“Why are you frightened…weeping?” – Tagle Easter message

Paco, Lament,NJ Viehland

Prayers of lament, San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, Manila, Nov. 2013. NJ Viehland Photos [click photo for story]

DOCUMENT:  MESSAGE – EASTER 2015

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila 

The annual commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection and glorification gives us a glimpse of the eternal life that He, who became human like us, now possesses – a life that will not be touched by sin, destruction and death again. His risen life is our hope, the pledge of our future glory. But Jesus’ resurrection does not cut us off from our earthly life and concerns. It is not an excuse to ignore and to be indifferent toward our world. Rather the light from Jesus’ resurrection makes us see more clearly the truth about our complex human condition while urging us on towards a glorious future.

NJ Viehland Photos

Teacher from Aeta cultural community trained by Franciscan nuns. NJ Viehland Photos [Click photo for story]

Some words spoken by the Risen Lord during his appearances to various people seem to be addressed to us Filipinos in our present situation. The eternally reigning Lord is speaking to us now. Let us listen to some of these words. To the disciples gathered in a room he asked, “Why are you frightened and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:38). To a troubled Mary Magdalene he said, “Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” (John 20:15). The Risen Lord offers the same questions to us especially in moments of fear, doubts, distrust and grieving. He leads us to our hearts so we could reflect, explore and find meaning. Outbursts of panic, phobia, worry and sorrow need the calming influence of reflection and meditation. The Risen Lord asks questions that make us pause and look into the reasons (or lack of reason) for our terror and anxiety. Let us listen to Him.

DSA nuns, NJ Viehland

Fatima Center for Human Development of the Daughters of Saint Augustine, Iriga City.  NJ Viehland Photos [click photo for story]

To the disciples still unable to believe that He was indeed alive and standing before them He asked, “Have you anything here to eat?” (Luke 24:41). The glorious Lord comes to us through our humble, simple, poor and suffering brothers and sisters. Even while possessing all authority and power, he deems it worthy to reside among the lowly, those who lack basic necessities of life. He invites us not to allow worries and cynicism to blind us to the needs of the poor among us. Let us behold the Risen Jesus in every needy person and see a neighbor, a brother or sister.

Ed Gerlock Photos edgerlock@yahoo.com.ph

Contributed: Ed Gerlock Photos edgerlock@yahoo.com.ph

I pray that this Easter we may promptly respond to the Risen Lord’s greeting, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21). Let us go to all the corners of our country as missionaries of peace.

Manila,NJ Viehland

Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila        NJ Viehland Photos

+ Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle 

Archbishop of Manila

Gov’t-Communist Party Christmas ceasefire “welcome” but… – peace advocates

Star hangs in Vietnam diocesan complex hosting FABC assembly

Vietnam diocesan complex, Xuan Loc, Vietnam / NJ Viehland Photos

 

STATEMENT ON CHRISTMAS CEASEFIRE 2014

December 20, 2014

May the Christmas ceasefire bring the gift of peace!

As citizens longing for lasting peace, we welcome the respective announcements by the Government and by the Communist Party of the Philippines of limited ceasefires for the Christmas period that covers the Papal Visit. We pray that there will be good will and effective compliance by the parties.

Indeed the visit of Pope Francis is an important event for many Filipinos that we hope will inspire them to live humbly and justly, to serve others and respect all creation.

We also urge the parties to consider the possibility of a humanitarian pause beyond the Papal visit, to give respite to victims of humanitarian disasters in different parts of the country, and to encourage the country as a whole to refocus thoughts on healing and on rebuilding vulnerable communities.

Our sincere wish is that this interval from armed confrontations can build confidence for the resumption for formal peace negotiations between the GPH and the NDFP at the soonest time, towards the forging of a just and enduring peace.

We believe that the peace negotiations will be sustained and less fragile if priority will be given to improving the situation of human rights, particularly of communities in conflict areas including those of indigenous peoples. Far too many indigenous people continue to become victims of extra-legal killings, harassment and other human rights violations.

The peace negotiations should be boosted by more concrete socio-economic reform efforts that make a difference in the lives of rural and urban poor communities. Electoral and political reforms must also be undertaken to ensure meaningful participation of people and the practice of good governance.

The public constituency will broaden around peace negotiations that can provide safety and security to communities by effectively reducing the violence on the ground. 

As citizen peace advocates, we commit to do our part by renewing and re-energizing our engagement with the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations. We will try to bring timely inputs of more stakeholders to the peace table. We will create other tables so that more voices of those directly affected by the protracted conflict can be heard.

Again, we are truly thankful to the Government and to the Communist Party of the Philippines for the gift of a Christmas ceasefire. May it establish a good beginning, a season of peace and grace in the New Year!

