of great price. From the beginning of his papacy' John Paul II has held the conviction that he is to proclaim, "(the Redeemer of man, Jesus Christ, . . . the centre of the universe and of history."12 He has helped us to see what is most important both in his encyclicals and in his life.

"Evangelization will always contain
as the foundation, centre and, at the same time,
the summit of its dynamism
-- a clear proclamation that,
in Jesus Christ salvation is offered to all men,
as a gift of God's grace and mercy."
"The new evangelization," according to John Paul II,
"is not a matter of merely passing on doctrine
but rather of a personal and
profound meeting with the Savior."

Upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, which Pope John Paul 11 establishes clearly in all of his encyclicals, we can see some other characteristics that distinguish the new evangelization from previous times in history.

2. The New Evangelization is the responsibility of the entire People of God.

In the past (and even presently), for most Catholics evangelization was perceived to be the work of a special group within the Church, e.g., those with a special vocation, missionaries or priests. In the new evangelization, however, it is clear that the call is to the entire people of God. When reading Redemptoris Missio it is striking to see the number of times Pope John Paul II states that missionary evangelization is the responsibility and calling of all Christians."13 In the Exhortation Christifldeles Laici, John Paul II says, "I spoke explicitly of the Church's permanent mission of bringing the gospel to the multitudes. . . who as yet do not know Christ. . . and of the responsibility of the lay faithful in this regard. The mission ad gentes is incumbent upon the entire People of God. . . missionary activity which is carried out in a wide variety of ways, is the task of all the Christian faithful."l4 "Missionary activity is a matter for all Christians, for all dioceses, and parishes, Church institutions and associations."

The mission to the nations
is incumbent upon the entire People of God
. . . missionary activity which is carried out
in a wide variety of ways,
is the task of all the Christian faithful."
"Missionary activity is a matter for all Christians..."

This is a remarkable shift in emphasis, one that I believe necessitates a pastoral plan by the bishops of the Church for helping the faithful to share in the responsibility of evangelization and the mission ad gentes In order for all of the Christian faithful to participate in this calling to the new evangelization the reality of the life changing, gospel message must be experienced as "good news" in each of their lives. The message of the Gospel must to be heard, understood, embraced, lived and shared by all membersof the Church! In order for this radical shift in emphasis to occur priority must be given to proclaiming regularly and clearly what the message of the new evangelization is.

Within this calling that is proper to all of the Christian faithful, Pope John Paul II makes distinctions of responsibility for bishops, priests, members of religious congregations, missionaries, and the laity.16 Bishops headed by the Successor of Peter are primarily responsible for work of evangelization. Priests are, by vocation responsible to stir up the missionary consciousness of the faithful. Members of religious congregations because of their consecration give testimony of the values of the Kingdom of God. Laity in their daily environments of family life and the market place have excellent opportunities to be witnesses of the Gospel. With declining number of priestly vocations in countries such as our own the importance of the laity's responsibility in evangelization cannot be underestimated. In his address to the Latin American Bishops at Port au-Prince, Haiti in March 1983, John Paul II while speaking of the new evangelization noted three aspects which are fundamental to it. The second aspect had to do with the laity. He noted, "not only the lack of priests but also and above all the self - understanding of the church in Latin America, in light of the Second Vatican Council and Puebla, speaks forcefully of the place of the laity in the church and in society ". . . the bishops together with their churches [ought to be] engaged in forming and increasing the number of laity who are ready to collaborate effectively in the work of evangelization." The laity must be trained and released into the service of evangelization as missionaries of the new evangelization. The Holy Spirit as the principal agent of evangelization and mission is calling all of God's people to enter the harvest fields.

3. The New Evangelization is not just for the foreign missions

In Redemptoris Missio, the pope says that in today's world from the viewpoint of evangelization we can distinguish three situations that need to be addressed differently. The first is the situation of the mission ad gentes in the proper sense of the term. Bringing the gospel to peoples, groups and socio-cultural contexts in which Christ and his Gospel are not known. "(T)o preach the Gospel and to establish new Churches among peoples or communities where they do not yet exist, . . . this is the first task of the Church." 17
Second, there are healthy mature Christian communities that are fervent in their faith. have a sense of the universal mission, and in which the Church carries out her activities and pastoral care. Here he seems to describe a situation that requires pastoral care and not evangelization. Third, there is what the pope calls an intermediate situation. Within countries there are entire groups of the baptized who have lost a living sense of the faith, or no longer consider themselves members of the Church. "ln this case what is needed is a "new evangelization" or a "re-evangelization."l8 In this third situation people need to be socialized into situations of vibrant faith.19 Some need their faith to be renewed and enlivened. Others have had little or no training in the Christian faith and essentially need to be evangelized with the basic gospel and receive formation in the faith (catechesis).

In Redemptoris Missio, this re-evangelization seems to be primarily what Pope John Paul II refers to when he talks of the new evangelization.

This re-evangelization is no small undertaking for the Catholic Church in the United States and in other countries such as those in central and eastern Europe as well as in Latin America. In our country it is painfully clear that many Catholics (and other Christians) have not been effectively incorporated into life in Christ. Baptized as infants many have never made a personal commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel. As adolescents and adults many drift away from the Church. Evangelization must be directed to the Church itself. 20

... it is painfully clear that many Catholics (and other Christians)
have not been effectively incorporated into life in Christ.
Baptized as infants many have never made a personal commitment
to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
As adolescents and adults many drift away from the Church.
Evangelization must be directed to the Church itself.

In the face of directly anti-gospel proclamations that are constantly being proclaimed to Christians in many countries there needs to be the clear proclamation of Jesus Christ as Lord and his Gospel. People need to be regularly inspired, encouraged and formed in their faith in order to live a Christian lifestyle. (There is the need for orthodoxy and orthopraxy).

Pope John Paul's helps us to distinguish between those situations needing primary evangelization (ad gentes), re-evangelization, or pastoral care. These distinctions are critical to recognize at this point in history. His summons to re-evangelization is an honest and essential assertion by the successor of Peter that must be heeded by the Church. The time is long over due to recognize that evangelization cannot he limited to the mission ad gentes.

4. The New Evangelization is directed to individuals and to whole cultures.

Pope John Paul II teaches that not only individuals but whole cultures need to be transformed by influence of the Gospel. In her missionary activity the Church encounters different cultures and becomes involved in the process of inculturation. By inculturation the pope means, "the intimate transformation of authentic cultural values through the integration in Christianity and the insertion of Christianity in the various human cultures 21 "The new evangelization must strive to incarnate Christian values and open the Gospel message to human cultures. Evangelization according to John Paul should lead to, "a civilization of love." 22

5. The New Evangelization is not limited to the presentation of the basic Gospel message (kerygma) but is a comprehensive process of Christianization.

The proclamation of the Gospel is the essential first step. It is the foundation of a life long process. Evangelization according to the pope also involves catechetical instruction, moral doctrine and the social teaching of the Church. Those who are incorporated into Christ are incorporated into His Body. They are joined to God through the sacraments and the Church community. 23

6. The New Evangelization calls for a missionary spirituality

The basis of sharing the life of Christ with others is life in Christ. We are called to know Christ and to make Him known. The fundamental activity, therefore, of those called to be missionaries is receptivity to God, of complete docility to the Holy Spirit. Receiving is the condition for doing the work of an evangelist. "It is not possible," John Paul II states,"to bear witness to Christ without reflecting his image, which is made alive in us by grace and the power of the Spirit." 24 In order to pass on the Gospel to others it must have first permeated our lives. "An essential characteristic "of this missionary spirituality, the pope tells us,"is intimate communion with Christ."25 John Paul II mentions some other elements of a spirituality that are essential for all those called to be missionaries. Reception of the gifts of fortitude and discernment are essential. "The missionary must renounce himself and everything that he considered as his own up to this point, and make himself everything to everyone."26 This spirituality calls us to apostolic charity which enables us "to feel Christ's burning love for souls, and love the Church as Christ did."27 Furthermore, John Paul's exhorts all to the way of holiness: "Holiness must be called a fundamental presupposition and an irreplaceable condition of everyone in fulfilling the mission of salvation in the Church. The universal call to holiness is closely linked to the universal call to mission. Every member of the faithful is called to holiness and to mission."28 He also notes,"the future of mission depends to a great extent on contemplation. Unless the missionary is a contemplative he cannot proclaim Christ in a credible way."29 The missionary is called to be a "person of the Beatitudes (poverty, meekness, acceptance of suffering and persecution, the desire for justice and peace, charity). He closes his call to a genuine Christian spirituality by telling us. "the characteristic of every authentic missionary life is the inner joy that comes from faith. . . the one who proclaims the"Good News" must be a person who has found true hope in Christ. " 30

"An essential characteristic "of this
missionary spirituality,the pope tells us,
"is intimate communion with Christ."

