Archive for January, 2014

An ongoing measles outbreak in the Philippines has prompted an urgent reminder for people traveling to the Philippines to check they and their children are fully immunized for measles before their departure. (more…)

Being a layperson, this is not an easy topic for me to discuss. I know too that some members of the clergy may raise their eyebrows when they come to read this article. My only claim to having the ability to write about concupiscence and the vow of celibacy are several years of training in religion and theology as provided by the Jesuits. So here goes. . .

Concupiscence is a strong urge to engage in sexual activity. It is an urge inherent in every human being. It is a gift from God. “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea. . .” (Genesis 1:28)

But man must be able to control this urge, lest we become no better than dogs submitting to this appetite in any street. That is precisely why we have laws against rape and other forms of sexual assault.

For many years now, we have read about paedophile priests; members of the clergy having illicit relationships with the laity; of priests getting married and having children. Many have indeed succumbed to concupiscence, causing the number of priests to decline.

But we must be reminded that celibacy for Catholic priests is not a demand, but a voluntary promise.

” Celibacy (from Latin, cælibatus) is a state of being unmarried and sexually abstinent, usually in association with the role of a  religious official or devotee.” (wikipedia)

Celibacy for Catholic priests is something in which they are very clearly instructed prior to ordination. They are given instruction in the meaning and value of choosing to remain celibate for the sake of their ministry. Prior to ordination they may choose to move out and leave the seminary. There are many points at which a candidate for priesthood may “turn back” as it were. Many have actually left before getting ordained.

Once a decision is made to accept ordination, the priest becomes an “alter Christus” — a Latin phrase that means, “another Christ.” His spouse, then, becomes the Church. His body, then, and his chastity in his chosen state of life requires celibacy. Freely chosen, it allows the priest to love more deeply than would otherwise have been the case.

But going back to the history of the Catholic Church, we discover that celibacy was not originally a requirement. Many of the 12 apostles were married and probably had children.

For many centuries, priests were not bound to be celibate. There have been many married priests, bishops and popes. Eleven popes were themselves the sons of popes or clerics. Celibacy has been imposed progressively.

Why were priests required to take the vow of celibacy?

An important evolution came about in the 12th century. Priests and bishops lived on the revenue from taxes on land owned by the Church. The Church, however, wanted to separate itself from the principle of giving its assets away to descendants. It was becoming impoverished. The church therefore wanted to keep the land and other assets in order to retain political power.

But many of the bishops and priests were married. It was agreed to declare their children ‘bastards’, thus cutting off any claims to heritage. In 1123, the Council of the Lateran declared clerical marriages invalid. In the Second Council of the Lateran, in 1139, it was the turn of the bishops, nuns and monks.

This is how and why the rule of celibacy was imposed. It was by no means a question of moral concern, but simply one of patrimony. At the Council of Trent, which finished in 1563, any sexual relations had by clerics were violently condemned. To this day, celibacy is still strictly imposed on the clergy by the Catholic Church.

Should the rule of celibacy be abolished?

Maybe this should be a matter of concern during the next Vatican Council. The increasing number of violations result in the decreasing number of priests and enrolment in seminaries. We need priests to nurture our spiritual lives. They are declining in numbers and the world population is ever increasing. Why is there celibacy? The church has accumulated vast wealth. Maybe it boils down to money. — Dino Crescini

Members currently in the country but have left Tacloban can apply for loan in any of the 48 branches of Pag-IBIG. They can also transact at the OFW Center which entertains all Pag-IBIG-related transactions including housing loan application.  (more…)

It’s possible to buy a house with very little deposit, but there are a number of reasons why it makes sense to save a decent deposit before you apply for a loan.The number one benefit is that you will have access to a broader choice of home loan options from a great variety of lenders. When assessing a loan application, lenders look at factors like employment history, income, loan amount and deposit as they want to know whether you can pay back your loan on time. A higher deposit helps in the lender’s assessment of your application because it demonstrates your ability to manage and control your finances (more…)

The Netherlands, where six per cent of the population is now Muslim, is scrapping multiculturalism. (more…)