Signatories:

Center for Peace Education – Miriam College * Generation Peace Youth Network * GZO Peace Institute * Initiatives for International Dialogue * Koalisyon ng Mamamayan para sa Reporma *Pax Christi Institute *Philippine Council for Peace and Global Education * Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. * Waging Peace Philippines

Manila, screen shot

Manila, screen shot

Government announces unilateral ceasefire on holidays, Pope Francis visit

Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Dec. 15 announced a month-long unilateral truce with the communist New People’s Army, as it usually did during the Christmas and New Year’s season.

Key points of the ceasefire:

* starts midnight of Dec. 18 and will last until the midnight of Jan. 19.

* recommended by the military, concurred by the Philippine National Police, endorsed by the Department of National Defense to Malacanang, approved by President Benigno Aquino III
* Longer than usual truce lasts until Jan. 15 in keeping with the agreement reached by government and communist negotiators during a meeting in Netherlands.
* Authorities will continue serving arrest warrants against NPA rebels during the truce period. They said they are liable to courts that issued the warrants of arrest. – Catapang
*Military operations against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters will continue during the holiday season – Catapang
PEPP photo release

PEPP photo release

Ceasefire Declaration for traditional holidays, Communist Party of the Philippines anniversary, Pope Francis’ visit
By CPP Central Committee
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) hereby issues this ceasefire declaration to all commands and units of the New People’s Army (NPA) and people’s militia to take effect during the following periods:
12:01 am of December 24, 2014 to 11:59 pm of December 26, 2014;
12:01 am of December 31, 2014 to 11:59 pm of January 1, 2015; and
12:01 am of January 15, 2015 to 11:59 pm of January 19, 2015
During the aforementioned days, all units of the New People’s Army and people’s militia are ordered to desist from carrying out offensive operations against units and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the various armed paramilitary groups attached to the Government of the Philippines (GPH).
This declaration is being issued in solidarity with the Filipino people in their observance of traditional holidays which coincides with the CPP anniversary celebrations on December 26.
This ceasefire declaration is also being issued in deference to the upcoming visit of Roman Catholic patriarch Pope Francis which the Filipino people look forward to as an opportunity for religious celebration and to raise outstanding issues …
 
[The full text of the CPP announcement was posted on the website of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines information office.]

Secularism and fundamentalism demean religious heroism – Sri Lanka cardinal at UNESCO

 

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka, addressing guests at the May 21 kick-off of events commemorating the birthday of Buddha in France said he was delighted to be the cardinal in a country where 74 percent of the population is Buddhist.

There are also about 1.2 million Catholics among Sri Lanka’s population today (about 6 percent), and there are Hindu and Muslim minorities. 


Cardinal Ranjith described relations of Sri Lanka’s people of different faiths as “a long standing amity.” However, secularism and fundamentalism “demean the supreme value of religious heroism which can help humanity to achieve true nobility, freedom from self and unity,” the cardinal said at the celebration of the festival called Vesak.

The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka faces the challenge to work towards national reconciliation and peace after a 26 year war with ethnic Tamil people ended in 2009 with accusations of human rights violations by both sides leaving tens of thousands of civilians dead.

Cardinal Ranjith who is president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka was among “distinguished” guests at the inauguration organized by the Permanent Delegation of Sri Lanka to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  (UNESCO) and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in France to commemorate Vesak at UNESCO in Paris. 

Sri Lanka First Lady Shiranthi Wickramasinghe Rajapaksa also addressed the gathering centered on the theme “Interfaith and Intercultural Awareness towards Peace.” Guests included a delegation of government officials, Buddhist leaders and priests from around the world.

To read the full report, view photos click First Lady inaugurates series of events to mark Vesak at UNESCO

 

Cardinal Quevedo, Man of Peace in Muslim Mindanao – ARMM Tribute

BY: OLIVER ROSS V. RIVERA
Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo appeals for people to collaborate to fight prejudice and work together for the success of peace efforts in Mindanao during his homily for the March 11, 2014 thanksgiving Mass at Immaculate Conception Cathedral for his 75th birthday and Pope Francis' creation of Quevedo as cardinal last Feb. 22. By NJ Viehland

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo appeals for people to collaborate to fight prejudice and work together for the success of peace efforts in Mindanao during his homily for the March 11, 2014 thanksgiving Mass at Immaculate Conception Cathedral for his 75th birthday and Pope Francis’ creation of Quevedo as cardinal last Feb. 22. By NJ Viehland

COTABATO CITY,  March 26 (PIA)  The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) paid tribute to Orlando Cardinal Quevedo on Tuesday, hailing the first-ever cardinal from Mindanao as a “Man of Peace in Muslim Mindanao” for his contribution to the advancement of peace in the region.

Cardinal Quevedo, 75, is a highly respected leader in Mindanao, largely recognized for promoting trust and understanding among its diverse population.

He is one of the 19 bishops from different countries (elevated in February) to the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis.

