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SEPTEMBER 19 - OCTOBER 2, 2016 VOL. 20 NO. 25







Batanes bishop
appeals for aid
after devastating
I will turn their
mourning into joy
Jeremiah 31:13

fear more
CATHOLIC bishops fear an
increase in cases of summary
executions after President
Rodrigo Duterte asked for a
six-month extension for his
war on drugs.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon
Arguelles said he is worried
that fighting fire with fire is
likely to fail.
But I am also worried about
more extrajudicial killings,
said the prelate. D u t e r te yesterday said he needs
another six months on top of
his self-imposed deadline of
three to six months to solve the
countrys drug problem.
He said there are too many
people, including politicians,
involved in the illegal activ-ity
and he cannot kill them all.
There is narco-politics on
the lowest government unit,
and that will be the start of
our agony, explained Duterte
in a press conference Sunday
evening in Davao City.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop
Broderick Pabillo also said
Dutertes approach to the drug
problem would not work.
It should be rehabilitation
and stronger anti-poverty
campaign, stressed Pabill.
He said Duterte should
instead root out corruption
within the government and not
be selective in his anti-illegal
drugs campaign.
In the campaign, he
categorically said that the drug
problem would be solved in 6
months or he will step down,
but of course he is not a man of
[his] word, Pabillo said.
He added: Anybody in his
right mind cannot claim that.
Cant he see that his meth-od
is not effective?
Killings / A6



Church launches prayer

campaign amid killings
By Roy Lagarde

CATHOLIC bishops
launched a nationwide
prayer for peace and healing amid political bickering and the wave of killings
of drug suspects.
Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippine (CBCP) president
Archbishop Socra-tes Villegas of
Lingayen-Dagupan said the most
important contribution of the Church
for social change is prayer.
We can never diminish or
power of prayer for
changing people,
for changing
the world,
Villegas said.
And even
if prayer looks
very impractical
or prayer looks
theres no
to the present

situation, believe me prayer can

change hearts and prayer can change
everybody, he said.
The archbishop is calling on the
people of faith and good will to join
the campaign launched Sept. 20 at
the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in
Intramuros, Manila.
Excluding Sundays, the campaign,
where Catholics are requested to
pray the five mysteries of the rosary
daily, runs until December 23. Each
province in the Philip-pines will be
prayed for everyday.
The dates assigned for each
province will be posted daily in the
Facebook page A Million Roses for
the World: Filipinos at Prayer for the
We pray for the dead and the
living. We pray for everybody,
Archbishop Villegas said.
When theres a problem, the
first thing that we seem to do is
act, rush to do some-thing, he
said. Thats why we need to pray
before we act, before we say
According to
Prayer / A6

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, speaks during the launching of the weeks-long prayer campaign for peace at the chapel of the Colegio de San
Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila, Sept. 20, 2016. ROY LAGARDE

Cardinal Tagle opens Churchs

doors to drug dependents
TO address the local drug problem, Cardinal
Luis Antonio Tagle has opened the doors of
the Manila archdiocese to those battling drug
addiction to help them recover.
The prelate hopes the community-based
rehabilitation program to be set up in different
parishes will encourage anyone struggling with
We are here for you. Let us not waste life.
It is important and it has to be protected and
nurtured, he said.
The archdiocese said the program is designed
to help anyone in need of support in terms
of spiritual formation, skills formation, and
The archdiocese, through its Restorative
Justice Ministry, has also partnered with other
organizations and concerned government
agencies to get drug dependents the treatment

and recovery services they need.

Among them are the Center for Family
Ministries, UST Graduate School PsychoTrauma, Department of Health, Department
of Interior and Local Government, and the
Philippine National Police.
On Sept. 13, the program kicked off at the San
Roque de Manila Parish in Sta. Cruz, Manila to
reach out to people who have been excluded by
the church or judged harshly.
We, in the Church failed to address the issue,
we failed to be a companion to these people.
So now, we are trying what we can do given
the urgency of the need, said parish priest Fr.
Tony Navarette.
The archdioceses of Cebu and Cagayan de
Oro have also offered help to drug dependents
who are seeking rehabilitation and healing.