Pope John Paul II aims the call and the challenge of a new evangelization at each of us. He is practicing what he preaches. Missionary activity, he tells us, "renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive pope's missionary activity is renewing and revitalizing faith among the faithful! John Paul II is preaching the Gospel to the Church and to the nations. The calling he proclaims is the calling of Christ to his disciples,"come follow me." The pope is proclaiming the fundamental truths of our faith. He is inviting us to join him on the journey in Christ. For those who would participate in the new evangelization they are called to personal communion with God in Christ through the Holy Spirit. For those who would be missionaries in the new evangelization they must first be disciples of Christ, in living relationship with the Lord and His Church.

Pope John Paul II is helping us to see how we as Catholics can enter into a new evangelization in a way that is consistent with the Church's teaching and tradition. He also offers to us spiritual perspective that enables us to respond in humility and hope to the difficult times that we live in.

In his call to a new evangelization John Paul IT following the directives of Vatican II has helped to focus the Church on some of the crucial priorities necessary for the strengthening and renewal of the Church. Furthermore, I believe that he is proclaiming God's call to the Church in our day in such a manner as to both address the Church's past and present difficulties, and to prepare her for the third millennium. "How many internal tensions, which weaken and divide certain local Churches and institutions, would disappear before the firm conviction that the salvation of local communities is procured through cooperation in work for the spread of the Gospel to the farthest bounds of the earth!" 32 "Missionary activity, declares the pope, renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!"33

the new evangelizationis very much tied up with
"entering a new missionary age,
which will become a radiant day
bearing an abundant harvest,
if all Christians . . .
respond with generosity and holiness
to the calls and challenges of our time."

In describing the main orientation of his pontificate Pope John Paul II declared in Mexico City, May 6, 1990, "The Lord and Master of history and of our destinies has wished my pontificate to be that of a pilgrim pope of evangelization walking down the roads of the world bringing to all peoples the message of salvation."4 Since the beginning of his pontificate the Pope has taken over eighty missionary trips! He is personally committed to the priority of evangelization and the mission to the nations. He is leading the people of God into the third millennium with the conviction that the 'nineties' are an extended season of advent leading us to the Great Jubilee of the Incarnation. He believes that this new evangelization is very much tied up with "entering a new missionary age,which will become a radiant day bearing an abundant harvest, if all Christians, and missionaries and young Churches in particular, respond with generosity and holiness to the calls and challenges of our time."35

Dave Nodar is Director of CHRISTLIFE Catholic Evangelization Services, an apostolate of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland USA

Friday, December 24, 2010

Asia's baby shortage sets demographic timebomb ticking by Frank Zeller, Agence France-Presse

TOKYO - East Asia's booming economies have for years been the envy of the world, but a shortfall in one crucial area -- babies -- threatens to render yesterday's tigers toothless.

Some of the world's lowest birth rates look set to slash labor forces in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, where fewer workers will support more retirees and their ballooning health care and pension costs.

Shuffling along in the vanguard of ageing Asia is Japan, whose population started slowly shrinking three years ago, and where almost a quarter of people are over 65 while children make up just 13 percent.

On current trends, Japan's population of 127 million will by 2055 shrivel to 90 million, its level when it kicked off its post-war boom in 1955, warns the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

Asian population giant China may still be near its prime, with armies of young rural workers flocking to its factories. But, thanks to the 30-year-old one-child policy, its demographic timebomb is also ticking.

"Over the past 50 years, economic and social modernization in Asia has been accompanied by a remarkable drop in birth rates," the Hawaii-based think-tank the East-West Centre says in a new research paper.

"Gains in education, employment and living standards, combined with dramatic breakthroughs in health and family-planning technology, have led to lower fertility in every country of the region."

Falling fertility rates are a common trend for societies as they grow richer, and many European nations are also below the level needed to keep a population stable -- about 2.1 children per woman over her lifetime.

While in traditional rural societies children tend to take over the farm and care for their elderly parents, in modern, urban societies, many couples, with better access to birth control, see offspring as an unaffordable luxury.

China now has 1.6 births per woman, Singapore has 1.2 and South Korea has slightly fewer than 1.1. Taiwan has just 1.03 births per woman.

One way to counter declining populations is to allow more immigration -- but governments from Singapore to Tokyo have been reluctant to do so.

At the same time Singaporeans, who have turned their city-state into an Asian hub of commerce and service industries, have long been famously disinclined to procreate.

The government has for years put on match-making events for university graduates on the assumption that Singapore's best and brightest could be coaxed into producing a generation of brainy offspring.

While that model in social engineering has failed to bring a baby boom, bureaucrats across the region have sought to tweak policies and tax codes to get more couples in the mood, but seldom with great success.

At the core of the problem, say analysts, have been gender attitudes steeped in Confucian traditions -- with men still expecting their wives to handle the childcare and household chores that may not top a modern woman's wishlist.

Kim Hye-Young, researcher at the Korea Women's Development Institute, said: "The big problem is that South Korean women, compared to men, have too much to lose when getting married in this system.

"This reality makes marriage, let alone having a child, look like a very unattractive option in South Korea, perhaps far more so than in other countries," she said.

In Japan, where women remain woefully under-represented in corporate boardrooms, falling pregnant still all too often spells career death.

"Women are voting with their wombs, refraining from having children because the opportunity costs are so high and rigid employment policies make many of them choose between raising a family or pursuing a career," writes Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University in Tokyo.

Other factors also play a role, he writes in a new book on contemporary Japan: many young people -- unlike their jobs-for-life fathers -- now skip between temporary jobs and lack the financial security to start a family.

Compounding the geriatric trend in Japan are long life expectancies -- a world-record 86.44 years for women and 79.59 years for men.

This means the social welfare burden is growing for a government that already has a debt-to-GDP ration nearing 200 percent, the rich world's highest.

The centre-left government in power since last year has introduced family friendly policies, from child payments to free school tuition, to ease the burden on parents struggling to raise kids in their cramped apartments.

High-tech Japan has also built robots to help with elderly care, while electronics giants have tapped a huge market for elderly-friendly gadgets, such as mobile phones with extra-large displays and buttons.

In the long run, Japan needs to take fundamental steps to deal with the growing strain of a greying society, warns ratings agency Standard and Poor's.

"Barring structural changes in old-age related government spending, a rapidly greying society will lift expenditures," it warns. "This, in turn, threatens to weaken the sovereign ratings on Japan in the long term."
Polls in Asia indicate that most people are aware of the threat that silent playgrounds and empty classrooms spell for their greying societies, but remain unlikely to rush to their bedrooms to help avert societal doom.
In Taiwan, a survey of childless workers last month found that 87 percent thought the declining birth rate was a serious problem, and two thirds worried the result would be a society unable to look after its elderly.

Still, few said they would start making babies to save their island, according to the survey by human resources service 104 Job Bank. Almost two thirds said they did not intend to have any children in future.

The East-West Centre paper concluded that it "seems likely that fertility in East Asian societies will remain low -- at least for the foreseeable future -- as women make difficult choices between careers and motherhood."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

RH Bill False Presumptions

Eustaquio Bungangkahoy
May 3rd, 2010 at 10:44 am
Proponents of H.B, 5043 “Reproductive Health” bill always cite that that the Philippines is over-populated at 90+ million people to rationalize their support for artificial birth control. But is the country really overpopulated? And the implication is that our country is poor because of that 90-million figure.

Population figures are meaningless if we don’t take into consideration the area where that figure lives. For example, what does it mean that Japan has 127 million people? Or that the U.S.A. has 309 million?

Let’s take a look at a sample of Wikipedia’s listing of countries according to population DENSITY, or the number of people in every square kilometer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population_density), April 24, 2010:

Rank Country People/Sq.Km.
1 Macau 18,534
2 Monaco 16,923
3 Singapore 7,022
4 Hong Kong 6,348

43 Philippines 307

129 Ethiopia 71

Compared to the thousands of the top 4 most-densely populated countries, the Philippines at 307 is hardly “over-populated”!

And what about the overpopulation=poverty myth? The top 4 countries are so RICH! Macau is Asia’s playground for billionaires, streets choked with Rolls Royces. Monaco is summer capital to Europe’s kings, princes, dukes and other royalty. No need to say anything about Singapore and Hong Kong.

These top 4 countries are so small and have no natural resources to brag about but yet so rich. So is the Philippines poor because there are “too many” Filipinos and that we have no natural resources? Look at Ethiopia in Africa. If less people means more wealth to be shared, Ethiopia should be at the top of the list, instead of being one of the world’s poorest.

Some people may argue that the top 4 are rich because they are small and easy to manage in spite their large population. So let’s look at huge China with its 1.3 BILLION. It is the fastest growing economy in the world, predicted to overtake the U.S.A. in about a decade, and even now lends money to the U.S.A.!

