Dominus Est!

The Church in the Philippines has another reason to rejoice.

After the canonization of Saint Pedro Calungsod, the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI in his weekly General Audience came as a surprise when he revealed that there will be six new Cardinals for the Church, all of whom are not from Europe.

One of the six is Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, lovingly called “Chito” by those who have worked with him.


While we see that this is a gift for the Philippine Church at large, Tagle’s appointment as Cardinal came sooner than expected.

Manila Archbishop-Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales was given the red hat in 2006, three years after his election as archbishop. Cebu Archbishop-Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal received his in 1985, two years after he was installed.

Tagle, only installed as Manila archbishop in December of last year, became cardinal in less than 12 months.

The good archbishop’s affiliation with Benedict is very apparent. When the former received his pallium, that thin garment with six crosses worn by metropolitan archbishops in Masses within their archdioceses, the two spoke for the longest time. My friends from the Ave Maria online community also noticed this as we were running our coverage for the reception of the pallium months ago.

Tagle, still a priest by then, and the erstwhile-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger worked together in the International Theological Commission, that body of the world’s brightest theologians who meet a week in a year to discuss the most pressing questions regarding the Catholic faith.

I will not be surprised though if he will be named to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the rod of Catholic doctrine in the Vatican, and with Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas named to Manila.

Granting that Tagle has been named Cardinal, fears have sparked regarding the Pope’s health. This appointment of new cardinals is the second this year. Last February, four Italians have been raised to the cardinalate, raising their number of cardinal-electors to 30. With this development, how wide are Tagle’s chances in ascending to the See of Peter in the event of a conclave?

Nothing is impossible. In fact, John Allen, a journalist for the US-based National Catholic Reporter, said that Tagle may be a papabile. Allen goes on to cite instances in Tagle’s life as bishop of Imus, where he rode the bus to work and took the pedicab to celebrate Mass for a barrio having its fiesta.

He might be another silent contender in the papacy (Jaime Cardinal Sin was also seen as a Papal contender due to his role in the 1986 Edsa Revolution). We’ve already seen John Paul II as pope from 1978-2005. No one ever expected him to be elected; yet, the Holy Spirit rained down on the Cardinals and inspired them to choose the now-beatified pope.

In this Year of Faith, while we still hover over these questions in the days to come, we could not but say “Dominus est.” It is the Lord.


Happy Birthday, Your Holiness!

Exactly 85 years ago in 1927, Joseph Alois Ratzinger was born in Bavaria.

Ordained priest on the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29) in 1951, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich-Fresing on March 24, 1977. Ratzinger was ordained later as bishop on May 28, 1977. He became a cardinal a month later in Rome.

Ratzinger was a professor of theology at Regensburg and other universities and is highly regarded for his writings.

In 1981 he became Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and Dean of the College of Cardinals in 2002. During these years

During the death of Blessed John Paul II Ratzinger played an important role in the day-to-day operations of the Holy See, including the celebration of the funeral mass of the late pope with whom he also had a special friendship.

In a seemingly expected turn of events, Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, became the 265th pope in the unbroken list of Pontiffs on April 19, 2005, three days after his 78th birthday. He received the pallium on April 24 and took possession of his cathedra at the Lateran on May 7, 2005.

On Thursday he will celebrate his seventh year as Pope. Let us pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

Long live the Pope!

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI

The Roman Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, waving to the waiting crowd at Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican after his election as Pope on April 19, 2005, three days after his 78th birthday.

Jose Tomas Cardinal Sanchez, 1920-2012

While I was at ABS-CBN Cebu today, one of our brothers Lance Nicole Catacutan called me up and informed me of this sad news. Jose Tomas Cardinal Sanchez died in Manila today at 5:00 a.m. He was a week short of his 92nd birthday.