Dont forget lessons of martial law

THE head of the Catholic
Bishops Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP) said that
Fil-ipinos should not forget
the lessons of martial law.
As the country marked
the 44th anniversary of the
martial law declaration on
Sept. 21, Archbishop Socrates

Villegas said its lessons will

always be applicable to the
countrys situation.
We should not forget. We
should always remember
the lessons of history, said
Archbishop Villegas, a protg
of the late Cardinal Jaime
Sin, who helped oust the late

strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

These are vigilance, selfsacrifice, forgetting oneself,
and standing up for what is
right, he said.
For his part, Fr. Jerome
Secillano, executive secretary
of the CBCP Committee on

Lessons / A6


Bishops mull pastoral care for same sex attracted persons

A CATHOLIC bishop said dioceses across
country will be establishing a spiritual
support system for men and women with
same sex attraction (SSA).
Bishop Gilbert Garcera, chairman
of the bishops Commission on Family
and Life, said it is the role of the Church
to provide pastoral accompaniment
to members who experience same sex
attraction, as well as to their families.
It is important for the dioceses to have
a response to same sex attraction and
for the Church to show that we take care
of them, said the prelate over Manila
archdiocese-run Radio Veritas.

Thats why the dioceses all over the

Philippines will help to assist them in
the sense of welcoming, integration,
understanding, and accompaniment for
them, he said.
The bishop of Daet in Camarines
Sur said the Church must also strive to
present Catholic doctrine on authentic
sexuality in its fullness.
Another objective is to clarify
the Churchs stand on matrimony,
homosexuality and also for the people
to know the stories of transformation in
the lives of some persons with same sex
attraction, he added. (CBCPNews)

Abu Sayyaf terrorism denies

God Cardinal Quevedo

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato FILE PHOTO

Quevedo of Cotabato
told a gathering of the
worlds religious leaders
that the Abu Sayyaf
bandits are practical
Saying that one cannot
wage war in the name
of God, he said the
terroristic activities of
the violent jihadist group
in southern Philippines
manifests a denial of
Their behavior and
actuations deny God,
said Cardinal Quevedo,
a known peace advocate.
The first cardinal from
Mindanao was speaking
before hundreds of
religious leaders from
different faiths during a
panel discussion at the
World Day of Prayer for
Peace in Assisi, Italy on
Sept. 19.
He began his
intervention by giving
the participants a
background about Abu
Sayyaf group (ASG) and
its political and religious
objective which is to
establish an independent

Islamic State in Southern

Through the years,
he said the group has
been on a rampage of
killings, assassinations,
bombings, kidnappings,
extortion, and drug
He said the ASGs
activities are done in
the name of God and
death during acts of
terrorism is considered
Selective knowledge
According to him,
one reason for this is an
inadequate knowledge
of the Quran, in the
manner that many
Christians do not know
the Bible very well.
He also said that
another reason is Abu
Sayyafs selective
knowledge and
understanding of the
Holy Book for Muslims
that Islam is a religion of
peace and not of external
jihad against infidels.
They profess belief
in God and are devoted
to their prayer but their
Terrorism / A7


Vatican Briefing
Corruption is worst form of criminality, Pope
tells Vatican police

On Sunday, Pope Francis celebrated the 200th

anniversary of the Vatican Gendarme by thanking the
security force for their tireless service, and warned
against modern crimes linked to exploitation and
corruption.Crooks love the scam and hate honesty.
Crooks love bribes, agreements done in the dark. This
is worse than anything, because he believes hes being
honest, the Pope told members of the Vatican Gendarme
Sept. 18.The crook loves money, loves wealth, he said,
and, calling wealth an idol, noted that crooks trample
on the poor with no concern or second thought.He noted
how there are many people throughout the world today
who have large, large industries of slave labor. In the
world today slave labor is a management style. (Elise

The world needs a merciful response to refugees,

Pope says

In a world marked by increasing war and conflict, Pope

Francis said a generous and merciful response to those
fleeing violence is needed in order to combat hatred and
foster a greater sense of fraternity and solidarity.At this
place and time in history, there is great need for men and
women who hear the cry of the poor and respond with
mercy and generosity, the Pope told a group of Jesuit
alumni Sept. 17.He noted how there are tragically more
than 65 million forcibly displaced persons around the
globe, calling the number unprecedented and beyond
all imagination.Pope Francis spoke to members of the
European Confederation and World Union of Jesuit
Alumni and Alumnae present in Rome for a Sept. 14-16
conference titled Global Migration and Refugee Crisis:
Time to Contemplate and Act.(Elise Harris/CNA)