Right within our own country, compare the population-to-wealth ratio of Sequijor, Cebu and Manila. Obviously, the more population, the wealthier the place!

Now guess what is our country’s biggest dollar earner? It’s our Overseas Foreign Workers – human life.

Clearly, life is God’s GIFT and a nation’s WEALTH!

So what is causing our poverty?

RIIIGHT! CORRUPTION! And the guilty ones hide their sins by blaming us the people for having too many children! What if by a miracle, our population is cut in half a year from now, will our country start getting richer if corruption is still there? Of course not!

(How true is the rumor that those who support H.B. 5043 are offered millions by giant foreign pharmaceuticals who make birth control pills and devices? Hopefully not true…)


So okay, the Philippines is not over-populated AND over-population does not cause poverty. But what about on the family and personal level?

No one can argue that feeding more mouths requires more money. But will it make us poor? We have all heard of stories of immigrants from China escaping the poverty and oppression there. They came in dirt-poor, ate “lugaw”, had 10 children, worked hard, became millionaires, and now control our economy! Many successful Filipinos share the same life story, coming from very large families, and struggling and sacrificing all the way to the top. Yet we also know many families with only one or two children but remain very poor all their lives.

Children do not make us poor. Poverty is caused by many more crucial factors like lack of education, lack of opportunities, lack of drive, lack of discipline, lack of inheritance, even lack of luck. But one thing is sure, lack of children will not make us rich.


But what if we just want to give more quality time and better education to fewer children? Now THERE is a very good and very noble intention! The healthiest and the BEST way to do this is to abstain during fertile days.

Abstention (self-denial) is self-discipline and builds our character. It is the same discipline we use to abstain from stealing government money; to abstain from cheating at school and at taxes; to abstain from extra-marital affairs; to abstain from skipping classes and cutting work hours; to abstain from bribing policemen; and to abstain from selling our votes.

And this abstention we practice is exactly the same abstention we are teaching our children: to abstain from eating too much candy, to abstain from over-spending, to abstain from pre-marital sex, and to abstain from drugs… to be children of strong character and will-power, not weaklings and spoiled brats.

Artificial birth control on the other hand, offers us the “choice” of indulging in pleasure without responsibility; the same easy “choice” of accepting bribe money instead of hard work and sacrifice; the same easy “choice” to cheat during exams rather than study diligently; the same “choice” for instant gratification over self-denial and patience; the same “choice” to behave like dogs and monkeys, urinating and copulating, anytime and anywhere the urge strikes them, rather than conduct ourselves as the noble descendants of Lapu-lapu, Gabriela Silang, and the Katipuneros.

Let us re-learn the values of abstention, self-denial and discipline. Such virtues will harden us, strengthen our character, enrich our families, make our country great again, and get us to heaven some day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Catechism on RH Bill

A Catechism on the Reproductive Health Bill
Prepared by the Commission on Family and Life
Diocese of San Pablo

What is the Catechism on the Reproductive Health Bill?
Many issues had been raised in the public square recently which put the Church in the negative light particularly on the overreaching issue of the proposed Reproductive Health Bill (H.B. No. 96) reintroduced in the present Congress with Representative Edcel C. Lagman as its principal author. We believe that most of the criticism leveled against the Church which included the bishops and the clergy in regard to their stand against the bill is based on unfounded and imagined fears and the lack of proper information and understanding of the nature of this measure that prompted the Church to opposed it.
This Catechism was prepared primarily for the lay faithful , the family and life ministries in the different parishes of the Diocese of San Pablo and the clergy to provide them an overview of the salient features of the bill that they may not be aware of, offend the teachings of the Church.
What is the purpose of this Catechism?

The Commission on Family and Life recognizes the urgent need to provide both the clergy and the lay faithful adequate information on the RHB issues and related concerns consistent with the perspective of the Church. With a correct notion and understanding of the crucial issues laid before them, they can hopefully be able to distill erroneous perceptions and discern deliberately distorted information designed to create a favorable view of the bill at the expense of truth.

What is the Reproductive Health Bill ?

The RH Bill purports, as its long title indicate to be “An Act Providing For a National Policy on Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population and Development, and for other Purposes.”
We believe it is nothing but a coercive birth control program masquerading as a reproductive health measure. It seeks a zero population growth rate to be achieved through a massive State-sponsored and publicly funded promotion and distribution of artificial birth control methods, such as contraception – barrier, pills most of which are abortifacients, techniques, and sterilization like vasectomy and tubal ligation.

How do we approach this Bill.

We must not take the bill at its face value. It is more important to know what the bill is not saying, more than what it says and go into the real spirit that animates it than just focus on the nice printed words. The bill is not what its authors say it is, it is everything the authors say it is not. Despite of its seemingly positive tenor (about fostering maternal health, breastfeeding, child care and nutrition) and advertised as pro-poor, we find the bill deeply flawed as being contrary to the Constitution and destructive of public morals and family values.

What is so wrong about the Bill that seeks to alleviate poverty targeting “the poorest of the poor and the marginalized” as its main beneficiaries.?

If it were a sincere and genuine anti-poverty measure, we will certainly support it. But its clear overriding objective is to depopulate the country through an aggressive and coercive artificial means of birth control, pursuing a mandatory sex education program
both in private and public schools covering children from Grade 5 up to 4th year high school and spending millions of taxpayers money, most of whom are Catholics – like you to buy “hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe and effective family planning products and supplies” as essential medicines when pregnancy is not even a disease to be treated. These are intended to foster “a satisfying and safe sex life” thereby inciting promiscuity, courtesy of the Catholic taxpayers.

Why do you say that the bill violates to the Constitution ?

By seeking to depopulate the country through a Government-funded program of aggressive proliferation of contraceptives thereby fostering a contraceptive mentality to attain a “satisfying and safe sex life”, known as contraceptive sex and implementing a mandatory sex education in private and public schools covering Grade V to 4th year, it infringes the Constitutional mandate that provides : “The state recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.” (Sec 12 Art 11).
It usurps the parents’ “natural and primary right and duty” in the rearing of the youth” (Sec 12 Art ll)
By seeking to implement a massive distribution of contraception most of which are really abortifacients, it will put at great risk and endanger the health of both the mother and the unborn child . This is contrary to the Constitutional injunction “to protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception” (Sec. 12 Art ll)
By compelling healthcare providers to refer the person seeking RH services he believes to be immoral and against his conscience to another healthcare provider willing to do the service sought violates the Constitutional guarantee of “the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession” (Sec. 5 Art 111).

Since it has been medically established that use of oral contraceptives and devices pose danger and harm to the health of women with its side effects some causing cervical cancer, breast cancer, and lately it was discovered also to cause liver cancer, not to mention that many popular pills are abortifacients preventing implantation of the zygote in the uterus causing the abortion of the unborn. This is directly opposed to the Constitutional mandate “that the State shall protect consumers from trade malpractices and from substandard or hazardous products (Sec. 9 Art XV1)

Why is the Church against the Bill ?

First of all the bill is wrong not because the Church is opposing it, the Church is opposing it because it is wrong.
According to Pope Benedict XVl whenever the Church (and Catholics too ,for that matter) intervenes in the public square, its principal focus of such participation must be consistent with the three Fundamental Non-negotiable Principles, which are -

(i) the protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception
until natural death,

(ii) the recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family, as a union
between man and woman based on marriage, and

(iii) the protection of the rights of parents to educate their children.

All these three fundamental non-negotiable principles have been compromised, undermined and conveniently set aside in the bill to propel its single-minded agenda of aggressive contraception in an effort to depopulate the country of the “poorest of the poor and the marginalized’, which also spawns hedonistic lifestyle devoid of any moral sense.
This is the reason the Church is against it, among many other reasons.

The bill in its present form poses a serious threat to life of infants in the womb, as it is
a source of danger for the stability of the family and places the dignity of womanhood
at great risk for which reason it is unacceptable to the Church ( cf CBCP Pastoral State-
ment on the RHB, Standing Up for the Gospel of Life, 2008).

By actively opposing the Bill, does not the Church violate the principle of
separation of Church and State, and meddles in the political arena which is
outside of its competence?

The Principle of Separation of Church and State simply means that no official state
religion shall be established and the state shall not interfere in the affairs of the Church. No law bars the Church from participating in public activities nor to articulate a particular viewpoint, or forcefully advocate a specific stand in public policy issues. It is Church law or Canon law that prohibits individual members of the clergy from dipping his hands into active partisan politics.

“To the Church belongs the right always and everywhere to announce moral principles, including those pertaining to the social order, and to make judgments on any human affairs to the extent that they are required by the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls. (Compendium of the Social Doctrine oif the Church)
Thus, it is the prophetic duty of the Church consistent with its social doctrine to proclaim the Gospel into all the world, including the public square. As a moral voice of society its intervention in public action or discourse affecting human life, the dignity of the person, human rights, the protection of the family and marriage as an institution and the promotion of social justice is not to meddle but to uphold its role as a compass of faith and morals. Politics in a general sense means governance and involves action that may harm or benefit man and society. There is thus moral significance in governance and it is within the competence of the Church to make its voice heard even in the temporal order to ensure justice.

