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GET UP, LET US GO! (Matthew 26:46) CBCP Post Election Statement

GET UP, LET US GO! (Matthew 26:46)

CBCP Post Election Statement

Brothers and sisters in Christ:

“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me…” (Mt. 28:18)

This is the Lord Jesus’ ultimate claim to universal kingship and dominion.  These are the words of the Ascended One, gloriously sitting at the right hand of the Father.

We wrote to you before the elections.  We write to you once more now that the elections are done.

Several critical, even spiteful, voices have asked us to desist from “interfering” in politics.  We cannot.  We do not aspire after office and we have sought none.  We do not even impose upon the Catholic faithful a set of anointed candidates.  But it would be a denial of Christ’s universal lordship were we to desist from reminding his disciples of what fidelity to him — in all things, including political life — demands.

The votes have been cast and are now being counted.

To those who have been voted to office, we assure them of our prayers, principally for wisdom, that they may discern God’s will for his people and courageously do as he bids.  God’s hand is to be recognized in the events of history.  Credit then your victory, neither to fame nor popularity, but to God who calls you to service and to care for the weakest and the most distressed in our midst.  Children need care that cannot be postponed.  And many women still find themselves in situations of exploitation.  Indigenous peoples remain marginalized and the vaunted growth in the economy still has to mean something significant for Filipinos living outside urban areas.

To those who did not succeed, you, as persons, as sons and daughters of God, are infinitely so much more than the positions after which you aspired.  Rather than becoming despondent and discouraged, you should challenge yourselves by asking how it is that the Risen Lord sends you “to make disciples of all nations“.  Surely there are so many other ways to contribute to the building of the Kingdom of God.  It is for you to discover your paths, in faith and in docility to God’s spirit.

The greatest promise the Church can offer any government is vigilant collaboration, and that offer, we make now.  We will urge our people to work with the government for the good of all, and we shall continue to be vigilant so that ever so often we may speak out to teach and to prophesy, to admonish and to correct — for this is our vocation.

Get up now let us go…

From the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, May 9, 2016

+ SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

President, CBCP

 

On the QUESTION of Kneeling or Standing After the Consecration Until After the GREAT AMEN During the Eucharistic Celebration

March 19, 2016

Your Eminences and Excellencies,

During the January 2016 112thCBCP Plenary Assembly in Cebu, there was a discussion on the issue of standing or kneeling after the consecration until after the Amen. The discussion included a question on why we do not continue kneeling after the consecration until after the Amen. After a short discussion, the Permanent Council of the CBCP was tasked to look into this issue.

So, at the March 15, 2016 meeting of the CBCP Permanent Council one of the issues discussed was this issue on the posture of standing after the consecration and to keep standing or of kneeling after the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer. This is the reason for this letter.

Before the 1990s, we can still recall that we had the established practice of kneeling after the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer.

In the 1990s the practice of standing after the consecration was begun. This change in the established practice was based on the 1990 Guidelines for the Eucharist which were approved by the CBCP in January 1990. Number 3 of the 1990 Guidelines states: “The people should kneel from the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer…. If the acclamation after the consecration is sung, the people may stand for it and keep standing.” However, in reality the practice became always standing after the consecration until the Amen.

In January 2003 at the 86th CBCP Plenary Assembly, one of the proposals that the CBCP approved to include among the Philippine Adaptations to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002was:“Proposed Philippine Adaptation: ‘In the Philippines, the people kneel after the Sanctus, rise for the memorial acclamation, and kneel after the Lamb of God.’”

In both instances, the 1990 Guidelines for the Eucharist and the proposed Philippine Adaptations to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002, no recognitio was ever received from Rome.

Specifically for the Philippine Adaptations to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002 that were submitted to Rome, no answer was ever received. Archbishop Romulo Valles, during an ad limina visit in September 2003,made a follow up at the office of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on the status the Philippine proposed adaptations.After that, until up to now we have not received a formal written reply.

In February 2016, Bishop Julius Tonel, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy, made a query with the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments about this specific proposed adaptation. In reply to his query, it was confirmed that a formal reply or recognitio had never been given.

With the above information, we sought the advice of some of our bishops knowledgeable in the Code of Canon Law. They have responded that no answer or silence from Rome means that the recognitio has not been given. Without the recognitio the CBCP does not have the authority to make or implement any such adaptation. This being the case, we have to revert to the established practice before the request.

