My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
May this letter find you in the peace, hope and joy
of our Lord.
Last June 10 I wrote you an open letter regarding the
deep crisis and internal conflict in our beloved community.
Since that time, and in the intervening period, the
crisis has deepened.
Last June 17, I wrote you saying that the ad hoc group
working to resolve the conflict had come to an agreement
which I looked to as leading to healing and reconciliation.
The bishops were happy with that. We all were. Alas,
our joy was short-lived. The agreement was not adhered
to and was not implemented.
Since that time, you have once again received letters/emails/texts
from different sides of the conflict, resulting in confusion
and dismay. You are wondering what really is the truth.
You certainly must be apprehensive about where our community
is going. Some have even reached the point of deciding
to leave our community.
One of our beloved bishops has poignantly articulated
what many of us feel: “I grieve. It feels like
the CFC I have known for the past 22 years of my priesthood
CFC is in deep crisis, because CFC has lost
its way and is in danger of straying away from its very
mission, and even away from the Church of which it is
What is the problem?
Here is how I see it.
(1) The former Council (of 4) did not heed the bishops’
strong recommendations about not holding regular elections
in the midst of intense conflict, and their action has
now endangered our status and official recognition within
(2) There is intensifying tension regarding the place
of GK in the life and mission of CFC, and the continuing
shift in GK focus to the social away from the spiritual.
(3) The former Council of 4, who are now part of the
newly-elected Council, remains at the center of the
deep conflicts and divisions among leaders, and have
conducted themselves in ways that intensify such conflict
and division, rather than being catalysts for healing,
reconciliation, peace and unity.
We are now seeing our top leaders acting in
heretofore unheard of ways.
(1) Resorting to legalism rather than the law of love.
(2) Failing to live out our pastoral processes and ways,
such as dialogue, loyalty, brotherhood, avoiding slander,
not maligning others, not telling untruths.
(3) Turning their backs on the wisdom and guidance of
the pastors of the Church, thus in effect going against
(4) Some no longer having the proclamation of Jesus
as the Number One priority in their work.
Have we begun with the Spirit only to end with the flesh?
Have we allowed the enemy to blind us so that many are
now the enemy within?
What needs to happen?
The purity and original intent of God for the life and
mission of CFC is being lost. And what needs to happen
is simple: we must be led back to God, restored to the
fullness of our covenant, and given back the pure and
original CFC (Lam 5:21).
When we separated from our mother community, Ang Ligaya
ng Panginoon, in April 1993, we adopted our thrust:
global, wholistic, Catholic. This meant:
(1) We would do rapid, massive and global evangelization,
and would be a ministry not just for Filipinos but for
the universal Church.
(2) We would have a womb-to-tomb family life renewal
ministry, providing a support environment for every
member of the family.
(3) We would be a fully Catholic community, submitted
to Mother Church, though open to having Christians of
But what are we seeing now? How has our thrust been
(1) The focus more and more is shifting to GK, and in
this, to the whole aspect of nation building. The focus
is on the Philippines and on Filipinos abroad who can
help fund GK. As such, there is much less emphasis on
aggressive global evangelization, the status of our
missionaries is under threat, and our non-Filipino leaders/brethren
(2) The CFC membership is looked on by GK as just basically
a resource baseto provide warm bodies, to give
money, to act as caretakers, to lend its name and integrity.
There is no deliberate focus on evangelization by the
top GK leadership (though CFC caretakers do still evangelize).
Indeed, there is a very disturbing shift from the spiritual
to the social. There is an insistence on heroism but
not on holiness. The life and work of CFC, represented
by the other pillars, is being marginalized in favor
of a total focus of time, energy and resources on GK.
(3) The present top leadership has shown great disrespect
to the Church hierarchy, and this has resulted in disfavor.
The very status of CFC and its recognition are threatened.
If the bishops withdraw support, our evangelization
work can quickly disintegrate. The disfavor of the Philippine
bishops can adversely affect our status in other countries,
and our Vatican recognition.
So what now?
We need to return to God’s original intent for
raising CFC. We need to be true “Families in the
Holy Spirit renewing the face of the earth.” This
means a primary focus (1) on evangelization and mission,
(2) on family and life, and (3) on being intimately
connected with the Church through her pastors (bishops),
whom the Spirit uses to guide and unify us. We will
still do work with the poor, but will not be totally
absorbed by it to the detriment of our other pillars.