Pope Francis: killing in the name of God is satanic

Referencing the recent murder of French priest Fr.
Jacques Hamel, Pope Francis said the persecution of
Christians happening today, under any form, is a work
of Satan.This cruelty that asks for apostasy, lets say
the word, is satanic, the Pope said in a homily Sept.
14.Today in the church there are more Christian martyrs
than in the first times. Today there are Christians who
are assassinated, tortured, jailed, their throats are cut
because they dont deny Jesus Christ, Francis stated.
Pope Francis comments were made during an early
morning Mass celebrated in memory of Fr. Jacques
Hamel at Casa Santa Marta. (Hannah Brockhaus/

Papal ambassadors issue global appeal to step-up

peace efforts

After spending three days in Rome to celebrate the

Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis diplomatic representatives
throughout the world have called on government leaders
to make greater efforts in ending conflict and promoting
peace.According to a Sept. 19 communique from the
Vatican, the papal ambassadors called apostolic
nuncios issued a pressing appeal to the international
community and to those with governing responsibilities
to strive ever more effectively to stop violence.The
nuncios urged leaders to peacefully resolve the conflicts
in various parts of the world, and expressed their
solidarity with all innocent victims of the worlds many
violent conflicts. (Elise Harris/CNA)

Man rams car through police barrier into

St. Peters Square

A mentally ill man rammed his car through a police

checkpoint at St. Peters Square on Friday evening,
demanding to meet with Pope Francis. The 64-yearold Italian man was immediately stopped by police
officers. No one was injured in the incident, according
to the Italian publication Il Messaggero.The man
entered the area of the colonnade near the Paul VI Hall.
After breaking through the security barriers, he exited
his car and began ranting, saying, I want to see the
Pope.According to reports, the man was visibly agitated.
He is now being treated at a mental health center.The
Vatican has increased security in recent months, in
response to a wave of global terrorism. (CNA)

Pope, cardinals continue looking at process for

choosing bishops

Pope Francis and members of the international

Council of Cardinals advising him on church governance
once again discussed ways to improve the process of
identifying the best priests to become bishops.The
cardinals reflected broadly on the spiritual and pastoral
profile necessary for a bishop today, said Greg Burke,
director of the Vatican press office.Meeting with Pope
Francis Sept. 12-14, they also discussed the theme of
the Holy Sees diplomatic service and the formation
and tasks of apostolic nuncios with particular attention
to their great responsibility in the choice of candidates
for the episcopacy, Burke said in a statement. (Cindy

Pastors who become princes are far from Jesus

spirit, pope says
Clergy who use their position for personal gain rather
than to help those in need do not follow the spirit of Jesus
who took upon himself the sufferings of others, Pope
Francis said.Jesus often would rebuke such leaders and
warned his followers to do what they say but not what
they do, the pope said Sept. 14 at his weekly general
audience.Jesus was not a prince, the pope said. It is
awful for the church when pastors become princes, far
from the people, far from the poorest people. That is not
the spirit of Jesus. (Junno Arocho Esteves/CNS)

Romes exorcist, Fr. Gabriel Amorth, dies at age 91

Father Gabriel Amorth, the exorcist of the Diocese of

Rome who drew worldwide attention, died on Friday
at the age of 91.Leaders of the Society of St. Paul
remembered him with great affection and gratitude,
SIR News reports. Fr. Amorth was born in Modena in
northern Italy on May 1, 1925. He entered the mother
house of the Congregation of the Society of St. Paul
in Alba in August 1947, five years after meeting its
founder, Blessed James Alberione. He was ordained a
priest on Jan. 24, 1951.In 1985, Cardinal Ugo Poletti,
the Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome, appointed
him exorcist of the diocese. He performed an estimated
70,000 exorcisms, often repeating the rite on the same
persons. Fr. Amorth drew much publicity for his books
explaining his work and his public statements on the
demonic. (CNA)

September 19 - October 2, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 25

CBCP Monitor

Cardinal Schnborn warns of

Islamic conquest of Europe
VIENNA, Austria, Sep
14, 2016Cardinal
ChristophSchnborn has
warned that Europe risks
forfeiting its Christian
inheritance and that an
Islamic conquest could be
in its future.
Speaking in the Cathedral
of Vienna on Sunday, Sept.
11, the Archbishop of Vienna
referenced the feast day that
commemorates the decisive
victory of a Christian coalition
over the Ottoman Empire in
the Battle of Vienna in 1683.
On this day, 333 years
ago, Vienna was saved, he
said. Will there now be a
third attempt at an Islamic
conquest of Europe? Many
Muslims think so and long
for it and say: This Europe is
at an end.
And I think that we should
ask for Europe what Moses
does in the reading of today
and what God the Merciful
does for the younger son:
Lord, give us another chance!
Do not forget that we are
your people just like Moses
reminds Him: They are your
people, You led them out, You
sanctified them, they are your