What is the social doctrine of the Church in relation to the RHB?

According to the social doctrine of the Church, the family founded on marriage is truly the sanctuary of life, and teaches that conjugal love is , by its nature open to the acceptance of life. Thus, concerning methods for practicing responsible procreation, the first to be rejected as morally illicit are sterilization and abortion…also to be rejected recourse to contraceptive methods in their different forms.
This rejection is based on the correct and integral understanding of the person and human sexuality and represents a moral call to defend the true development of people.
(Sec. 233 Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church}

What is the moral issue in the RHB?

There are many moral issues involved in the bill.
For one, as a deadly instrument of birth control, the bill itself is an anti-life measure. It seeks to hinder life through its aggressive contraception program as a purported solution to poverty which definitely is not.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, there is a consistent moral condemnation of contraception. From Pope Pius X1’s landmark encyclical Casti Connubii (1931) to Pope Paul Vl ’s controversial encyclical Humana Vitae (1968), down to Pope John Paul 11’s groundbreaking encyclical Evangelium Vitae , the Gospel of Life(1995) and most recent, Pope Benedict XV1’s social encyclical Caritas in Veritate have consistently articulated the inviolability of life and dignity of the person that must be respected, preserved, defended, fostered and protected at all times.
Thus, it is the constant teaching of the Church that -
“ any attempt on the part of the married people to deprive this act of its inherent force to impede the creation of new life, either in the performance of the act itself, or in, spermatocides, coitus interruptus, condoms, diaphragm, IUD, and abortion. All of these prevent the creation of new life, or in case of abortion, to snuff it at its earliest stage.

The bill is also anti-love. Contraceptive sex separates the unitive from the procreative purpose of marriage and falsifies the mutual self-donation that should occur during the conjugal act. It becomes an expression only of pure physical pleasure and makes the woman its mere object.

Under the bill, the government will encourage a mass-based contraceptive sex spawning a contraceptive mentality among the populace. This in turn will cultivate a promiscuous and hedonistic lifestyle that eventually assaults the sanctity of marriage and the stability of family life. Consequently, it will lead to the path of a nation-wide moral degradation and the corruption of Filipino values.

The proponents of the bill say the country is alarmingly populous and the staggering rise of population must be stopped to alleviate creeping poverty.

The Malthusian myth of overpopulation so sacred to the RHB proponents has long been discredited and proven to be wrong. It’s a hoax that continues to be peddled by the remnants of Malthus and its apostles in the Philippine Congress to advance their anti-natalist agenda, principally the passage of this bill.
The United Nations Population Development figures indicate that as early as 2007 the Philippines Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is already dangerously low. In the 1970s, the average Filipino woman had six children, today she will have around three. And in another 20 years, only two. In about 2020, RP TFR will sink below its replacement level of around 2.29. (cf World Population Collapse, Lessons for the Philippines, by Rev. Fr. Gregory D. Gaston, STD). TFR refers to the average number of children a woman will bear over her lifetime of reproduction. A TFR of at least 2.1 children per woman is needed to replace a country’s population.
Fact is, there is no overpopulation in the Philippines and population is not the cause of poverty . It is bad governance, inappropriate and poorly implemented economic policies leading to poor tax collections, corruption and lack of agriculture infrastructure cause poverty.
Our population of more than 90 million people helped the country to still
post a positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in the crisis year of 2009 due to our large domestic market which partly compensated for the big decline in exports (Guide to Economics for Filipinos 7th ed. by Dr. Bernardo Villegas, Sinagtala, 2010).

What is the NSSM 200 and how is it related to the RHB?

The National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200, was a top-secret report (believed to be drafted by Secretary of State Henry Kissenger) compiled by the National Security Council in 1974 entitled “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for the U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.” It states that population growth in the developing world threatens U.S. security because nations with growing populations will yield significant political power and influence, that the U.S. and its Allies have a vital interest in strategic materials which have to be extracted from developing countries, and a large population growth in relatively disadvantaged nations jeopardizes U.S. investments.
It recommended an aggressive population control program –all-out abortion, contraception, sterilization in countries with growing population in exchange for attractive financial assistance package and other funding programs coursed through the UN agencies, the World Bank, and private foundations of giant multinational corporations as fronts.
Part of the strategy is to convince heads of government of these countries to adopt population policies against their own people and US diplomats have been directed “to be alert to opportunities for expanding our assistance efforts and for demonstrating to their leaders the consequences of rapid population growth and the benefits of actions to reduced fertility.” The NSSM-200 was assailed in the Bucharest Population Conference of l974 by both Latin American and East European nations including the Holy See.
NSSM-200 technically however, remains in place as the US policy in population, only the guidelines may differ from one administration to another.
The report identified 13 countries of “special US political and strategic interest” that have been targeted for population control –India, Brazil, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, the PHILIPPINES, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia.
It is clear that the RHB proponents taking direction from a foreign power are merely adhering to the U.S. global agenda on population reduction in 3rd world countries which includes the Philippines.
This is why for so many years the proponents have been attempting to pass a birth control program deodorized as reproductive health bill.

Is the RHB an arena for the Church vs. State showdown?

This is what the proponents of RHB want to create, the impression that it is the Church – through its Cardinals, Bishops and the Clergy who are opposed to the bill. They forget that the Church they refer to, is made up in the overwhelming majority of lay people – the plain and ordinary citizens, ‘ang mamamayan’, ‘ ang taong-bayan’ whom P-noy calls ‘ang boss ko’.
Thus, when the Church speaks, it echoes “the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties” of the people, ”especially those who are poor or in anyway afflicted” (Gaudium et Spes, The Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World).
Fact is a broad sector of the people – Catholics, Evangelicals, Christians, Muslims and non-Christian , men of goodwill are opposed to it also, they are not only as noisy. Many others will certainly opposed it too if only they are made aware of the true nature of the bill.

How about the surveys, according to them the SWS survey shows most of the people want the RHB.

There was a public opinion survey taken many years ago and the people were asked to choose who they want to be set free - a falsely accused carpenter or a condemned murderer. The survey shows an overwhelming number of them chose the murderer over the carpenter! What is morally right cannot be based on the weight of public opinion. A wrong is still wrong no matter whether every one else believed otherwise.
In the case of the SWS survey, it was found out the the questions were loaded such that it will elicit a favored answer.Do you want maternal health services to be accessible? Who would say no to this.

Is Contraception legal in the country?

Contraception and use of all kinds of contraceptive means and devices have always been legal in the Philippines. There is no law that bans its sale, distribution or consumption or use. In fact, right now, any one can go to any store and buy condoms and other devices are readily accessible , specially in many public health centers. As it is, its proliferation is already a factual reality and no RH measure is even necessary for the purpose. The RHB is therefore unnecessary.

Why do you say that the RHB is anti-poor.

The seemingly positive tenor of the bill and its apparently pro-poor provisions are but pure lip-service to sanitize it of its real eugenic content. Its deceptive and patronizing rhetorics all the more insults the poor.
In providing for an aggressive contraception measures primarily targeting the poor and the marginalized, it consequently seeks, over time their eventual elimination so that only the few rich will enjoy the fruits of the earth. The poorest of the poor are, after all, according to RHB authors, the principal beneficiaries of the bill.
Margaret Sanger, the leading icon of American birth control movement could not have stated it more clearly when she said: “More children from the fit, less children for the unfit, this is the goal of birth control.”(American Birth Control Review 19__)
The bill is presented as the final solution to Philippine poverty and inaugurates the first phase of the Population Extermination Program for the Poorest of the Poor and the Marginalized pursuant to the reproductive health ‘law’.
Phase 2, is still to come – Abortion of the Filipino race!

What specific provisions of the RHB are objectionable?

The requirement for a mandatory RH and Sexuality education from Grade V to 4th year high school in public and private schools which includes “the use and application of natural and modern family planning methods” and “RH health and sexual rights (Sec. 13 RHB 96) This is a coercive provision and undermines the parents primary right to educate their children. This also infringe on the Principle of Subsidiarity.

It seeks to penalize those who will speak against the RH law by way of “malicious disinformation” (Sec. 22 RHB 96). Who determines what is malicious or not. This is oppressive and offends the Constitutional guarantee of free speech

It proposes two children per family as an ideal size (Sec. 17 RHB 96). A backward step in the light of recent demographic reality of aging populations of many countries including neighboring Singapore, South Korea, Japan who had a two-child policy before. It is doubtful if they can reverse their fast declining people.

