back to inside FABC




 News Archive 2009

back to top

Recent FABC Documents Available



The following documents from different FABC meetings are now in full text available on our website:

1. Asian Youth Day (AYD) Final Commitment
2. FABC-OSC Bishops' Meet 09: Final Statement, and Picture Gallery
3. Newsletter: FABC-Office of Laity and Family November 2009


back to top

Roundtable on Religion and Social Communication



The Asian Research Center for Religion and Social Communication (ARC) is organizing a Roundtable for selected scholars and researchers on the relations between religions and social communication. The meeting will take place at Saint John's University in Bangkok from February 8 to 11, 2010, in cooperation with the FABC-Office of Social Communication.

"If and how religious practices are influenced and possibly moulded by communication" is one of the questions posed by the organizers in a "Rationale" for the meeting. Studies can be oriented to "the communication flow and practice within a religion which includes rituals, religious services and practices but also the communication between people and God." Do religious practices influence and possibly change the ways of communicating? Or do the communication means influence and change them?

These are just some of the points to be discussed. Interested participants are expected to present a short position, reflection or research paper to contribute to the considerations. (See Rationale)

The ARC was established in 1999 by a similar Roundtable organized by the FABC-Office of Social Communication in Bangkok. It publishes a bi-annual "Journal on Religion and Social Communication" and plans academic and research activities with people and institutions of similar concerns. ARC's study programs include all religions of Asia. For participation and further information, please contact FABC-OSC at fabc_osc@pldtdsl.net, fabcosc@gmail.com or ARC at arc@stjohn.ac.th or cnarong@stjohn.ac.th     031209

back to top

Asian Youth Day Concluded, Next in Korea


The fifth Asian Youth Day concluded with a Mass at the Rogationist College in Silang, Cavite, Philippines on Nov 28, 2009. Some 1,500 young people from the Philippines and all over Asia assembled for almost a week to share life and experiences especially in relation to the Eucharist. In the Final Statement read at the concluding celebration, the young people committed themselves to take up the challenge of Christian faith in Asia and in their respective countries: "We commit ourselves to renew, strengthen and practice our Christian faith in word and deed, prayer and service."

In the course of the study days, some 58 different workshops were offered to the participants, two of them were on "Alternative Media and the Eucharist," and "New Media, New Relations." These workshops were organized in cooperation with the FABC-Office of Social Communication and facilitated by the students of the MA Pastoral Communication program of the Graduate School of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. The participants there learned about new signs and symbols used by modern information technology, life experience and their relation to the Eucharist. A report on the workshops says: "Each one of the group experienced the sessions as time of grace and of life sharing."

Asian Youth Days are celebrated every two years since 1999, in between the World Youth Days. The next one will be celebrated in 2013 in Korea. Asian Youth Days are organized by the Youth Desk of the FABC-Office of Laity and Family in cooperation with the Youth Commissions of respective national bishops' conferences.

For more information, visit:   http://www.asianyouthday2009.com/    011209

back to top

FABC-OSC Annual Meeting on Civil Society


Some 37 bishops and secretaries for Social Communication in bishops’ conferences together with resource persons from 14 different countries celebrated this year's 14th annual "Bishops' Meet" of the FABC Office of Social Communication (OSC) in Bali, Indonesia from November 16 to 21.  

The theme " Communication in Civil Society: Ethical Challenges" was presented by specialists on human development, media, moral theology and discussed by the participants. Archbishop Claudio Ma. Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication in the Vatican, opened the assembly with a thought provoking keynote address. “The concern for truth will be a core ethical value,” the archbishop said. He proposed a dialogical approach to ethics which should be accessible to “all human beings notwithstanding their religions or ideological differences.” 


In the final statement, the participants say that the people of Asia not only experience the Asian but also the global village and are in a growing way "capable of understanding the workings of the different facets of society more comprehensively" through the modern means of communication.


Civil society uses cultural power to "build coalitions and create moral consensus," the participants noted. "Our focus is (the) communication of and in human society," which is social communication. There is a need to join hands with civil society actors and to look more at what draws us together than what separates us, they added.


The recommendations in the final statement include a call on Church leaders and local Churches to be willing and prepared for appropriate awareness and formation. They are called to create a feeling of togetherness to alleviate suffering, and to share resources. Bishops and social communication offices in bishops’ conferences are to study and respond in greater depth to the ethical and moral dimensions of modern communication culture.