On Sept. 11, 1683, Polish
King John Sobieski III and
Supreme Commander of the
Christian Coalition Army, led
18,000 horsemen, with the
famous winged hussars,
against the enemy Turkish
lines. In a battle that included
what is considered the largest
cavalry charge in history,
Sobieski thoroughly defeated
them. The victory of allied
Polish, Austrian, Bavarian,
Saxon, Venetian and other
troops marked the historic

end of the expansion of

the Ottoman Empire into
Before going to war, the
Polish king, a devout Catholic,
had entrusted his kingdom to
the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady
of Czestochowa. Drawing
on this legacy, in 1684 Pope
Innocent XI introduced Feast
of the Most Holy Name of
the Blessed Virgin Mary for
the date of Sept. 12. The
feast was briefly struck from
the calendar by liturgical
reformer Monsignor

AnnibaleBugnini during
Vatican II, but restored by
Saint John Paul II in 2002.
Cardinal Schnborn, a
confidante of Pope Francis,
warned the congregation in
the Cathedral of Vienna on
Sunday, that Europe had
squandered and wasted its
Christian inheritance, just
like the younger brother in
the parable told by Christ.
What will become of
Europe? asked the cardinal.
He closed his homily with
a prayer:
Lord, remember, it
is your people. And if we
have strayed and if we have
squandered the inheritance,
Lord, do not abandon us! Do
not abandon this Europe,
which has produced so many
saints. Do not abandon us,
because we have become
lukewarm in our faith.
Have mercy on your
inheritance, have mercy on
your people, with Europe,
which is about to forfeit your
Christian inheritance! Have
mercy on us and raise us up
again, for the glory of your
name and as a blessing to the
world! Amen. (CNA)

New Catholic university launches Sacred Art masters

DENVER, Colo., Sep. 16, 2016A new
Catholic university has announced the
launch of their Masters of Sacred Art
degree program, which is available
The program will include the study
of theology, philosophy, architecture,
film, music and art, and is available
through Pontifex University, a Catholic
University established in 2015 by the
Solidarity Association of the Christian
The goal of Pontifex is to guide
students along the path, the Way of
Beauty, which leads to the supernatural
transformation in Christ, so equipping
one to serve Him, David Clayton, provost
of Pontifex, said in an announcement.
The Masters of Sacred Art (MSA)
offers the same formation that enabled
the great Catholic artists of the past to
create works of radiant beauty that are
at once noble, elevating and accessible to
the many, drawing all to God, he said.
The two-year program is an online
course, with occasional regional

workshops in the United States, Italy

or the Holy Land, and includes special
access to the Vatican museum and the
restoration workshops as well as an
optional graduation Mass in the Vatican.
Residential programs are available in
the U.S., Italy and the Holy Land.
The program seeks to provide training
and formation for artists, priests, religious,
laity or anyone looking to create beauty as
a sign of hope in todays world.
The idea for the program has been
forming for about 20 years, ever since
Clayton, at the time a recent convert to
Catholicism, decided to become an artist
but could not find any training programs
in which to pursue sacred art.
The result of his years of research on
the subject culminated in both a book,
Way of Beauty, published in 2015 by
Angelico Press, and the MSA program
with Pontifex, he said.
I am thrilled now to see this being offered
to the next generation Clayton said.
The p rog ram includ e s classe s
on Scripture, architectural design,

Gregorian chant and many other

subjects, taught by expert faculty
including highly respected Catholic
artists, although Pontifex also holds
that the ultimate Educator is God
According to the announcement,
Pontifex prepares students to pass
the test laid down for artists by Pope
Benedict XVI in his book A New Song
for the Lord, in which he wrote: It
is precisely the test of true creativity
that the artist steps out of the esoteric
circle and knows how to form his or her
intuition in such a way that the others
the manymay perceive what the artist
has perceived.
Pontifex Universitys MSA is the
new catalyst that shows how to bring
these elements together in harmony
with ones personal vocation, whatever
it may be, for the glory of God and joy
of mankind.
More information about the program
and registration can be found at www. (CNA)