The bill compels employers with at least 200 employees to provide them free RH services, supplies (e.g. condoms, pills, IUDs), surgical procedure (e.g. tubal ligation and vasectomy), under threat of imprisonment or fine or both for failure to so provide them (Sec 18 and 22 RHB 96). Why should it be the burden of the employer if his security guard is going to a date and pay for his condom.
Tubal ligation and vasectomy are forms of mutilation and is offensive to the
Principle of Totality in Bioethics.

The bill classifies contraceptives such as pills, IUDs, injectables, condoms, as essential medicines where billions of pesos of public funds will be used for its purchase (Sec. 9 RHB 96). Pregnancy is not a disease to be treated or Fertility a kind of malady. Why not spend the money for improvement of hospitals, real medicines, schoolbulding or salaries of government doctors and nurses.
Only the multinational drug companies will benefit here.

The bill violates the healthcare provider’s conscience by compelling him to refer a person seeking RH services he believes to be immoral to another healthcare provider under penalty for failure to make the referral ( Sec 22 a{3} RHB 96)

The bill compels the healthcare service provider, whether private or public to perform reproductive health procedures (e.g. tubal ligation and vasectomy) on a person of legal age or, if married person even without the consent of the other spouse. (Sec 22 a{2} RHB 96)

Is it true that the bill if enacted will prevent resort to abortion,
according to its proponents?

On the contrary, in fact the bill uses the term “reproductive rights” which is used in many other context as inclusive of abortion. Hilary Clinton admitted that “reproductive health” encompasses abortion. Every country that went on the contraceptive mode ended up in abortion.
Malcolm Potts, former medical director of the International Planned Prenthood Federation said in 1973 : “As people turn to contraception. There will be a rise, not a fall
In the abortion rate.”
Since most artificial means of birth control have high failure rates, resort to abortion is most likely to be the alternative. Contraception is the slippery slope to Abortion.

Can one claim to be an authentic Catholic at the same time embrace
and support beliefs contrary to the teaching of the Church?

Unity is one of the four marks of the Catholic Church and such unity is also assured by the “visible bonds of communion: the profession of faith received from the apostles..” (CCC 815). Hence, Pope John Paul ll exhorts:
“No damage must be done to the harmony between faith and life: the unity of the Church is damaged not only by Christians who reject or distort the truths of faith but also by those who disregard the moral obligations to which they are called by the Gospel.” VS 26).
In sanctioning a so-called Catholic group in the U.S. aggressively supporting abortion, the U.S. Bishops’ Conference in a definitive statement said that “because of its purposes and activities deliberately contradict essential teaching of the Catholic faith, the Catholics for a Free Choice merits no recognition or support as Catholic organization .”

How are Catholics faithful to the teachings of the Church stand in the
In the RHB issue.

All well-meaning people, especially Catholics should reject, opposed and resist this RHB as an anti-Christian, anti-Catholic, anti-life measure . The late Cardinal Jaime Sin in his Pastoral Letter “Subtle Attacks Against Family and Life” (2001) gave this advice:

“To all of us, please pray that the culture of love and life will truly overcome the culture of death. This battle does not merely touch the human or society. It is the father of all lies rebelling against the Author of Life.”

The good Cardinal exhorts to intensity “our efforts to study Church teachings on the family” -
TO the teachers, chers and educators to study the impact of these issues on the people;

To our legislators and policymakers, to enact laws to protect family and life;

To lay and civic organizations, to plan and coordinate efforts to disseminate as
much information on these issues. organize seminars, and professionalize
efforts to protect and strengthen the family;

To fathers and mothers not to forget that the family is the first and last line
Of defense against the ills that could affect the individual’s character;
To our youth, to discover the gbeauty and grandeur of the vocation of love
And the service of love, and

To priests and religious, continue guiding the flock though your example
And to strengthen their spiritual, doctrinal and apostolic formation.

# # #

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

19th Annual Catholic Charismatic Conference February 25 & 26, 2011,Phoenix,Arizona,USA http://crm-phoenix.communityspice.com/content/2011_conference

Join us for the 19th annual CRM Phoenix Charismatic Conference to be held Friday, February 25 and Saturday February 26, 2011.

Venue: Phoenix Convention Center
100 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Map (click here)
Directions (click here)
Parking: East Garage - 601 E. Washington St. ($12/day) – This above ground parking structure is the largest in the area and is located directly east of the South Building and southeast of the North Building. Entrances are available off of Washington (one-way westbound) and Jefferson (one-way eastbound) streets.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back Issues....

ComVal pastors, priests converge for unity and peace
Published on December 13, 2009
Davao Today,August 19,2010

Davao City—In a show of full support, pastors, priests and religious leaders in Compostela Valley — regardless of religion — convened at the provincial capitol on the feast of the Immaculate Conception to share their valuable messages of unity and peace.

December 8 was declared by Gov. Arturo Uy, through an executive order, as an annual Provincial Thanksgiving Day interfaith assembly. This year’s theme is “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift” and was attended by well-respected religious leaders Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz, Aleem Eliser Banac, Bro. Alejandro Aguspina, and Dr. David Magalong.

“We recognize the significant role of the church and the inter-faiths. They are our partners in promoting spiritual development and moral values towards good governance,” Uy said.

The provincial government recognizes the important and significant role of the church and the inter-faiths in the promotion of spiritual development and moral values towards good governance. As a result, a Provincial Spiritual Development and Moral Recovery Program (PSDMRP) was created and a council formed to draw up support and ensure the implementation of the program.

The activity is also in line with the implementation of Presidential Proclamation No. 62 “Declaring a Moral Recovery Program and Enjoining Active Participation of All Sectors in the Filipino Society.”

Councilor Paul Galicia, who is director for the program, said the PSDMRP has since maintained a pool of lecturers and preachers. Capitol employees have convocation programs, where they have monthly value-formation discussions facilitated by competent preachers.

The program has also spread down and replicated to the 11 municipalities in Comval. Activities such as bible sharing, regular prayer meetings and providing spiritual advisory services to employees and the public are already conducted.

“Sa Mabini, gitawag ang mga pastor, kaabag ug Imam. Maayo ang impact tungod kay wala naghatag ug gap sa mga Muslim ug Christian tungod sa ani nga program,” (In Mabini, pastors, kaabag and Imam are called. The program has a good impact because it does not create gap among Muslims and Christians) Muslim Mayor Hadji Amir Muñoz said.

“Daku kaayo ang ikatabang sa lungsod sa Pantukan sa MRP, kada Sabado aduna kitay ginatawag nga dawn prayer. Matag kadlawon ang mga pastor ug kapulisan nagapahigayun ug usa ka prayer para sa kaayuhan sa atong lungsod” (The Moral Recovery Program has helped Pantukan a lot. Every Saturday, we hold Dawn Prayer where early morning, pastors and the police hold prayer for our town), Pantukan Mayor JC Celso Sarenas said.

In the afternoon, the interfaith assembly had their physical fitness challenged in a friendly competition in various indoor and outdoor games such as table tennis, chess, scrabble, dart and basketball played between pastors and priests. (IDS ComVal)

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Compostela Valley’s 3rd Bulawan Festival now on its 3rd Day
Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Compostela Valley Province----- It’s the third day, March 5, 2010, of the weeklong celebration of the of 3rd Bulawan Festival and 12th Founding Anniversary of Compostela Valley. Gathered for an assembly, the province’s peacekeepers coming from the eleven (11) municipalities were delighted during the morning Program held at the Capitol’s Freedom Stage.
The Inspirational Talk delivered by Bro. Alejandro Aguspina, a Preacher based in Cebu City, served as an eye opener for the crowd as to the essence of unity in the family. They were empowered and alive to the stories of transformation that he shared.
Governor Arturo T. Uy thanked the peacekeepers for their presence. They play a great part on the success of the festival, he told them.
The audience were more excited when Sen. Vicente “Tito” C. Sotto, Cong. Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” B. Biazon, and former Miss Universe Margie Moran-Florendo arrived to join the assembly. Ms. Florendo represents his cousin Hon. Manuel Roxas. Atty. Franklin M. Drilon who is also expected to come with them was not able to make it.
Former Miss Universe Margie Moran-Florendo read the message of Hon. Manuel Roxas for the Comvalenyos. In his turn, Hon. Ruffy Biazon said he finds ComVal a beautiful place, more so the people living on it. The introduction of Sen. Tito Sotto by the Bulawan Festival Action Officer, Hon. Maria Carmen Zamora-Apsay followed. Sen. Sotto recalled that 12 years ago he was the Chairman of the Committee of the Local Senate (10th Congress) and he was one of the authors of the creation of Compostela Valley Province.
The program was closed with a message given by SP Member Arvin Dexter M. Lopoz. The rest of the afternoon is scheduled for the release of the peacekeepers’ honorarium.
In the evening awaits a DepEd Cartoon Nitework where the teachers will perform on stage depicting cartoon characters like Snow White, Pocahontas, Anastasia, Lion King, Shrek, others. (grace almedilla/ ids comval)

The Trumpet Newsletter
March 2010
Alliance of Filipino Catholic Charismatic Prayer Communities

"Welcome, 2010"
By Bob Canton, National Coordinator

Greetings to all of you in the
mighty Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As I'm writing this column, my heart is full of excitement and joy, realizing of this great privilege of sharing with you many great things that the Lord is doing for and with and through the AFCCPC.

