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Asia’s oldest Catholic magazine marks 50 years

MANILA, Dec. 3, 2016 – A Catholic publication that has lived through Vietnam War, the collapse of the USSR, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and martial law in the Philippines marks its 50th anniversary this year.

“Through thick and thin, IMPACT Magazine has been zealous in pursuing the development of perspectives on social issues not only within the confines of the Catholic Church but also in other Asian religions,” said Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III, Impact’s current editor in chief in the magazine’s special anniversary issue.

Dedicated to the magazine’s editor of 38 years, from 1965 to 2004, Fr. Cornelius Breed, Impact’s golden anniversary issue continues to pursue the vision of presenting pressing socio-political, moral and religious issues in Asia – from poverty, land security, health and population to labor and war.

Spiritual and physical

According to Antonio L. Ledesma, Impact is a testament to the Church’s belief that the physical, economic, and socio-political cannot be divorced from the moral and the spiritual.

In his foreword to Fr. Breed’s compilation of Impact editorials, Ledesma notes, “To read these editorials as mere essays dealing with agriculture, development, population and human rights is to miss their essential meaning. For these editorials have a unifying framework—the conviction that the spiritual flows over the material, so that the material and the earthly take on a spiritual and heavenly content.”

The advocacy magazine that focuses on socio-political issues in Asia was conceived in August 1965 during the Priests’ Institute for Social Action (PISA) in Hong Kong. It was only the following year, 1966, that the first issue of the newsletter called Impact came out.

Subscriptions

Since then, Breed, a Mill Hill Missionary who was ordained a Catholic priest in London, studied doctorate in Canon Law in Rome, and took parish work in Antique in Western Visayas, continued to run the monthly magazine until he had to let go of editorial duties due to failing health in February 2005. The following month, Quitorio of the CBCP Media Office took over as editor in chief of Impact.

Inquiries about Impact magazine subscriptions may be made through the Areopagus Facebook page.

The magazine is sold at Php 70.00 each. (CBCPNews)

Schools should give knowledge, not condoms — Church execs  

MANILA, Dec. 3, 2016— Church officials are opposing a government “safe sex drive” in schools, arguing that students should be given knowledge, not condoms.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the bishops’ public affairs committee, branded the campaign as nothing but a “waste” of taxpayers’ money.

“Distributing condoms will only condone sexual activity among students,” said Secillano, who is also the parish priest of the Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish in the city’s Sampaloc district.

The Health department plans to distribute condoms in public high schools, supposedly to address the increasing number of HIV cases among the youth in recent years.

Health authorities have also expressed concern over the increasing number of teenage pregnancies, and are considering sex education for students between the ages of 15 to 24.

Secillano recognized there is a need to address the problem but urged the government to use a cultural and values-based approach for HIV/AIDS prevention.

“The government should invest more in educating people about the perils of ‘sporadic sexual activity’ than procuring and distributing condoms,” stressed the priest.

For his part, Fr. Conegundo Garganta of the CBCP’s youth ministry said thorough discussion is needed on whether or not condoms should be distributed in schools.

“The Church has to continue with its mandate to educate and form people about the dignity of every person and continue to promote understanding [of] the Theology of the Body,” he said, mentioning a series of teachings of St. John Paul II on human love, what it means to be human, sex, and marriage. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)