Here’s the item from GMA News:

A retired Filipino cardinal who served in a key post of the Holy See died in Manila before dawn Friday, one week before he was to turn 92.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines spokesman Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III said Jose Cardinal Sanchez died at 5 a.m. in Metro Manila.
Pumanaw ang butihing cardinal mga 5 a.m., ngayong umaga siya pumanaw,” Quitorio said in an interview on dzBB radio.
Quitorio said Sanchez retired as bishop 10 years ago at the age of 80 but spent time in Rome before returning to the Philippines.
He said Sanchez had been appointed to head a department of the Vatican but had since retired.
Siya ay nakadestino bilang head ng department sa Vatican. Nang nag-retire siya, nag-stay siya sa Roma at bumalik sa Pilipinas,” Quitorio said.
For now, Quitorio said plans are still being finalized for Sanchez’s burial.
The website said Sanchez was born on March 17, 1920 and became a priest of Sorsogon on May 12, 1946.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Caceres (Nueva Caceres), and appointed bishop of Lesvi. He was ordainted titular bishop of Lesvi on May 12, 1968, the same website said.
Sanchez became co-adjutory bishop of Lucena on Dec. 13, 1971 and became Lucena bishop Sept. 25, 1976. He became archbishop of Nueva Segovia on Jan. 12, 1982.
On Oct. 30, 1985, he was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Vatican, resigning as Nueva Segovia Archbishop on March 22, 1986.
He was elevated to cardinal on June 28, 1991 and was appointed Cardinal-Deacon on S. Pio V a Villa Carpegna on the same day.
He was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, and appointed president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See on July 1, 1991.
Sanchez retired as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy on June 15, 1996. He was appointed Cardinal-Priest of S. Pio V a Villa Carpegna on Feb. 26, 2002.


With the death of Cardinal Sanchez, does this mean that we will have new Filipino cardinals? If we look at the circumstances now, Archbishops Luis Antonio Tagle and Jose Palma of Manila and Cebu, respectively, are ordinaries of cardinalatial sees. Remember, their predecessors are cardinals, and most likely Pope  Benedict XVI may create them cardinals.

However, their predecessors are still alive, which makes the possibility for them to be cardinals actually remote at this time.

Should Tagle be appointed cardinal however, he may actually even be appointed to the Roman Curia, considering his credentials as former member of the International Theological Commission during the presidency of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. This development may bring back Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop Socrates Villegas to Manila as its new leader.

Palma, on the other hand, may still remain a strong voice in the Philippine Church especially in his stint as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. He may be appointed Cardinal in due time.

As to when they may be created cardinals, one thing is for sure: it is the Pope who calls the shots.


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Spectacles of History

Tuod man, the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona has come underway for two days already. For those actually interested to see some kind of a spectacle in Philippine history, the coverage of several news stations and sometimes mainstream stations starts at 1:00 p.m, an hour before the actual schedule of the trial at the Senate.

This is history as Corona is actually the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who faces trial in the Senate for culpable violation of the Constitution, and betrayal of public trust. Eight articles of impeachment have been transmitted to the Senate and these will form the bases of the trial.

This is worth watching because the results may spell a lot of difference in what President Aquino calls the daang matuwid, a big step in Aquino’s game plan of going after former president Gloria Arroyo who appointed Corona as chief justice just right after the 2010 elections.

This will definitely go the stretch as Corona wants to cling on to his post to death, something he affirmed today at a gathering in the Supreme Court yesterday with banners screaming “Uphold the Rule of Law, not the Rule of Yellow,” in an apparent attack against President Aquino. That should cost the Senate millions of pesos which could have been spent for other important legislation.

As they say, let’s see the scattered. 


I have already bought a new Ordo for the liturgical year 2012. Though it is considered late already since the liturgical year of the catholic Church has stared last November 27 or the First Sunday of Advent, I still consider it a lovely gift for me as I bought it with my own money. The last time I bought one was in 2009 when I still had to rely on my mother’s salary to be able to buy it for more than a hundred pesos.

This should be a great help to me in my activities concerning spiritual life. This can also be a guide when I give out my small talks to the lectors of Don Bosco Lawaan whenever I get the chance to see them before work, or after work (depending on my schedule; remember a call center agent like me can never tell what his schedule will be within two weeks primarily because he/she has shifting schedules, and it is a part of his/her job to just endure that one, even if it means waking up at night and sleeping at midday until mid-afternoon).


As you read this, please pray for me as we end transition on Saturday midnight, and this will greatly affect my employment status in one of those contact centers in Cebu.


Finally, before deciding to write this post, I had a chance to speak with Rachell Lisondra, a friend from the same university where I obtained my degree in Mass Communication. I hope she is doing well now as she promised to drop by and read this post.

Until next time.

Who's crying now?


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