The Year 2009 was indeed a great year for the AFCCPC. We have seen the establishments and also have discovered many brand new prayer groups and communities in North America. We also had the privilege to minister to them.

Our 15th National Convention which was held in Baltimore, MD. in June was a success in many aspects, in spite of some obstacles that we had to face such as the economic downturn in this country and elsewhere. Many who came to this Convention told us that by attending this gathering, they were blessed by the Lord beyond measures. Through this Convention, the Lord Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, has touched many lives, indeed. I have also witnessed the enthusiasm and greater zeal of many leaders in the Renewal, particularly in the AFCCPC, to continue to serve the Lord and the Church for His glory. This is truly very encouraging and inspiring.

I also perceived an emerging change of attitude among some leaders from, "their organization, the AFCCPC," to "our organization, the AFCCPC." It is my constant prayer to the Holy Spirit that this change of attitude will continue to spread, especially among the leaders, because the Lord has called us to unity, to be one body and one spirit in Christ Jesus. There were myriad of blessings that the Lord has showered us with but we cannot enumerate them all due to the limited space allocated for this column. However, I would like to mention that I also had the opportunities and the privilege to minister in Jesus Name in various countries in 2009.

For the first time, the Lord allowed us to conduct Healing Crusades in Indonesia where we ministered over 20,000 people in the cities of Jakarta, Bali, Semarang, and Galapa Gading. In November, the Lord also opened a door for us to preach, teach, and heal in the mighty name of Jesus in Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Thousands of people also came to our services in St. Mary's Church in Dubai and in St. Anthony's in Sharjah. I saw the people's hunger for the Lord in these Muslim countries. It is a humbling experience to witness signs and wonders, healings and miracles and transformation of hearts taking place right before our eyes.

Jesus is alive and the Holy Spirit is very active all over the world. Towards the end of 2009, I also went to the Philippines to speak and to conduct a Healing Rally during the Kerygma Conference in the Araneta Coliseum which was attended by approximately 12,000 people. That was my third trip to the Philippines in 2009. I was also privileged to meet and fellowship with the Catholic Charismatic Leaders and some Church dignitaries in those countries mentioned above. We praise God for His tremendous blessings for us and for the AFCCPC in the year 2009. "Welcome, 2010!" I really believe that this year we will witness and receive greater blessings and graces from our Heavenly Father. In fact, these blessings have already started to pour out into us. Many prayer groups and communities in many parts of the country are scheduling Life in the Spirit Seminars, Growth in the Spirit Seminars, Days of Renewal and Teachings, Retreats, Healing Rallies, Mini Conferences, and other works of evangelization. In his encyclical entitled Redemptoris Missio, Pope John Paul 11, states, "No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples."

The AFCCPC, in response to this teaching of the Church, has many evangelistic outreaches and activities that have already been lined up for this year. On March 19-21, 2010, the Rocky Mountain Region which is composed of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and Idaho, will conduct, for the first time in the AFCCPC history, a Regional Conference in Phoenix, AZ. The theme of the Conference is "Lord, Show Me Your Way," taken from Psalm 27:11. The invited speakers are Fr. Bill Halbing, Sr.Nancy Kellar, Val Kiamko, Alejandro Aguspina, and yours truly. Jojo Concepcion and Mayette Ravasco are the chairperson and asst. chairperson respectively of this Conference and they are assisted by a very able and very enthusiastic Planning Committee and by various prayer groups not only in the Phoenix area but also in many cities in Arizona. The venue of this Conference is the Marriott Phoenix Airport located at 1101 N. 44th St., Phoenix. Please register for this Conference right away. You don't want to miss this Conference which promises to very Spirit-filled and power-filled. There will also be a Youth track to be conducted on Saturday and Sunday, March 20-21, 2010, for 13-22 years of age.

Another anointed and power-packed Conference is also slated in East Atlantic Region on July 2-4, 2010. It will be held in the Hilton Hotel in East Brunswick, N.J. The conference theme is taken from Isaiah 43:5, "Do not be afraid, for I am With You." Purita Vazquez, one of the members of the board of the AFCCPC, is the Conference's chairperson and the assistant chairpersons are Dr. Dave Armesto and Liza Jablonski. The Regional Coordinators and Officers and Spiritual Advisers in that Region are also working hard for the success of this Conference. The following speakers are scheduled to come, namely, Patti Mansfield, Fr. Bill Halbing, Sr. Linda Koontz, Don Quilao from Toronto, Canada, Fr. Joe Cadusale, Dr. Narcisco Albarracin, Jr. and his wife, Terri, and yours truly. As always, we reach out to the Youths of today by featuring the Youth Track in all our Conferences. We need your prayers and constant intercession for these Conferences and for the activities of the AFCCPC. We shall continue to press on and do what the Lord calls all believers to do and to be: to bring souls to Him and to be united with Him.

These two Regional Conferences are, no doubt, great vehicles for the Lord to fellowship with His people so that they will establish a personal relationship with Him. I therefore, urge you not to squander away these windows of opportunities that the Lord is offering to us. In Isaiah 55:6, the Word of God says, "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call Him while He is near." Let us continue to seek God with all of our hearts. I hope and pray that we will all take advantage of these blessings from the Lord by attending these two Regional Conferences. For more information, please access our website, www.afccpc.org. You may also download the flyers and registration forms.

This year, I will continue to visit many prayer groups and communities mostly within the AFCCPC umbrella and of course other groups and communities as well, all over North America, aside from my monthly trip outside of the U S A to answer the Lord's call for me to reach out to as many people as possible throughout the world by proclaiming the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for your prayers and I'm also equally thankful to some of you who had accompanied and assisted me in my travels such as Jim Blubaugh from Ohio, Atty. Gus Mora and his wife Onie from California, Al Pineda from New Jersey, Dr.Joe and Agnes Nepomuceno and Dr. Ray Caparros from Maryland, Dr. Narciso Albarracin, Jr., and his wife Terri, from Ohio and my younger brother Nilo. Some of you will be traveling with me again this year and I could not thank you enough for your assistance. Of course, I'm most grateful to my wife, Chita, who supports me all the way in this ministry and who is also my traveling companion in some of these trips, even though she is still working as a Registered Nurse. I know that the anointing from the Lord is very strong when both husband and wife are in unity in doing God's work.

National Gathering of Leadership Groups:
Last January 11-13, 2010, five of us from the AFCCPC participated in the Gathering of National Leadership Groups which was held in Lutz, Florida, a suburb of Tampa, in the Bethany Center Retreat House.

There were six streams of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (otherwise known as the Committe of 6) that were represented in the meeting; namely the National Service Committee, the Association of Diocesan Liaisons, the Ethnic Groups composed of Haitians and Hispanic groups, the Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships, the Korean National Service Committee, and the Alliance of Filipino Catholic Charismatic Prayer Communities. The Indonesian and the Vietnamese groups also sent representatives to the Gathering, including Auxiliary Bishop Dominic Luong from the Diocese of Orange, California. The groups discerned together as to what direction the Lord is leading us and what He wants us to do as a group. We prayed together, we praised the Lord with one voice and one heart, we broke bread together in the Eucharistic celebrations, we ministered to each other in Jesus' name and we fellow-shipped with one another. I sensed a great spirit of unity and camaraderie that was present during the three-day meeting. Altogether, there were 50 leaders present including Dr. Narciso Albarracin, Jr.,from Ohio, Lynn Eclipse from New York, Irnie Tabasa from California and Ramon Mescallado from Florida and yours truly who represented the AFCCPC.

The day before the meeting, I was in Ft. Myers, FL., about 2 1/2 hours drive from Lutz, to minister to about 50 people in the home of one of the Albarracin's friends. Although the weather outside in "sunny" Florida was in the low 20's, the atmosphere inside the house was very warm indeed because the people were very open and welcoming to the words of the Lord and to the healing and restoring power of the Holy Spirit. I also had the opportunity to talk about the AFCCPC and the ICCRS and about the baptism of the Holy Spirit to the people gathered.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Basic Hermeneutics

In all human communication, the receiver must create meaning from the symbols (the message) used by the communicator. All Christians must discover the meaning intended by the author(s) of the books of the Bible to understand what God is revealing. The process of discovering meaning from the Bible is called hermeneutics. All Christians recognize that how we approach the Bible determines often what we take from it. Understanding what God would have us know from the Bible is made difficult by many factors:

o The Bible contains some very ancient books;
o Sometimes it is not even known who the author of a book really was;
o Not knowing for certain who an author was is complicated by the period of time in which an author lived;
o Since many authors were ancient Semites, their way of thinking and manner of expressing themselves differ from our own;
o Since we do not possess any original manuscripts of the books of the Bible, we have to contend with copying and editing which occurred over time;
o Then the issue of the multiplicity of human authors and editors complicates our understanding;
o Finally, the fact of both a divine and a human author makes understanding a challenge.