But the present CFC leadership, basically led by the
former Council of 4, and the leadership of GK, are bringing
us on another path, as has been seen clearly through
their words and deeds. Further, they have been the primary
cause of the hurts and disunity among us, and have not
shown any decisive move to work at healing and reconciliation.
In fact, they have continued to malign those who have
issues with them, and have been unjustly firing these
people from their services in CFC.
What then needs to happen? Last July 13, concerned CFC
members launched a movement to bring CFC back to God’s
plan. It was a movement from within CFC for being led
back to God and being restored to God’s original
intent for us (Lam 5:21a). But the CFC Council responded
negatively to this movement and intensified its attacks
on those participating in it. Today, given no more options,
we bring the restoration movement to a new dimension.
Given that there is no let-up in the deep crisis, and
our brethren are already crying out in great pain and
hopelessness, given that there seems to be no more hope
of reconciliation due to the adversarial actions of
the CFC Council, given that the enemy is succeeding
in destroying God’s work in CFC, we must take
decisive action. We must have a clear choice. Everyone
must be given the opportunity to follow his/her heart
and follow where the Spirit is leading
What does that mean?
We need to know that there are 2 realities of CFCone
is the real and true CFC, which is a spiritual body
doing pastoral work, and the other is the corporate
CFC, which is our legal personality according to the
laws of the state. The former is governed by our statutes,
as approved by the Church (Holy See), and the latter
is governed by our by-laws according to government (SEC)
rules. The latter is subordinate to the former.
The CFC Council has repeatedly insisted on the legal,
organizational and the secular, and has lost focus on
the spiritual and the pastoral. It has looked to the
SEC approved by-laws, but marginalized the Church-approved
But the true CFC is not that legal CFC. The true CFC
has been founded by God and has been given its life
and mission, and is fully a part of the Catholic Church,
submitted to its bishops. This is what we intend to
restore. The true CFC is described, as has been said,
by 3 key words: Global, wholistic, Catholic.
CFC is an evangelistic and missionary community, serving
the universal Church.
is a family life renewal movement, with womb-to-tomb
is an integral part of the life and mission of the
Roman Catholic Church.
The true CFC will continue God’s work according
to His original intent. We will focus on evangelization,
on proclaiming Christ. We will continue to strengthen
marriages and families, and fight for the culture of
life. We will work for total human liberation and development.
We also look to the Church, through our bishops. In
times of intense crisis such as we are undergoing now,
when the very top leaders are those causing conflict
and division, and even as all sides claim to pray and
look to God, our protection is the Church through her
hierarchy. The true CFC fully submits itself to the
authority of the Church. Even this current move has
been cleared with Archbp Lagdameo, Bp Reyes and Bp Villegas.
How does this work out practically?
Is this a separation/split in CFC?
It indeed is a delineation of the spiritual/pastoral
from the legal/organizational/secular. Since we see
that the present CFC Council (dominated by the former
Council of 4) has chosen the latter path, and we are
choosing the former path, then we clearly are going
separate ways. For now, that is how it is. For the future,
we can only pray that God will unite us once again.
In the true CFC, I am taking momentary responsibility
for how it is established. We will consult with elders
and others who join us in how to set up its governance.
I do not intend to hold power or position and will leave
governance to qualified brethren, of which there are
many. Indeed, servanthood for me has never been about
power or position. I ask that you trust me. I have served
God, the Church, CFC and you my brethren faithfully
for 26 years with utmost integrity. By the mercy and
grace of God, and with the help of the many like-minded
brethren with us, I will not fail you.
Please pray about your situation in CFC now, and the
deep crisis we are all in. We believe this is
the only option left to us, in order to stop the enemy
from totally destroying CFC. I encourage you
to get in touch with me if you have any questions or
inputs. We are all in this together. If you believe
in our cause, then join us in this true CFC.
us back to you, O Lord, that we may be restored:
give us anew such days as we had of old.”
will be in touch with you with further information.
Please continue to pray for me and for all those who
will choose the true CFC, as well as for our brethren
with whom we are in conflict.
God bless you all.
Your brother and servant in Christ,
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Forward #1- July 30, 2007 [PDF]