Use moral authority to push for change in Vietnam, advocates tell the US
15, 2016 If the U.S. uses its
moral authority to pressure
Vietnam on human rights
issues, the southeast Asian
country will change for the
better, religious freedom
advocates maintained at a
conference on Monday.
Vietnam wants to be part
of the world, and Im sure
it does. It needs to not treat
religious liberty as the poor
sister of the human rights
family, or worse, as the
eccentric uncle of the human
rights family, Kristina
Arriaga, a commissioner
on the U.S. Commission
on International Religious
Freedom, stated at a Sept. 12
event hosted by the Hudson
Institute on religious freedom
in Vietnam.
Without religious
freedom, no other right
exists, she added.
The freedom of citizens
to practice their religion in
Vietnam varies, the U.S.
Commission on International
Religious Freedom noted in its
2016 annual report, because
while the government has
made dramatic openings with
respect to religious freedom,
officials at both the national
and local levels can also treat
certain religious leaders and
communities with hostility,
as supposedly threatening
to the state.
Grave violations of human
rights are still committed,
such as the government
requiring religious groups
to register with the state,
imprisoning human rights
activists, and cracking down

on protests, as when this

past spring 4,000 Catholics
were reportedly beaten for
protesting a toxic waste dump
that caused an environmental
Unregistered religious
groups are at greater risk of
harassment and persecution
by government officials, the
commission added.
However, the state can
also wield its authority by
trying to control registered
groups. As USCIRF chair Fr.
Thomas Reese and Harvard
Professor Mary Ann Glendon
noted after their 2015 trip to
Vietnam, the government
kept the clergy on a short
leash and continues to play
a direct role in approving
candidates for bishops
selected by the Vatican.
Government officials
become nervous when a local
pastor has more credibility
and authority in his village
than the local party and
government officials, they
Elliot Abrams, a former
commissioner with USCIRF
and current fellow with the
Council on Foreign Relations,
explained at the Hudson
Institute event: That is
because the local pastor
has moral authority and
legitimacy, while the party
and government officials do
not. That is just what the
regime fears.
However, the U.S. has
moral authority because
religious freedom is enshrined
in the First Amendment of
its Constitution. Thus, it
must use this authority to

pressure Vietnam to improve

its human rights record, both
Abrams and Arriaga insisted.
They described President
Obamas recent trip to
Vietnam as a missed
opportunity. Obama
completely lifted the arms
embargo against the country,
but advocates insisted that
sufficient human rights
concessions were not made
in return.
The question is whether the
United States will use a closer
relationshipthat Vietnamese
leaders wantto promote
religious freedom, or will we
forget about it and pursue
what is meant to be a policy
of realpolitik, Abrams asked.
Whose independence and
strength are we enhancing?
he asked about the lifting of
the embargo, implying that
the U.S. was strengthening
the regime, but not the
Vietnamese people.
The U.S. has an obligation
to highlight abuses when its
dignitaries travel to countries
where repression occurs,
Arriaga insisted.
The U.S. government
needs to name those
names when they are
in the country, she said,
calling it inexcusable for a
government official not to do
so when traveling to a country
like China or Cuba, where the
government represses the
freedom of religion.
Although the state in 2015
released certain political
prisoners including Catholic
bloggers and activists, there
are still reportedly between
100 and 150 prisoners of

conscience there, USCIRF

noted in its report.
The U.S. must also redesignate Vietnam as a
country of particular
concern, Arriaga insisted.
That State Department
designation is for countries
where the worst violations of
religious freedom are taking
place, either with government
consent or without sufficient
prevention by the state.
Vietnam was put on the
CPC list in 2004, the last
time that Vietnam made real
improvements she said.
However, the country was
taken off the list in 2006.
In fact, we know American
pressure can work to relax
the degree of repression,
to reduce the amount of
thuggish behavior, Arriaga
said, but only if the United
States government applies
that pressure and makes it
clear that improved relations
depend on this.
Another area of concern for
Vietnam is its draft law on
religion, expected to go into
effect later this year.
In June, the Ambassador
at-Large for International
Religious Freedom David
Saperstein testified before
Congress that the current
version of the law will
continue to require religious
groups to undergo an onerous
and arbitrary registration
and recognition process to
operate legally, although
authorities had shown a
willingness to receive
domestic and international
feedback on the draft law.