Hermeneutics (from the Greek word hermeneia which means speech or interpretation) is used to cover a broad scope in the process of understanding. It refers to

o interpretation by speech itself, as language interprets the mind;
o the process of translation from an unintelligible language to an intelligible one (cf. 1 Cor 12:10);
o interpretation by commentary and explanation.

Roman Catholic Christians have often been accused of not being allowed to read the Bible on their own. This could not be further from the truth. When, in history, Catholics were forbidden to read the Bible it was a particular translation which usually was unauthorized and highly illiterate in its fidelity to original sources. In other words, unauthorized versions were often just simply bad translations.

It is often said Roman Catholics cannot interpret the Bible on their own. The Papal Encyclical, Divino Afflante Spiritus, of Pope Pius XII in 1943 attempted to counteract this error by stating that there are but few texts whose understanding has been determined by the teaching authority of the Church; and Catholics do indeed have freedom to interpret the Scriptures.

The Catholic Church has been solicitous over the way in which the Bible is interpreted. Experience teaches us that it is easy to find even contradictory meanings from the same Scripture with an unbridled approach to reading and interpreting the Bible.

The Catholic Church teaches that the first principle of hermeneutics is the literal meaning of the text.

Spiritus Paraclitus (Benedict XV, September 15, 1920)
As Jerome insisted, all biblical interpretation rests upon the literal sense ...
Divino Afflante Spiritus (Pius XII, September 30, 1943)
... discern and define that sense of the biblical words which is called literal ... so that the mind of the author may be made clear.... the exegete must be principally concerned with the literal sense of the Scriptures.

Literal Sense

The first sense then for understanding the Bible is the literal sense.

Definition: the literal sense of Scripture is the meaning which the human author directly intended and the author's words convey.

Criteria to understand the literal sense:

o The literary form that the author used is the first aid in determining what the author meant. If the author wrote poetry instead of history, then the literary form of poetry assists in determining the meaning intended by the author. Some other literary forms of the Bible include history, law, songs, love stories, stories (parables), etc.
o The literary history of the biblical book or of the section of the Bible that contains the book also aids in determining the meaning intended by the author. Literary history of a book includes what is known about the author, his background, his historical period of Israel's history, etc.

An example of the Church using the literal sense of a scripture passage in order to understand what meaning we should get from it is the 6th chapter of the Gospel according to John.
Literary Form of John 6:25-69:

Most scripture scholars today affirm that John's gospel is historical in nature. Hence we believe that John strove to preserve both the words and actions of Jesus. Unlike the Synoptics, John wrote through the eyes of the faith of the late Apostolic Church in light of the way that faith translated into practice and worship.

Where John is clearly biographical, the literal meaning is emphasized by linguistic psychology: multiple repetition of the message in different words. Where literalness is intended, intended meaning is reinforced by recording the reaction to literal meaning by the hearers without the speaker's correction.
Literary History of John 6:25-69:

The apostle John was an eyewitness to the life and teachings of Jesus. He was one of the Twelve. He was also the last of the Apostles to write and to die. He refers to himself as the "disciple whom Jesus loved."
Interpretation of John 6:25-69:

Following the details of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes--biographical, Jesus walking on the sea--biographical, Jesus reacts to the crowds' need for signs. Jesus takes them from manna, bread from heaven, to "true bread from heaven (v. 32)" ... "I am the bread (v. 35)." "I am the bread that came down from heaven (v. 41)." This is God saying this: "I am the bread that came down from heaven." If He was not really the bread that came down from heaven, His omnipotent and creative Word would then have made it so.

Five times in different verbal expressions, Jesus confirmed the reality of the meaning he intended.

Jn 6:51
I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.
Jn 6:53
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you."
Jn 6:54
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
Jn 6:55
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
Jn 6:56
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.

The best way a person can make a clear literal point is repetition of the same message in different ways. Jesus did this. Those around him clearly understood what he was saying--cannibalism and the drinking of blood--both forbidden by Mosaic Law.

Jn 6:60,66
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" ... As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Had these disciples mistaken the meaning of Jesus' words, Jesus, knowing their thoughts and their error, would surely have known and corrected them. He didn't. They had clearly understood his meaning--Jesus' flesh was to be really eaten; his blood to be really drunk.
Fuller Sense

But the Bible has God, a divine author, besides the human author. The Church teaches that there exists a more-than-literal meaning for understanding the Bible: a fuller sense.

Definition: The fuller sense is the deeper meaning intended by God as divine author. The fuller sense of Scripture, since it is the meaning intended by God, may not have been clearly known and intended by the human author.

Criteria to establish the fuller sense:

o Because the Catholic Church holds that there are two revealing authorities of Divine Revelation, the Bible and the Holy Spirit, the fuller sense of the Bible can be found in the authoritative interpretation of those revealing authorities. Some of these authorities are the New Testament itself, the Fathers of the Church, the Church in Council (cf. Acts 15 model), the "faithful people" faithful to what was handed down to them, etc. The Spirit of Truth is entrusted to faithful people as an authority in the Church.
o The fuller sense of any Scripture text has to be in agreement with the literal sense of the words. This fuller sense must be a consequential development of what the human author of the text intended to say.

An example of the fuller sense in the interpretation of Scripture is found by looking at the New Testament.

In the Gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 1, verse 23, Matthew says that the conception of Jesus by Mary was a virginal conception and took place so that the words of the prophet Isaiah (7:14) might be fulfilled.

Isaiah gives no evidence that the prophet had Jesus' conception in the womb of Mary in mind. Isaiah does not speak of a virgin in the strict sense--merely an unmarried woman. Isaiah is not clear that he is even speaking to a distant future conception. The whole meaning of Isaiah's chapter appears to imply that the birth he prophesies will take place about 735 B.C. during the reign of King Ahaz the father of the future King Hezekiah. The words of Isaiah may have literally meant the conception of the future King Hezekiah. At the time of Isaiah's words in chapter 7, the mother of the future King Hezekiah would have been unmarried.

Matthew, on the other hand, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, creates an interpretation of Isaiah which is definitely not literal. Matthew clearly interprets Isaiah in a fuller sense: the unmarried woman is the virgin Mary, and God-with-us is Jesus.
Typical Sense

Following the lead of Paul himself (cf. Rom 5:14) there is another way for creating meaning in the Bible: the typical sense.

Definition: The typical sense of Bible texts is the deeper meaning that some elements (persons, places, things and events) of the Bible have because God, the divine author of the Bible, intended that these elements foreshadow/shadow further things.

Criteria to understanding the typical sense:

o The typical sense of the Bible is created by continuing revelation or growth in the understanding the Word of God. Extra-biblical growth in understanding the Word of God is evidenced in the growth and development of the understanding of the Trinity, the Incarnation, etc. Types--the typical sense--are discovered in the New Testament, or in the agreement among "faithful people" faithful to what was handed down to them--the Fathers of the Church, in worship-- the liturgy--and its development through the ages, in the documents of the Church, etc. The Catholic Church believes that the Holy Spirit is a revealing authority in the Church and reveals Himself to "faithful people" in all ages.
o The other criterion for discovering the typical meaning of Scripture is understanding that any type found in the text of the Bible has to be related to the anti-type (e.g., Christ to Adam). This confirms that God planned the relationship of the type to the anti-type.

An example of the typical meaning in the Bible is in Paul's writings. Paul appears to delight in establishing types between the New Testament and the Old Testament. In 1 Cor 10:6 Paul typifies those events which occurred to the Israelites in the desert of Sinai throughout the Exodus to those things that happen to Christians.

Another example of a type--the typical meaning in the Bible--is the bronze serpent raised by Moses in the desert. The evangelist John presents raising the bronze serpent as a type of Christ crucified (3:14).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

History of the Bible

The original writings from the Apostles themselves (the autographs) no longer exist.

This is due partly to the perishable material (papyrus) used by the writers, and partly to the fact that the Roman emperors decreed the destruction of the sacred books of the Christians (Edict of Diocletian, A.D. 303).

Before translating the Bible into Latin, St. Jerome had already translated into more common languages enough books to fill a library. (Saint Jerome, Maisie Ward, Sheed & Ward; A Companion to Scripture Studies, Steinmuller.)