“Bishops’ Meet” is the annual meeting of bishop-chairmen for social communication and national communication directors of bishops’ conferences in Asia. It is organized by the FABC-Office of Social Communication.


back to top

5th Asian Youth Day Opens


The 5th Asian Youth Day (AYD) opened officially at the Cathedral of Imus, capital of Cavite province, south of Manila, Philippines. Bishop and AYD 2009 host, Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, was main celebrant of the Opening Eucharist on November 23. AYD is organized by the Youth Desk of the FABC-Office of Laity and Family in cooperation with Imus diocese and youth offices of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The main activities of the November 20-27 event will take place at St. Anthony's Boys Village in Silang, Cavite near Tagaytay City. For details, logon to the AYD 2009 website at www.asianyouthday2009.com 231109

back to top

Final Statement of AsIPA General Assembly


The Final Statement of the Fifth AsIPA General Assembly is now available on the respective section of the FABC-Office of Laity and Family. The meeting took place in Davao, Philippines from October 20-22, 2009. 231109

View the Final Statement

back to top

go to obituary


Father Edward Malone mm, "FABC Pioneer," Passes Away

Maryknoll Father Edward Malone passed away at the Maryknoll Father's St. Theresa's Residence in New York yesterday afternoon, November 4. He was 83. Fr. Malone has served the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) as Assistant Secretary General for 33 years, from 1971 until he retired in 2004. This pioneer, who is also called FABC's "main pillar," began serving the Federation just one year after the FABC was born in 1970.


Under his leadership, eight FABC general assemblies have been organized and celebrated in different parts of Asia.  FABC Plenaries are the highest governing bodies within the FABC structure.

Fr Malone has inspired, animated and supported the different FABC offices and gave them freedom to develop pioneering programs for their apostolates.  He was responsible for setting up the FABC structure, including the drafting and ratification of the FABC statutes and by-laws.

Fr. Malone has edited and published more than 100 editions of "FABC Papers," which explore issues in theology, interreligious dialogue, social communication, the social apostolate of the Church in Asia, and laity - as they relate to FABC concerns.  He has also organized leadership seminars for bishops within the FABC structure.

As FABC assistant secretary general, Fr. Malone was conferred several honorary doctorate degrees.

He taught dogmatic theology and ecumenism for 17 years at the former Maryknoll Seminary in the United States, after his priestly ordination in 1952.  He moved to Hong Kong in 1971 and was made assistant secretary general of the FABC.  He also served as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Parish in the Chai Wan Mission. 051109

Fr. Edward Malone, mm Remembered

Life and Works of Fr. Edward Malone, mm

back to top

Symposium on Today's Culture and Religious Life


The FABC Office of Consecrated Life will organize its second symposium entitled "The Impact of Today's Culture on Religious Life in Asia" at the Salesian Renewal Center, Hua Hin, Thailand from November 16-21, 2009.  Delegates representing religious congregations and religious formators from 17 different Asian countries are expected to attend.  For details, contact the FABC-OCL c/o Sr. Mary Walter Santer, osu at oclfabc@gmail.com 291009

back to top

Asia Youth Day Video


A video to invite and inform about the upcoming activities of the 5th Asian Youth Day has been released under the title "Yasia Fiesta" by the local organizers.  The video presents the theme song and gives a short background of Asian Youth Days since 1999, when it was introduced and organized by the Youth Desk of the FABC Office of Laity and Family.

The video shows the dances and Filipino environment with a national sense of celebration and joy despite the hardships of life.  The Bishop of the host diocese of Imus, Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle, and the Youth Commission Bishop of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Bishop Joel Z. Baylon (Legazpi), also give a message of invitation for the celebration.

The 5th Asian Youth Day will be held November 20-27, 2009 in Imus, Cavite, Philippines. The YAsia Fiesta video was initiated by the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth as well as the Youth ministry of Imus diocese.  For details, contact the Youth desk of the FABC-Office of Laity and Family at joyphils03@yahoo.com, CBCP-ECY Tel: +632 5279566, or log on to http://www.asianyouthday2009.com 191009

back to top

Similarities Between Africa and Asia


Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, the general secretary of the FABC, underlined the similarities of the Church in Asia and Africa at the African Synod in Rome. The archbishop delivered his intervention at the Second General Conregation together with delegates from other continental bishops' conferences like Latin America (CELAM), Oceania (FCBCO) and Europe (CCEE). The Vatican Information Service gave the following summary of his intervention:

"The Church in Africa and the Church in Asia are raising questions of deep import. ... As I understand it, the Church in Africa is exploring the theological and pastoral implications of the Church as the Family of God. For us in Asia, guided by Holy Scripture and the living Magisterium of the Church, we have been led by the Holy Spirit, we believe, to explore in the Asian context the theology of Church as communion and as humble servant of the Gospel and of Asian peoples. This theological perspective has opened up the pastoral option of ongoing radical renewal of the Church in Asia, an option more of being than of doing. ... The Church in Africa and the Church in Asia bear similar experiences of sorrow and joy. Sorrow at the many forces of a culture of death ... such as the increasing poverty and marginalisation of our peoples; ... injustices against women and. children; ... our inability to compete with the powerful in a global economic order unguided by juridical and moral norms; religious intolerance instead of a dialogue of reason and faith. ... On the other hand we experience great joy and hope in movements of justice and peace, ... in the solidarity of people of good will from different social classes and religious traditions to work for a more just, more peaceful, more fraternal social order".