CBCP Monitor


September 19 - October 2, 2016 Vol. 20 No. 25

Legacy of 1986 peace gathering lingers in Assisi

ASSISI, ItalyReligious
leaders celebrating the 30th
anniversary of St. John Paul
IIs Assisi interfaith peace
gathering in 1986 called
on people from around the
world to continue its legacy to
combat todays indifference
and violence.
The event Sept. 18-20 was
sponsored by the Rome-based
Community of SantEgidio,
the Diocese of Assisi and the
Franciscan friars to reflect
on the theme, Thirst for
Peace: Faiths and Cultures in
At the opening assembly,
attended by Italian
President Sergio Mattarella,
Orthodox Ecumenical
Patriarch Bartholomew of
Constantinople said, peace
starts from within and
radiates outward, from local
to global.
Thus, peace requires an
interior conversion, a change
in policies and behaviors,
he said.
Humanitys relationship
with creation has a direct
impact on the way in which
it acts toward other people,
said the patriarch, known
for his decades of work on

the connection between

Christian spirituality and
Any ecological activity
will be judged by the
consequences it has for the
lives of the poor, he said.
The pollution problem is
linked to that of poverty.
Recalling his visit to the
Greek island of Lesbos with
Pope Francis, the patriarch
said they saw examples of
how the world has treated
migrants with exclusion and
Echoing Patriarch
Bartholomews sentiments,
Andrea Riccardi, founder
of the Community of
SantEgidio, said the spirit
of the 1986 Assisi meeting is
still alive, despite a complex
and fragmented time with its
challenges, particularly with
new fears arising due to war
and migration.
The simple and profound
gesture of religious leaders
standing together for peace,
he said, gave witness to their
respective faithful that it was
possible to live together.
Dialogue is the intelligence
to live together: either we live
together or together we will

Pope Francis lights a candle during an interfaith peace gathering outside the Basilica
of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, Sept. 20. The pope and other religious leaders were
attending a peace gathering marking the 30th anniversary of the first peace encounter.

die, he said.
The meeting featured
dozens of interreligious panel
discussions on topics ranging
from the environment and
migration to dialogue and
the media.
Discussing the 30th
anniversary of the 1986 peace
gathering and its relevance
today, Bishop Miguel Angel
Ayuso Guixot, secretary of
the Pontifical Council for
Interreligious Dialogue,

said, The spirit of Assisi

is not a vague feeling, a
sentimentalism or nostalgic
memory, but an example
that peace is not possible
without prayer.
Prayer is one of the means
for implementing Gods
design among people, he
said. It is apparent that the
world cannot give peace; it
is a gift from God that we
must ask from him through

The religious leaders who

were gathering to pray for
peace, he added, are here to
show that religion is not the
problem but is part of the
solution to bring peace and
harmony in our societies.
I hope that the spirit of
Assisi may be deeply rooted
in our hearts so that it can
keep enlightening this
world that is marked by
the darkness of hatred and
violence, he said.
Mohammad Sammak,
secretary general of Lebanons
Christian-Muslim Committee
for Dialogue, stressed the
need to promote the message
of the spirit of Assisi to all
nations in order for peace to
prevail, particularly between
Christians and Muslims.
While differences exist
between the two faiths, he
said, it does not mean that
we have to be the enemy of
one another.
On the contrary, the
differences between
religions can complement
and complete each other.
And this process of common
belief and common respect
is manifested in the spirit of
Assisi, Sammak said.

Argentine Rabbi Abraham

Skorka, a longtime friend of
Pope Francis, also addressed
the panel and lamented that
violence, hate and uncertainty
has become more and more
one of the characteristics of
human reality.
He also denounced
the exacerbated egoism
prevalent in politics today and
racist overtones by individuals
who are holding leadership
positions in well-established
democratic countries.
Uncertainty about the
future to come and no clear
ethical rules respected by
peoples and nations build
the best scenario for the rise
of demagogic and corrupted
leaders, Skorka said.
However, despite
humanitys worsening
condition, he said, the voice
calling for justice, peace and
love that emerged in1986
has not been silenced.
The spiritual fire lit then
gathers us today, he said.
The hope of peace, which is
the core of Jewish, Christian
and Islamic faiths, continues
palpitating in the hearts of
many, he said. (Junno
Arocho Esteves/CNS)

PWDs are Gods instruments, special gifts prelate Pope highlights sanctity of
MUNTINLUPA CitySpecial persons
are Gods instruments to draw
out peoples compassion, Manila
Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio
Cardinal Rosales told participants of
the 4th Pilgrimage for Persons with
Intellectual Disability with Jesus and
Mary on Sept. 10.
They are special gifts from God,
receivers of compassion and mercy, he
said. God is inside them to awaken the
concern in people.
Speaking at the Cardinal Sin Hall,
St. James the Greater Parish in Ayala
Alabang, Muntinlupa, Rosales said
God wants to elicit love through these
special people.
Persons with intellectual disability
are not a curse to their family, he noted.