In the year 383, he revised the Latin New Testament text in accordance with some Greek manuscripts. Between the years 390 and 406 he translated the Old Testament directly from the Hebrew, and this completed work is known today as the "Old Latin Vulgate". The work had been requested by Pope Damasus, and Copies of St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate appeared uncorrupted as late as the 11th century, with some revisions by St. Peter Damian and Lanfranc. (Catholic Encyclopedia, "Place of the Bible in the Church", C.U.A.)

Pope Benedict XV wrote about St. Jerome's translation in his 1920 encyclical, Spiritus Paraclitus, "Nor was Jerome content merely to gather up this or that teacher's words; he gathered from all quarters whatever might prove of use to him in this task. From the outset he had accumulated the best possible copies of the Bible and the best commentators on it," . . . "he corrected the Latin version of the Old Testament by the Greek; he translated afresh nearly all the books of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Latin; . . . he discussed Biblical questions with the brethren who came to him, and answered letters on Biblical questions which poured in upon him from all sides; besides all this, he was constantly refuting men who assailed Catholic doctrine and unity."

The first person known with certainty to apply the term canon to the Sacred Scriptures was St. Athanasius, about 350A.D., although his private estimate of the number of canonical books differed from the books he quoted in his writings. Like him, a few other early fathers doubted some of the deutero-canonical books, but would cite them. (A Companion to Scripture Studies. Steinmueller.)

The Council of Carthage (397) was the first Council to publish a list of all the inspired books of the Bible. The Council of Florence repeated the canon of the Bible, and it was restated at the Council of Trent. (No action of the Church causes a book to be inspired. The Church exercises its infallible judgment to certify post factum that a particular book was inspired when it was written. The fact that God is its Author makes a book to be inspired. The Holy Spirit prevents the Church from erring in judging which books are inspired and included in the Bible.)

Versions of the whole or parts of the Bible in the language of the common people first appeared in Germany in the eighth century, in France and Hungary in the twelfth, and Italy, Spain, Holland, Poland and Bohemia in the thirteenth century. (Catholic Encyclopedia.)

In the 1500's in Italy, there were more than 40 vernacular editions of the Bible. France had 18 vernacular editions before 1547, and Spain began publishing editions in 1478, with full approval of the Spanish Inquisition.

In all, 198 editions of the Bible were in the language of the laity, 626 editions all together, and all before the first Protestant version, and all having the full approval of the Church. (Where We Got the Bible, TAN Publishers)

The area known as England was invaded and settled by Germanic tribes called "Saxons" who aligned with tribes from the area of Denmark called "Angles". In the 700's, (St. Bede the Venerable), the area was speaking a Germanic dialect. In the Middle Ages, between 1066-1377, there were different dialects depending on where you went, between the different tribes. The Normans had invaded the area, There was no written vocabulary, so Latin and Greek were most commonly used by the literate.

After 1300, the English population was still much smaller than others like the Italians or Spanish, and it was still unintelligible in a written form. After the 1500's, England became more important politically.

For centuries before the invention of printing, the only way to duplicate the text of the Bible was to copy it by hand. Copyists could have made mistakes, but, they took more care with Scripture than with any other book. Errors, while they are possible and certainly have occurred in some instances, can not be too easily admitted or accepted as an excuse to disregard these copies. Moreover, God in His Providence has faithfully protected His Bible from any serious corruption.

Even a perfectly written Bible would still need an authoritative explanation of various passages.

Chapter and verse divisions are not found in our oldest manuscripts of the Bible, and there is evidence that the early Hebrew writers did not even separate the words of the text, following a Hebrew tradition that Moses wrote the Law as one continuous word. The division into chapters was a gradual process that began in the Middle Ages. The divisions now used were introduced by Stephen Langton (d. 1228), later archbishop of Canterbury, and are found in the Biblia Parisiensis, used at the University of Paris as early as the 13th century. (English Versions of the Bible, Rev. Hugh Pope, O.P.)

The division of Bible chapters into numbered smaller sections was introduced to facilitate scholarly reference to the individual passages. In 1528, Santes Pagnino, a Dominican, published a Bible where each chapter was divided into verses usually consisting of single sentences.

Robert Estienne, a French printer, less than thirty years later, introduced the figures that divide or "chop up" verses of the Bible. His verse divisions became standard because he also printed a Concordance based on these editions. (New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible.) Although at times it divides a passage, the procedure has been sanctified by the Church.

In 1452, the Vulgate was the first book to be printed on the first mechanical press, invented by a Catholic - Johann Gutenberg; that particular edition is commonly known as the Gutenberg Bible. Again, the text was in Latin. (The Gutenberg Bible, Martin Davies.)

By the time of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500's, there were: 104 Latin editions of the Bible - 9 before Martin Luther's birth, and 27 before his edition. (Where We Got the Bible) About this time though, some Latin editions were defective, owing to the creativity or errors of the various publishers, so the Council of Trent intervened, choosing the "Clementine" edition as the official Latin version, authentic and approved for use in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions. (Canons & Decrees of the Council of Trent, TAN Publishers, page 10.) Many translators during the 1500-1900's chose the Latin Vulgate over the Greek because it was difficult to find a good Greek translation.

In the late 1500's, there were about 120 Greek versions with 30,000 different readings. For example, one rendition had Isaiah 7:14 using neanis (young woman) instead of parthenos [virgin]. ("Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanual". The gospel of Matthew 1:23 makes reference to this passage, "Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son; and they shall call his name Emmanual, which being interpreted is, God with us.").

The Latin language gradually changed. The Latin used in the Vulgate is from around 400A.D. Gradually, Latin evolved into French, Italian and Spanish. In the treaty of Verdun, (843 A.D.) the text shows the shift of vocabulary - some Latin and some Middle French. The last recorded usage of Latin being preached to the common people was around the year 800, in Italy.

However, latin remained the universal written language in Europe for many centuries. Up to the 1400's, it was the only language to be generally used. As late as the 1660's Isaac Newton, requiring a large audience for his theories, would write his Principlicae Mathematica in Latin for publication, not English (which was still obscure as a written language at the time).

From 1578 to 1593 the English College of Douay was temporarily housed at Rheims. It was during this period that the Vulgate was translated into the new language called English. In 1582, Queen Elizabeth ordered searchers to confiscate every copy of the New Testament newly translated into English by the College of Rheims. Priests were imprisoned for having it, and the sentence of "torture by rack" was given to those who circulated it. The publication of the Old Testament was delayed until the Douay College had returned to England. In 1609, the College of Douay published the Old Testament English translation.

(Although some Catholic critics scoff at the "archaic English" used in this edition put out by these colleges, the preface of The Protestant Revised Version, or King James version (1611) credits the deliberately literal translation, and the coinage of Latin-English words for theological terms.)

Between 1609 and 1749, there were more than 23 different Catholic editions of the Bible produced, about half of which were New Testament editions, the remaining being editions of the Penitential Psalms.

Bishop Richard Challoner (1691-1781), who was previously the vice-president of the Douay College, began in 1749 the first of several revisions of the Bible from the "Old English" style into the newer English then in use. It is his work that, for the first time provided English-speaking Catholics with a portable, inexpensive and readable version of the Bible, in spite of a few inevitable defects. In all, he was responsible for 5 different editions of the New Testament, and 2 editions of the Old.

The other portable editions of the 8th through 16th century were parts or sections of the Bible, like the Penitentail Psalms, and the Pauper's Bible.

Probably the next most popular Catholic Bible was the "Haydock" revision of the Challoner-Rheims Bible, which actually came about from the suggestion of Thomas Haydock, a printer and schoolmaster. His brother, Rev. George Leo Haydock, published the first edition during the years of 1811-1814, and printings continued well into 1859, after his death. Unique at the time of the Haydock editions was the inclusion of historical and chronological indexes, lists of miracles and parables, some of St. Jerome's letters added to the Addenda, and massive amounts of notes from the fathers and doctors of the Church. It was the first publication of its kind, and editions were immediately successful with several reprints.

In 1790, the first Catholic Bible was printed in the United States, (a lot of printing for America had been done in Belgium) under the encouragement of its' first bishop, John Carroll of Baltimore. It was based on Challoner's second edition of the Bible printed in 1764. In 1805, another version was published in the U.S., based on the Dublin "fifth edition" of Challoner, having been slightly revised under Archbishop John Troy of Dublin. (English Versions of the Bible.)

Various versions and editions of the Douay-Rheims Bible were printed in the United States up until 1947.

As a sidenote, St. Thomas More, in his Dialogue Concerning Tyndale, wrote against Tyndale's New Testament. St. Thomas noted "there were wrong and falsely translated above a thousand texts", and took as examples three words; "priest", "Church" and "charity", which Tyndale changed to "senior", "congregation" and "love". Possibly minor changes as far as the language is concerned, but these were considered fundamental for the doctrinal positions involved. In other verses Tyndale removed "grace", "confession", "penance", and "contrition", changing the biblical text to correspond with his abolition of the Mass. Tyndale is also noted as the first to use the word "Jehovah" as a name for God.