Archbishop Quevedo is the only Asian participant at the Synod for Africa. 121009

back to top

Asian Youth Day Preparations


The 5th Asian Youth Day will be celebrated from November 20-27, 2009 at St. Anthony's Boys' Village in Silang, Cavite (Diocese of Imus, Philippines).  In the preparations for this event, the Asian Youth Day Cross is moving to parishes in the country and reached the City of Laoag, Ilocos Norte in the evening of September 26, when typhoon "Ondoy" raged and devastated much of the eastern part of Metro Manila.  While residents in the capital were battling with rains and floods, the youth of Laoag diocese in the northern part of the country gathered for a night's vigil before the Cross at St. Arnold Janssen Hall of Laoag Cathedral.  In his homily during the Opening Eucharist, Laoag Bishop Sergio L. Utleg referred to the Asian Youth Cross made of bamboo as one symbolizing the faith of every Filipino and Asian.  Like the bamboo, that faith is simple, yet strong and flexible, said the bishop.  Asian Youth Day gatherings are organized by the Youth Desk of FABC-Office of Laity and Family. 051009

back to top

FABC General Secretary Appointed to African Synod


Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, omi, the general secretary of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) has been appointed on September 23, 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI as member of the upcoming Special Synod on Africa.  The special assembly will be held in the Vatican from October 4-25, 2009 under the theme "The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace - You are the Salt of the Earth... You are the Light of the World."

Beside members for this Synod, the Pope has also appointed a group of experts and auditors coming from or working mostly in and for Africa, including Africa-related institutions.  Archbishop Quevedo seems to be the only participant coming from Asia. 290909

back to top


Bishops' Leadership Seminar Postponed


The FABC Bishops' Leadership Seminar which was foreseen for October 12 to 17, 2009 at the FABC Documentation Centre in Bangkok has been postponed.  It is now scheduled for March 2010 with the exact dates still to be determined.  Bishops' Leadership Seminars are organized by the FABC Central Secretariat especially for young and newly appointed Bishops to support them in their episcopal responsibilities in the context of Asia.220909

back to top

Basic Social Communication Book in New Edition


The basic book on social communication for seminaries and Church institutions, "Communicating in Community," written by the executive secretary of the FABC-Office of Social Communication, Fr. Franz-Josef Eilers, is now out on its fourth updated edition.  The book starts discussing human communication in theological perspectives to describe the different modern means of communication (Press, Radio, Television, Film, Converging Communication as well as group communication).  In a special section, the book treats the relation between Church and social communication.  The appendix of the 386-page edition presents two articles on the Vatican II concept of "social communication," which is often used without the full understanding of its implications. 

This basic book is extended in its pastoral dimension through an additional publication, "Communicating in Ministry and Mission-Introduction to Pastoral and Evangelizing Communication" (283 pages) which was published earlier this year in a third edition. 


Both books serve as textbooks for an academic program at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila, leading to an M.A. in Theology and/or a Licentiate in Pastoral Theology.160909


back to top

Social Communication in Civil Society



The ethical challenges of social communication in civil society are the main focus of this year's "FABC-OSC Bishops' Meet."  Now on its fourteenth year, this annual event for Asian communication bishops and their secretaries is organized by the Office of Social Communication of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences.  With the Indonesian bishops' conference (KWI) communication office as host, this year's gathering will be held in Bali, Indonesia from November 16 to 21, 2009.  Speakers include Bro. Anthony Rogers, fsc from the FABC-Office of Human Development, Mr. Allwyn Fernandes, secular communication expert from Mumbai, and Fr. Stephen Fernandes, moral theology professor at the Archdiocesan Seminary in Mumbai.  The participants will discuss the special communication responsibilities of Christians in civil society and how to respond especially to the challenges in Asia, where Christianity, except in East Timor and the Philippines, is a small minority.  The Church documents on communication ethics and Pope Benedict XVI's last Encyclical Letter "Caritas in Veritate" will also be considered.  The conference is reserved for bishops responsible for communication in bishops' conferences and their secretaries.  The head of the Vatican Pontifical Council for Social Communication, Archbishop Claudio Ma. Celli, is expected to participate.040909