God has something to tell us through

Their families are chosen by God to
bear the sacrifice of raising and taking
care of them, and should not blame Him,
explained the prelate.
Persons with disabilities should not
locked up and hidden by their family in
their homes, stressed the cardinal. They
should not be considered a disgrace to
their family.
Attended by participants from
communities and organizations across
Metro Manila, this years pilgrimage
gathered persons with disability (PWDs)
for prayer and artwork workshops like
painting, coloring, and folding/cutting
and pasting.
Other activities that enlivened the

annual gathering included miming of

the Gospel, singing liturgical songs and
jubilee songs.
Organized by Let the Special Children
Come to me Community, together with
the other groups that care for persons
with disability such as the Larche, Faith
and Light, and the Guanellian Servants
of Charity which has been inspired by
the life, spirit and charism of St. Louis
Guanella, and other institutions, the
event had Manila Archbishop Emeritus
Guadencio Cardinal Rosales as guest
of honor.
This annual gathering was held for
the first time at St. Francis De Sales
Theological Seminary in Lipa, Batangas
on Sept. 14, 2013. (Oliver Samson/

Why Japan wont release the names of its knife attack victims
TOKYO, JapanIn late July,
the worst mass killing in
Japan since World War II left
19 people dead and 26 people
The suspected killer,
26-year-old Satoshi Uematsu,
carried out his attack against
people with disabilities at a
care center, where Uematsu
had worked for four years.
According to a Japanese news
source, Uematsu had warned
Parliament in February that
he was planning such an
attack, to get rid of disabled
people for the sake of Japan.
In a way, the reaction to
his attack showed that the
country, and much of the
world, would already like to
pretend that the disabled do
not exist.
Weeks after the incident,
police in the Kanagawa
Prefecture, where the attack
took place, have not released
the names of the victims,
citing family members
requests for privacy.
Such nondisclosure is
unusual, Motoko Rich wrote
in an article for the New York
In other rare instances of
mass killings in Japan, like

the stabbings of five elderly

victims on Awaji Island,
south of Kobe, last year,
or a knifing attack in 2008
that left seven dead in the
Akihabara neighborhood of
Tokyo, the police identified
the victims within days, she
Advocates for disabled
people say withholding the
names is consistent with a
culture that considers them
lesser beings. Keeping the
victims hidden, even after
their deaths, these advocates
say, tacitly endorses the
views of those including
the assailant who say
disabled people should be
kept separate from the rest
of society, she added.
But the problem goes
beyond Japan, said Lydia
Brown, an author, speaker
and advocate for the disabled,
who also has autism.
The...victims have been
mostly ignored or quickly
shuffled through the news
cycle in all world media, both
within and outside Japan,
Brown told CNA in e-mail
Ableism (discrimination
in favor of the able-bodied)

and related shame, stigma,

and dehumanization of
disabled people is widespread
in East Asian cultures, but
is also equally prevalent in
Western and other societies
as well.
An example of this
discrimination is the way
Western media treats the
stories of disabled people who
are murdered by their family
or caretakers, Brown said.
...our own media
narratives typically paint such
incidents as understandable
due to the stress or burden
of supporting a disabled
person, Brown said.
Additionally, popular and
news media too frequently
glorify our suicides as brave
and courageous, vilify us as
deranged serial killers and
threats to public safety, and
justify violence committed
against us as understandable.
That needs to change.
Recently, disability rights
groups and advocates have
been particularly outspoken
about the dangers of
legislation that would legalize
assisted suicide, warning
that such laws would further
marginalize the disabled and

terminally ill. They warn

that there are not enough
safeguards to protect already
vulnerable populations from
murder at the hands of family
members or caregivers.
Brown said that people
with disabilities throughout
the world have also been
fighting for years against
discrimination and violence,
which comes in the form of
assuming disabled people
cannot make decisions for
themselves, as well as in the
overuse of institutions to keep
disabled people contained.
Part of that violence
is the widespread use
of institutionsfrom
psychiatric wards to
segregated special education
schools to developmental
disability institutions to
nursing homesto contain
and isolate disabled
people from the rest of
society, creating a perfect
environment for abuse
and violence to proliferate
unchecked, Brown said.
We must fight for
liberation of all our people
from all institutions and
prisons. (Mary Rezac/

life in Year of Mercy visits

Pope Francis holds a baby as he visits the neonatal unit at San Giovanni Hospital in
Rome Sept. 16. The visit was part of the popes series of Friday works of mercy during

