February 2018

Philippine democracy under threat
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

The young man, Jake, 22-year-old and single laughed when I asked him whom he voted for in the local elections for mayor. He said he abstained, but he went to the house of the mayor and received a payment all the same. “Why not?”, he reasoned, “It was for free everyone was going there.” 
 
The mayor was “reelected” and his local family dynasty, linked to a bigger family dynasty, became more influential. His father...

Continued martial law in Mindanao legal Supreme Court says
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): The Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled on February 6 that there were sufficient grounds for the extension of military rule in the region following a terrorist attack in the city of Marawi last year.
 
“Public safety requires the extension (of martial law) as shown by facts presented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” the Supreme Court ruling said.
 
However, human rights groups warned the ruling “will create a...

Unresolved issues that plague an extraordinary pontificate
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

by Robert Mickens
 
One of the most remarkable characteristics of Pope Francis is his capacity—demonstrated throughout his lifetime—to carefully listen to viewpoints different from his own and, in the end, be willing to change his mind and even his entire way of thinking about a particular issue.
 
This is all the more notable for a man in his 80s, a time of life when most people are already deeply set in their...

Bishop’s pastoral letter for Lent: Living the Lenten Experience of Metanoia
(Saturday, 17 February 2018 )

“Rend your hearts, not your garments,
And return to the Lord, your God…”
— Joel 2: 13
 
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
 
I thank our Heavenly Father for giving me, in his goodness and mercy, the grace of being able to share with you the blessings and deep joy of Lent that come from the...

Sixth Week in Ordinary Time and Ash Wednesday
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

FEBRUARY 11 – SIXTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME. 
Mass of the Sunday, Gloria, Creed, preface for the Sunday (green). 
Readings: Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46; 1 Corinthians 10:31—11:1; 
Mark 1:40-45.
 
FEBRUARY 12 – MONDAY: SIXTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME. 
Mass of the day (green). 
Readings: Jeremiah 1:1-11; Mark 8:11-13.
 
FEBRUARY 13 –...

Sixth Sunday of the Year: The Messiah has begun!
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

In Jesus’ time curing a leper was equivalent to raising the dead. The priests could only “declare pure” a leper, not “make him pure.” They are not able to cure him because the healing of leprosy was reserved to God (2 Kings 5:7). 
 
The healing of a leper was therefore, the proof that the Messiah has arrived in the world.
 
The leper, approaches Jesus and begs him on his knees to be “purified.”...

Sixth Sunday of the Year: Ikaw ang masunod Panginoon!
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

Noong panahong iyon, may isang ketongin lumapit kay Hesus, nanikluhod at nagmakaawa, “Kung ibig po ninyo’y mapagagaling ninyo ako.”
 
Sa pahayag ng ketonging ito ay nagpapakita ng kanyang kababaang loob. Hindi siya nag- uutos kay Jesus na pagalingin siya kaagad. Alam ko na ito ang kailangan niya, na mapagaling sa kanyang sakit. Bakit sinabi lang niya kay Hesus, “Kung ibig po ninyo’y mapagagaling ninyo ako?” Malalim ang...

Holy See-China accord in the offing but at what cost?
(Saturday, 10 February 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): An accord between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China “is almost made” and could be signed in the coming months, thereby opening a new phase in the relations between them, according to a senior Vatican source informed on the negotiations between the two sides.
 
Quoting sources, the Jesuit magazine, America, reported that the negotiations reached this crucial stage following the visit by a five-person delegation from the...