Saturday, November 24, 2012

Video of Pope Benedict XVI bestowing the ring and red biretta on the six new cardinals (including Cardinal Tagle)

The consistory for the formal elevation to the cardinalate of the Church's six newest Cardinals, including the Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, took place today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Last living Filipino Council Father at Vatican II passes away

January 31, 1920 - November 20, 2012. 

The first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Pablo (Laguna, Philippines) has died. He was 92, and was about to turn 93 in a little more than two months. He was the last living Filipino bishop who had been a Council Father of Vatican II and the last living member of the pre-Vatican II Philippine Catholic hierarchy.

From the website of the Diocese of San Pablo (Laguna, Philippines):

His Excellency MOST REV. PEDRO N. BANTIGUE, JCD, D.D., Bishop Emeritus of San Pablo, was born on the 31st of January, 1920 at Sta. Monica Hagonoy, Bulacan. The son of Marcos Bantigue and Eusebia Natividad.

He was ordained priest in the Archdiocese of Manila on May 31, 1945. On May 29, 1961, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manila and Titular Bishop of Catula. Finally, on July 25 of the same year, he was ordained Bishop by Rufino Jiao Cardinal Santos. 

On April 18, 1967, six years after being lifted to the Episcopate, he was appointed the First Bishop of San Pablo (Laguna) and remained in the same office until July 12, 1995. He retired at the age of 75.

The old website of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines notes that Bishop Bantigue was once a member of the Marriage Tribunal, chairman of the CBCP Commissions on Life, Clergy and Prisoners' Welfare. He was Treasurer of the CBCP in 1976.

When the "Year of Faith" marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council was launched on October 11, 2012, Bishop Bantigue was one of 76 living Catholic bishops who had been Council Fathers. (See the list here.)

A photo gallery of the bishop's life and times as priest and bishop can be found at the Catholic Hagonoeño website: Pedro Natividad Bantigue: Obispong Bulakeño, Paring Hagonoeño

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tomorrow in UST: Greek Catholic Divine Liturgy

Tomorrow, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom will be celebrated by a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest, the Rt Rev. Mitrat Olexander Kenez, in the UST Central Seminary Chapel at 3:00 PM. 

Fr. Olexander Kenez is the Chancellor / Protosyncellus of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Australia, with its seat in Melbourne. 

I have been told that at least part of the Divine Liturgy will be in Filipino, using a provisional translation. 

There have been occasional Greek Catholic (as opposed to Eastern Orthodox) Divine Liturgies in the Philippines in the past, either by visiting biritual or Greek Catholic Jesuit priests at the Ateneo de Manila or by the late Msgr. Moises Andrade at San Beda, but to my knowledge this is the first one in recent years in the Philippines to be announced and opened to the general public. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Archbishop Socrates Villegas: the separation of Church and State should not be absolute

Consecration of the Philippines to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by President Ramon Magsaysay, December 2, 1956.  Picture scanned from the souvenir album for the Second National Eucharistic Congress of the Philippines, November 28 - December 2, 1956. 

From the article "Church and State Collaboration and Cooperation" on the blog of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan:

...the Archbishop paid attention to what our constitution, and what the Church law state that “there should be inviolable separation of the Church and the State…Hindi dapat pagsamahin ang gobyerno at simbahan. Hindi puwedeng ilipat ang katedral sa kapitolyo, at hindi puwedeng mag-office si governor sa katedral…Mayroong separation of Church and State.”

But he also stressed that that separation is not absolute, because there is no separation between God and citizens, between God and man. When we separate God and man, it is not only immoral, it is also unconstitutional, because in the constitution we all recognize that all of us have a God. Citing the late Cardinal Sin, the Archbishop said that the Church and the State are like railroad tracks parallel all throughout and not too near, not too far from each other so that the train could move forward. The train is our country, our nation.

Then Archbishop Villegas mentioned several areas of collaboration and cooperation between the Church and the State:

The First is Peace. Everyone is longing for peace. It is the responsibility of the State to promote peace, and it is also the mission of the Church to take care of peace. Stating it in Filipino, he said: There will be no peace if the people are fighting against each other; there will be no peace if God is not there. There will be no peace if we do not treat each other as brothers and sisters, and there will be no peace if we destroy our environment and natural resources.

The Second is Progress. As the election campaign progresses, all candidates promise to work for progress. We will not vote for any candidate who does not guarantee progress when he/she is elected. But this progress that the candidates promise to promote, this progress of the people is also the concern of the Church. When people progress, the Church is also happy with the progress. But it is not an absolute progress. It should be a progress with God; it should be a progress walking with God, because the Gospel says: What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but suffers the loss of his soul. “Anong kuwenta ng progress kung nahiwalay tayo sa Diyos; anong kuwenta ng pag-unlad kung nawala ang Diyos sa ating kaunlaran. Progress of the people is the duty of the government, and the Church supports governments in promoting total human progress."

The Third is People. It is the people that relate the Church and the State. “’Yung taong nagsisimba, ‘yun din ho ang bumuboto; ;yung taong nagpapa-bless, ‘yun din po ang nagbabayad ng buwis. Ang ibig sabihin po, ang ating pagmamalasakit sa tao ay hindi lamang pagmamalasakit ng gobyerno; ang pagmamalasakit sa tao ay pagmamalasakit ng Diyos para sa atin. Thus, there must be proper distance between the Church and the State so that we can serve the people best. There is what we call in the Church “Common Good”, the good of all, of the many. And this is the duty of both the Church and the State.

He concluded by saying that “before the Lord, we are only brothers and sisters. And in the presence of the Lord, let us promise together, government and Church, munisipyo and Kapitolyo, and the Cathedral and the parishes, let us work together, hand in hand, for peace, let us work together hand in hand for true, Godly progress, let us work together keeping in mind the people always. Because it is only in caring for one another that we can show our love for God...