VATICANPope Francis
donned a green hospital gown
over his white cassock and
entered the neonatal unit of a
Rome hospital, peering in the
incubators, making the sign
of the cross and encouraging
worried parents.
The trip to the babies ward of
Romes San Giovanni Hospital
and then to a hospice Sept. 16
were part of a series of Mercy
Friday activities Pope Francis
has been doing once a month
during the Year of Mercy.
By visiting the ailing
newborns and the dying on
the same day, the Vatican said,
Pope Francis wanted to give a
strong sign of the importance
of life from its first moment to
its natural end.
Welcoming life and
guaranteeing its dignity at every
moment of its development
is a teaching Pope Francis
has underlined many times,
the statement said. With the
September visits he wanted to
put a concrete and tangible
seal on his teaching that living
a life of mercy means giving
special attention to those in
the most precarious situations.
During the Mercy Friday
visits, Pope Francis has spent
time with migrants, the aged,
at a recovery community for

former drug addicts and at

a shelter for women rescued
from human trafficking and
Pope Francis stopped by
the emergency room of San
Giovanni Hospital before going
to the neonatal unit, where
12 little patients were being
treated. Five of the newborns,
including a pair of twins, were
in intensive care and were
intubated, the Vatican said. The
pope also went to the maternity
ward and nursery upstairs,
greeting new parents and
holding their bundles of joy.
At the neonatal unit, the
Vatican said, the pope was
welcomed by the surprised
personnel and, like everyone
else, put on a gown and followed
all the hygiene procedures.
Leaving the hospital, he
drove across town to the Villa
Speranza hospice, which hosts
30 terminally ill patients. The
hospice is connected to Romes
Gemelli Hospital.
Pope Francis went into
each of the rooms and greeted
each patient, the Vatican said.
There was great surprise on
the part of all -- patients and
relatives -- who experienced
moments of intense emotion
with tears and smiles of joy.
(Cindy Wooden/CNS)

We need to do more for refugees, Catholic advocates say

advocates are praising the U.S.
for hosting an international
refugee summit, but insist the
administration can do more to
address an unprecedented global
refugee crisis.
We are very pleased at the
historical role that the United
States government has played in
welcoming more refugees than any
other country, Jill Marie Gerschutz
Bell, the senior legislative specialist
for Catholic Relief Services, told
CNA in an interview.
Were pleased that the president
has called a summit of other host
countries. But we want to see the
president do more, particularly for

the unaccompanied children and

young people coming to the United
States, she added.
If were going to ask other
governments to abide by our moral
and legal obligations, we need to
make sure that we are too.
Officials from Catholic Relief
Services will be attending the
Leaders Summit on Refugees
hosted by President Obama Sept.
20 in New York City, just after a
United Nations refugee summit.
Leaders from around the world
are expected to meet and pledge to
provide for the needs of refugees
around the world.
There are too few countries
around the world that are bearing

a significant burden in the form of

hundreds of thousands and, in some
cases, even millions of individuals
who fled their home country to try to
avoid violence, White House press
secretary Josh Earnest explained in
a Thursday press briefing.
And theres more that the
international community and that
the world must do to help those
countries bear that burden.
Over 65 million people are
estimated by the UN to be displaced
right now, the highest number ever
recorded. Half of all refugees are
children, with sectarian conflicts
and government persecution as
some of the leading causes of mass

Thus, Catholic Relief Services,

which provides aid to refugees
around the world, will be
at the summit pushing for the
international community to do
more for refugees.
As part of a broader group of
humanitarian aid organizations,
CRS has jointly pledged with them
to invest $1.2 billion into refugee
assistance. Its private money,
Bell told CNA, from Catholics in
the pews, largely. Its because
they believe that we are called to
welcome the stranger, just as Pope
Francis repeatedly reminds us.
The Church has taken very
seriously this call to welcome the
stranger and to provide assistance,

Bell said. The Syrian refugee crisis

is the worst in terms of scale, but
CRS has been helping the more
forgotten refugees like from subSaharan Africa and Afghan refugees
living in Pakistan.
Catholic Relief Services would
like to see some changes in the
architecture of refugee assistance
since the world is largely operating
on a structure from just after World
War II, Bell said.
The humanitarian architecture
has not kept pace with this increase
in individuals, she said, adding that
more refugees live in cities than
in camps today, and they are living
there longer than they ever have
before. (Matt Hadro/CNA)

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