Sex and Religion

Finding Religion and Spirituality in Population, Gender, Sexuality, and Reproductive Health Advocacy in the Philippines.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI on World AIDS Campaign 2006

Pope Benedict XVI included the following reflection in observance of World AIDS Day within his general message at the Angelus Prayer and Blessing given in St. Peter's Square today, 26 November 2006 - the original is in Italian; I have supplied an unofficial English translation and will forward the official translation as soon as it is available:

"Ricorre il 1° dicembre prossimo la Giornata Mondiale contro l’AIDS. Auspico
vivamente che tale circostanza favorisca un’accresciuta responsabilità nella
cura della malattia, insieme all’impegno di evitare ogni discriminazione nei
confronti di quanti ne sono colpiti. Mentre invoco sui malati e sulle loro
famiglie il conforto del Signore, incoraggio le molteplici iniziative che la
Chiesa sostiene in tale campo. "
On this coming 01 December, World AIDS Day will once again be observed. I hope that this observance will promote increased responsibility for treating this disease, together with a commitment to avoid any discrimination toward those who are living with the disease. I also invoke the Lord's comfort on the sick and on their families, and I encourage the many
initiatives that the Church sponsors in this field. (Unofficial translation by Rev. R. Vitillo - official translation not yet available as of 26 November 2006)

Rev. Robert J. Vitillo
Special Advisor on HIV and AIDS
Caritas Internationalis
Centre Catholique International
Rue de Varembe 1
Case Postale 43
CH-1211 Geneva 20
Tel. +41 22 734 4604 (office)
Tel. +41 79 811 7983 (mobile)
Fax +41 22 734 4006 (fax)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bishop Bloggers of the Philippines

Viewpoints - By Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Archidiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan

Reflections - By Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

Dialogues - By Archbishop Fernando Capalla, Archdiocese of Davao

Pastoral Companion - By Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro

Perspectives - By Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, Archdiocese of Cotabato

The Meaning - By Bishop Jose Manguiran, Diocese of Dipolog

Tidbits - By Bishop Leonardo Medroso, Diocese of Borongan

Manila Standard By Bishop Teodoro Bacani writes a column for a national daily.

I got this list from Global Voices.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

DSWP: Empowering battered women

Every day after work, Bing leaves the office with a heavy heart, hating every step that brings her closer to home. She's eager to be with her children, but at the same time dreads seeing her husband. And his mistress, whom he has brought home to live with them.

Enduring the presence of the other woman is not the most painful part for Bing, 42. What breaks her heart is seeing how the situation affects her children.

Bing has been suffering from abuse from her husband. But no matter how many times she's been physically, verbally and emotionally abused, she can't leave. Even if she's been made into a punching bag a number of times, her injuries sometimes serious enough to land her in hospital, she stays. She helped pay for the townhouse, and her salary, if they left, won't be enough to pay the rent and support her four children, three of whom are in high school. Her husband should leave, not them. So she waits. But he won't budge.


Global Orgasm Day on December 22, 2006 Mission Statement

The mission of the Global Orgasm is to effect change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy. Now that there are two more US fleets heading for the Persian Gulf with anti- submarine equipment that can only be for use against Iran, the time to change Earth’s energy is NOW!

The intent is that the participants concentrate any thoughts during and after orgasm on peace. The combination of high- energy orgasmic energy combined with mindful intention may have a much greater effect than previous mass meditations and prayers.

Read more here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Four Gods

Most political commentaries on the recent elections in the United States focused on the victory of the liberal Democrats over the conservative Republicans. But my American friends, most of whom are, well, liberals and Democrats, have been pointing out that you can be a conservative Democrat (which many of the winners were) as well as a (sort of) liberal Republican. Which is why I thought readers might be interested in the results of a recent survey by Baylor University in Texas, where an Institute of Religion has been conducting public opinion surveys for several years now.

Baylor, incidentally, is a Baptist university. The latest survey, released in September, focused on American concepts of God, which the social scientists found to relate to political views as well.

Let's get a big picture first of the four concepts of God that came up in the surveys. As we run through the concepts, you might want to think of your own notions of God.

The researchers found that 31 percent of their respondents see God as an Authoritarian God, who influences global as well as personal events and is often angry. Not surprisingly, these are the ones who also tend to believe in the death penalty, who support the war in Iraq.

By Dr. Michael L. Tan. Published on Page A15 of the November 15, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Read more...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Millenium Development Goals 2015

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight (8) goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world's main development challenges. The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations-and signed by 147 heads of state and governments (including the Philippines) during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.

The 8 MDGs break down into 18 quantifiable targets that are measured by 48 indicators. Click here for a full list of Goals, Targets and Indicators
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

Read more at RH Media Alliance Blog.

(Thanks to Kabandanang Russ)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Roman Inquisition

For a thousand years the Catholic Church has been a refuge for gay men. Now Pope Benedict hopes to "purify" his priesthood.

JoAnn Wypijewski
November/December 2005 Issue

Unlike some Catholics of a certain age, who moan that the sex abuse scandal that burst onto the front pages almost four years ago shattered their faith in the presumed purity of priests, I didn't grow up with the notion of priests as saints. Those in my acquaintance ate too much, smoked like stacks, bet on horses, and earned our allegiance, or didn't, by the quality of their hearts. Saints, in any case, were dead, and I was vaguely aware of my own childish hubris in aspiring to be one. It was much later that I realized many of the saints weren't even saints, in the colloquial sense of the word.

Read more here.

Posted by Karol

Thursday, November 02, 2006

For this priest, sex ‘a good thing,’ Church made it ‘bad’

By Vincent Cabreza
Last updated 07:04am (Mla time) 10/25/2006

Published on page A4 of the October 23, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

BAGUIO CITY -- There are a handful of Catholic priests in the Philippines who will tell you sex is a “good thing.” A few will even admit it’s the Church’s fault for making sex “a bad thing.”

Teachers and pastors here met one of these outspoken priests last week during a training retreat sponsored by the Institute of Women’s Studies that was devoted to gender sensitivity.

Read more here.

Shared by:
Russel Aleta, PNGOC
RGS Kabandana Batch

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Making HIV Prevention Work -- TAC magazine 'Equal Treatment'

In recent years many treatment activists and organizations have been speaking up about the need to accelerate and scale up HIV prevention efforts alongside treatment scale up. Attached is a link to the November newsletter of the Treatment Action Campaign "Equal Treatment" which focuses on HIV prevention. This newsletter is a good example of an advocacy tool that can be produced at relatively low cost, is context - specific, and simple, clear and direct in its messaging.

This newsletter is very well produced and forcefully presents the arguments for scaling up HIV prevention programmes and what needs to be done within the South African context. It presents the key issues in a simple but engaging manner. The newsletter has put forward a human face to HIV prevention efforts with clear evidence and data.

Please feel free to use this publication as appropriate in your advocacy efforts. We would also welcome your suggestions on how we can produce similar publications and encourage country level efforts of this nature.

With best wishes

Purnima Mane
Director, Policy Evidence and Partnerships