By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
A recent article on the Kennedy legacy published in The Tablet, a British Catholic weekly, recalls a speech of John F. Kennedy given before a hostile crowd of Protestant ministers. Kennedy said: “I believe in an America where the separation of Church and State is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President—should he be Catholic—how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.”
By Fr. Jerry M. Orbos
The story is told about a teacher who asked his students: “If K9 refers to the family or offspring of dogs, what family or offspring does K10 refer to?” One student stood up and said: “K10? Cats, ma’am!”
By Rina Jimenez-David
The country observes the 116th anniversary of the execution of Jose Rizal today (Sunday), a sober counterpoint to the revelry and joy that will surely follow tomorrow, as we mark the close of this old year and the arrival of the new one.
By Denis Murphy
Fr. James Donelan, former president of Ateneo de Manila, once said at a meeting of Jesuits that when he arrived in the Philippines as a young man, he fell in love with the country’s sunsets and children. The children are as handsome and pretty as any in the world, but no other children can match their friendliness and sense of humor. They somehow see the funny things about all of us. It is painful, therefore, to see a picture of these children on the front page of this paper begging, with their hands out, for food behind a sign that reads “Help us here.”
By Solita Collas-Monsod
The pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) titled “Contraception Is Corruption: Seeking Light and Guidance on the RH Bill,” which was read in churches last Dec. 16, raises more questions than it answers.
The promotion of Church People’s Response expresses deep sadness and concern over the death of hundreds of our brothers and sisters and over the harsh devastation wrought by Typhoon “Pablo” on communities and the environment. Many of those affected are poor families who had been struggling every day to survive under substandard living conditions that have been made worse by natural and man-made calamities. We continue to offer our prayers and commitment in bringing much-needed support and immediate relief to lessen their agony and sufferings.
To mobilize the opposition to the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill on the eve of two more crucial votes in Congress, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a strongly worded pastoral letter on Saturday. Sadly, the statement—written by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, and read in churches on Sunday—was based on a lie.
This refers to Prof. Asuncion Maramba’s commentary titled “Time to revisit Vatican II” (Inquirer, 11/26/12). After feeling depressed over the prognosis for the reproductive health bill, seemingly, in part, because of the fear of clericalism, I was uplifted by her succinct summary of Vatican II. Although the council’s thrust has been temporarily blunted, there is, as she says, a scope for hope. I enjoyed the quote from John XXIII about “inches of condemnation.” I have not read that before.