Based on the above documented information, the Permanent Council came to the decision that we must ABANDON the practice of standing after the consecration until the Amen as we do not have the authority to make such an adaptation nor do we have the authority to implement it. We must go back to the previously established practice of kneeling after the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer.

To go back to our established practice is very much in keeping with our current General Instructions of the Roman Missal, approved by the CBCP and given the needed recognitio from Rome, published in the Philippine Edition of the Roman Missal of 2011. Number 43 states: “Where it is the practice for the people to remain kneeling after the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer …, it is laudable for this practice to be retained.”

Another way of saying this is that we go back our established practice where the people kneel beginning after the Sanctus and remain kneeling until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer knowing that this is in harmony with the present GIRM.

You are kindly requested to inform our clergy and Catholic faithful about this re statement of position and lead them, through liturgical catechesis, to deepen our reverence for the Most Blessed Sacrament. The spirit of the law is to observe greater reverence for the Real Presence.

We remind you of some lines contained in our Pastoral Exhortation to Open the 2016 Year of the Eucharist and the Family:

Kneeling is part of our Christian culture. We cannot abandon or set aside the culture of kneeling in favor of the culture that says as freemen we must face God on our feet. Bending the knee before the tabernacle in genuflection, kneeling down at the celebration of the Eucharist, kneeling down to adore the exposed Blessed Sacrament—these are little but sublime acts of adoration that we must preserve and protect.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Circular 2016-10; Festival of Families

February 6, 2016

Martyrdom of Saint Pedro Bautista and Companions

 

Circular 2016-10

RE: Festival of Families

 

My brothers and sisters in Christ:

In communion with the Catholic Church in the Philippines celebrating 2016 as the Year of the Eucharist and the Family, we shall hold a Festival of Families in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on March 13, 2016, Sunday, from one o’clock in the afternoon until eight o’clock in the evening at the Narciso Ramos Sports Complex in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

The parishes  are kindly requested to send five families to the Festival to manifest our pastoral concern for the Christian family. There is a registration fee of PhP150.00 to cover the expenses of a souvenir shirt.

I trust that you will give this ecclesial event in the Year of the Family and the Eucharist your usual inspiring support.

Sincerely yours,

 

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Circular 2016-8: Annual Retreat of Priests

January 13, 2016

Circular 2016-8

Re: Annual Retreat of Priests

Reverend Fathers:

In line with our collective decision during the monthly meeting of the clergy last January 8, we have made arrangements for a preached retreat for 2016.  There will be two batches of retreats, that is, August 22 to 26 and August 29 to September 2, 2016 at the Good Shepherd Spiritual Center in Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City. Msgr. Gerry Santos, professor of moral theology at the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary, has kindly agreed to facilitate both retreat groups.

In choosing the retreat batch that you wish to join, please confer with the priests of the parish and the neighboring parishes or schools, so that the sacramental needs of the parish may be attended to while you are on retreat.

Kindly contact the Chancery and signify the batch of your choice before March 1, 2016.

Let me take this occasion to remind you dear brothers that the Code of Canon Law imposes upon every cleric the duty to make a yearly spiritual retreat (CIC Canon 276) as one of the means to grow in piety. The annual spiritual retreat binds all of us in conscience.

Thank you. Oremus pro invicem.

Sincerely yours,

 

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

Circular 2016-6: Parish Religious Stores

January 12, 2016

Circular 2016-6

RE: Parish Religious Stores

Reverend Fathers:

The matter of parishes operating stores for religious books and devotional articles was discussed during the regular clergy meeting last January 8.  It has been noted too that there are some instances when the articles on sale are no longer related to the promotion of religious devotion and catechesis.

This practice has left a mistaken impression among the Catholic faithful that Sep 9, 2011 – the Church is engaging in business and commerce beyond its spiritual mission.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has sent some alarming signals about imposing taxes on such religious stores. Unless properly guided by our legal counsel, the maintenance of religious stores might become an entry point for the BIR to even examine the other collections and fund sources of the Catholic Church. The Church stands at risk as secularism gains ground. We choose the path of pastoral prudence.

In consideration of the foregoing, it was decided during the said clergy meeting that in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, we will not open new religious stores and close the ones that are in existence, unless such stores have submitted their records to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and have gained business licenses from the government as required by law.

This policy on religious stores will also enhance our desire to rid the parish operations of any semblance of business and commerce. It is a hard climb but we must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Sincerely yours,

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

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