CFD Manila eyes ‘balance’ between knowledge, faith

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MANILA, Nov. 16, 2014—His group’s status finally becoming official, the newly elected head of the Catholic Faith Defenders (CFD) Manila vows to make his leadership a model of balance and sobriety in defence of the faith.

In a recent interview, Robertson T. Poblete told CBCPNews that as CFD Manila’s first ever president, his approach to apologetics aims to strike a balance between knowledge and spirituality.

John Vincent Suan, CFD Manila secretary and Robertson T. Poblete, CFD Manila president with then Manila Auxiliary Bishop, now Infanta Bishop Bernardino Cortez (Photo: CFD Manila)

Effective evangelizers

“There will be a golden mean between knowledge and spirituality, as well as between apologetics and evangelization,” he said.

Poblete shared he will work, not only towards making CFD members capable of responding to false anti-Catholic accusations, but more importantly, making effective evangelizers who can invite others back to Christ and the Church He founded.

“I intend to lead CFD Manila to a path that upholds the faith in such a way that is not damaging to that same faith,” he explained.

Poblete expressed regrets that there are well-meaning Catholic apologists who, while firm in defending Catholicism, unconsciously cause more harm to the faith they are supposed to defend due to their less-than-charitable style.

In order to reverse this, the president stresses the formation of CFD Manila members both doctrinally and spiritually.

“It’s important that CFD Manila members are not only knowleagable apologists who are able to explain the faith, but more so, ones who are mature spiritually,” he added.

Allegiance to the Church

According to Poblete, his group takes pride in having some of the Philippines’ top Catholic apologists helping in their formation: lawyer Marwil N. Llasos of the Company of Saint Dominic (CSD), Fr. John Barro, and Fr. Carlos V. Reyes, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue (ECID).

CFD Manila was formally received into the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) family Sunday, Nov. 9, the “Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran” at Villa San Miguel, Mandaluyong City.

It had earlier been granted archdiocesan approval by then RCAM Auxilliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez who heads the Council on Formation.

Reyes stated CFD Manila’s accreditation presupposes its allegiance to Rome, the local Church and its Ordinary.

“The accreditation and the rite of welcome would not have been possible without it. Furthermore, the accreditation means that CFD Manila enjoys ecclesiastical approval and mandate which derives from the proper ecclesial authority, RCAM, the only authority in the Archdiocese that is able to grant such approval and mandate, after a thorough, exhaustive and expert study of the CFD’s current leadership and orientation,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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