ARMM’s officials and employees, of different tribes and religion, convened on Tuesday to show gratitude to the Cardinal for his role in advancing peace and speaking out against injustice.

“In behalf of the ARMM, I thank you for the kindness you have given to the people of Muslim Mindanao,” Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, ARMM vice-governor, said.

He said the Cardinal is “not only a man of God but also a champion of Muslim human rights.”

Celebrating with Cardinal Orlando Quevedo on his 75th birthday March 11, 2014 was Bainon Karon (extreme right) former chair of the Women’s Committee of the MNLF and later Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Secretary for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. By NJ Viehland

Celebrating with Cardinal Orlando Quevedo on his 75th birthday March 11, 2014 was Bainon Karon (extreme right) former chair of the Women’s Committee of the MNLF and later Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Secretary for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. By NJ Viehland

“To you the respect of human rights is the demand of duty,” he said.

In his article “Injustice: the Root of Conflict in Mindanao”, Quevedo wrote: “Through the years I have gained some understanding of the Moro viewpoint that has significantly influenced, even altered, my Christian viewpoint. The change came not only from reading books authored by either Christian or Muslim scholars but most importantly from teaching, advising, observing, conversing, and being with Muslim students and professionals for many years, even as I accompanied my fellow Christians in their own journey through ongoing history.”

Quevedo said the answer to the injustices in Muslim Mindanao is to give justice to the Moro identity.

He said religious leaders from all sides have a major role in allowing Mindanao’s population to overcome their prejudices and biases.

Leaders from the Catholic community, the Muslim community and the indigenous community – Bishop Colin Bagaforo, Sammy Maulana and Valentin Juan, respectively – took turns to thank and give homage to the Cardinal.

Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and Auxiliary Bishop Collin Bagaforo of Cotabato concelebrate with Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in thanksgiving for the cardinal's 75th birthday on March 11, 2014 and his induction into the College of Cardinals in Rome on Feb. 22. NJ Viehland Photos

Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and Auxiliary Bishop Collin Bagaforo of Cotabato concelebrate with Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in thanksgiving for the cardinal’s 75th birthday on March 11, 2014 and his induction into the College of Cardinals in Rome on Feb. 22. NJ Viehland Photos

 

Lucman said the Cardinal’s “words as a man of peace will not end here” and will once again be called upon with the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) this Thursday.

“Your voice will once again be the resounding voice of peace and unity,” he said.

(ORVRivera-PIA12/Bureau of Public Information-ARMM)
– media release from government’s Philippine News Agency  http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=2411395805914#sthash.SCyIJdyg.dpu

Cardinal Tagle’s New Year Message Stresses Value of Peace for a Better Future

N. J. Viehland

MANILA – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle in his New Year Message for 2013 highlighted the importance of peace in working for a better future for the world.

Cardinal Tagle stressed that peace is the gift of God who created all things and willed that all creatures live in harmony with one another. The cardinal, however, reminded the faithful that building peace and harmony is a mission that all are called to contribute to by working for the interest of the common good.

Following is the full text of Cardinal Tagle’s message emailed to journalists by Manila Archdiocese’s office of communication:

NEW YEAR MESSAGE 2013 

We thank the God of history for leading us to 2013. It may not be known by many that the beginning of a new civil year is also the celebration of the World Day of Peace. The New Year is an appropriate time to reawaken our desire for a better future, for new beginnings, and for a world that could afford us the achievement of our dreams. But all this could be fulfilled only in peace and through peace.

For us Christians, peace is primarily God’s gift. God created everything in love and willed that diverse creatures live in harmony with one another. When sin disrupted the concord enjoyed by human beings with God, with each other and with creation, God relentlessly pursued His design for universal peace, culminating in the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. “He is our peace, he who…broke down the dividing wall of enmity through his flesh” (Eph. 2:14). Through the Holy Spirit, we are constantly recreated in Christ’s peace.

Representatives of various religions pray for peace at Quezon Memorial Circle. N. J. Viehland Photo

Representatives of various religions pray for peace at Quezon Memorial Circle. N. J. Viehland Photo

We thank God for opening for us the door to peace. But we have the responsibility to enter that door. God’s is the gift, ours is the mission of building peace. I share the dream of all Filipinos for peace and harmony in all aspects of our lives. We know, however, that peace can only be promoted by peacemakers, by people whose minds, consciences, attitudes and styles of life are devoid of self-interest. Peacemakers seek the common good. Peacemakers spread honesty, respect and friendship. I repeat the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI, “to say no to revenge, to recognize injustices, to accept apologies without looking for them, and finally to forgive.”

Let us all pray for the peace that only God can give. And let us live as true peacemakers. Then 2013 will be a peaceful year.

+ LUIS ANTONIO G. CARDINAL TAGLE

Archbishop of Manila