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July 30, 2008

My dear brethren in Christ,

Peace be with you all. It has been one year since the split in CFC. The pain still lingers. The challenges still are formidable. But we have been given a second chance. God has raised a remnant. We need to see God’s hand in order to respond properly.

From the beginning, God’s plan for CFC was to focus on family life and evangelization. This was, and is, our charism. The family has been under severe attack, and the darkness of evil has spread throughout the whole world. God raised CFC in 1981 to defend the family and to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus to the whole world.

The first crisis was in 1993, when CFC separated from its parent community. This was because its parent basically opposed the growingly clear call to CFC to do rapid, massive and global evangelization. With the split, CFC grew rapidly and touched the lives of very many people of many different nationalities in many countries. The 1990s were golden years for the evangelistic work of CFC.

The next crisis was last year in 2007. CFC in the last few years had been veering away from its authentic call. There came a greater focus on the social dimension of our work, at the expense of proclaiming Christ and evangelization. There was even opposition to the Church, manifested in violation of Catholic values, disrespect and disobedience to bishops, and later even outright attacks on the hierarchy.

At the start of 2007 the Lord brought us to Lamentations in order to set us aright. But there were those who saw no need to lament, and those who quickly wanted to get over with Lamentations and back to business as usual. We did not learn the intended lessons. The bishops had earlier on warned about impending crisis. They were not heeded. Even our efforts at restoration from within were not heeded. The crisis intensified, ultimately resulting in a split in CFC.

But the Lord once again was at work. Last year we prayed, “Lead us back to you, O Lord, that we may be restored: give us anew such days as we had of old.” (Lam 5:21). God heard our prayers. God raised a remnant. God restored us to the authentic charism and call for CFC. And God once again intends to use us for His own purposes, to proclaim Christ to the world. “At that time I will bring you home, and at that time I will gather you; for I will give you renown and praise, among all the peoples of the earth, when I bring about your restoration before your very eyes, says the Lord.” (Zep 3:20).

Now we must be mindful that the enemy continues to seek to destroy God’s authentic work. God has His plan, and the enemy opposes it. Thus we are into deep spiritual warfare.

As Paul reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, then we need to put on the armor of God. Crucial are truth and righteousness (Eph 6:14). We must always speak the truth, and it is the truth that sets people free. But we speak the truth in a loving way, not judgmental, not maligning, not attacking, not slandering. We bear insults and oppression without retaliation. We pray for those who malign and oppose us.

Amidst all these, we simply continue on with our evangelistic work. We proclaim the gospel of peace (Eph 6:15). We move on, as much time and energy are being wasted because of the crisis.

As we are back on track, we can look to the restoration of God’s anointing, for after all this is His work, and we are merely His unworthy instruments. To allow Him to use us according to His purposes, we need to live our covenant. That means growing in holiness, and giving of ourselves in selfless service. And let us always look to our Core Values as our guideposts, so that we will never again veer away.

I know many still feel the pain of separation, and continue to have the hope for healing and reconciliation. We have done our part, by treating our separated brethren with love and still as brethren. We also have our standing proposal of having one big CFC family but with two distinct branches. These can pave the way to eventual reconciliation and unity.

But we must no longer be distracted from our mission. There is much to be done. Let us therefore keep ourselves focused on Christ, and proclaim Him to the world with a passion.

We continue to pray for the intercession of our Blessed Mother.

May our Lord bless and protect you all, and fill your hearts always with peace and joy.

Your brother in Christ,

Frank Padilla

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An Open Letter to CFC Worldwide - July 30, 2008 [PDF]
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