back to top

Church's Call to Dialogue



The FABC-Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs has organized a seminar for bishops on "The Church's Call to Dialogue: Special Role of the Bishops" July 21-25 in Bangkok.  The conference opened with an overview on the history of the FABC in the light of Vatican II by Fr. James Kroeger, mm.  Workshops followed as well as inputs from Fr. Francis Xavier d'Sa, sj on "Understanding the Other," which is considered basic for dialogue.  In this seminar, special focus was also given to the mission encyclical letter, Redemptoris Missio, of Pope John Paul II (1990) as a backdrop on Mission Spirituality and Spirituality of Dialogue.  Dialogue as an alertness - it was said - leads to contemplation.  29 persons, 15 of them bishops coming from 11 different countries attended the seminar.  It was organized especially for bishops responsible for interreligious dialogue in their respective bishops' conferences.200809

back to top



Cardinal Arinze Closes 9th FABC Plenary Assembly



Papal envoy, Francis Cardinal Arinze, formally closed the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) with a Eucharistic celebration August 16 at Pius XII Center, Manila.  More than 100 participants of the plenary assembly were present.


In his homily themed “Living the Eucharistic Mystery,” the prelate explained five elements of the Eucharist (Holy sacrifice of the Mass), namely: Eucharistic faith and reverence; Ars celebrandi (art of proper celebration); Word of God and Eucharist; Eucharistic celebration and inculturation; and Role of the Diocesan Bishop.


Cardinal Arinze stressed the Eucharist as the center of sacred worship, quoting from documents like Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Sacramentum Caritatis, and others. 


At the closing of the Plenary Assembly, the participants issued a Message for the churches in Asia.  In the document, the Eucharist is seen as a call to community, to hear the Word of God, a call to faith and hope, and a call to mission.


The participants also agreed to a revised outline for the final document which will be published at a later date. 160809


back to top



Fr. Catalino Arevalo Remembers FABC Beginnings



Jesuit theologian Fr. Catalino Arevalo received an Award of Recognition at the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) on August 16, 2009 at Pius XII Center, Manila. 

Fr. James Kroeger, mm paid tribute to the priest’s role in building up the theological thinking of the FABC.  In his response, Fr. Arevalo remembered being assigned secretary at the first meeting of Asian bishops in Manila 1970 in the presence of Pope Paul VI. 

The bishops then envisioned building the body of Christ in Asia by bringing together the local churches in one, collegial organization.  Fr. Arevalo especially mentioned the late Cardinal Stephen Kim from Korea as one of those who actively worked to establish the Federation.

Archbishop Quevedo, FABC secretary general said, “all the great men of the FABC” including Cardinal Kim will be honored in the next Plenary Assembly in 2012. 160809


back to top



Message and Final Document of FABC Plenary



The 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) will issue a message to the Churches and Christians in Asia at the conclusion of the August 10-16 meeting. 

The text refers to the role and importance of the Eucharist in the life of Christians in Asia. Christians in Asia are encouraged in the unity given by the Eucharist to “cross boundaries of religion and race, culture and language, caste and class, as well as to forge bonds of fellowship within and also with the people of other religions and cultures.”

The message encourages families to listen to the Word of God regularly, especially on Sundays.  A culture of listening to the Word of God is encouraged as a basis for authentic Christian spirituality.

A longer final document on the theme of the assembly “Living the Eucharist in Asia” was agreed upon in principle, but will be published in a final version at a later stage. 150809

back to top



FABC Award for Fr. Catalino Arevalo, SJ



An Award of Recognition for his services to the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) will be given by 9th FABC Plenary Assembly to Fr. Catalino Arevalo on Sunday, August 16.

The Jesuit priest was actively involved in the foundation and development of the Federation, since its beginning in 1970 in Manila.  He has served as main theological adviser to the Federation, and chaired the body’s “Theological Advisory Commission” (TAC) from its beginning in 1985 up to 1995.

The “Father of Asian Theology,” as the award citation reads, Fr. Arevalo is the main author of the final document of the first FABC Plenary Assembly in 1974 in Taipei, which has helped to set the theological orientation of the Federation.  

In 1998, Fr. Arevalo received a doctorate honoris causa in Humanities from the Ateneo de Manila University.  Jaime Cardinal Sin called Fr. Arevalo the “Dean of all Filipino Theologians and Godfather of hundreds of Priests,” when he conferred the Vatican Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award on him in 1997. 150809

back to top



Asian Youth and the Eucharist


A regional survey on Asian Youth and the Eucharist 2008 has been released at the 9th FABC Plenary in Manila on August 14. 2009. The very detailed survey shows results from 1200 young respondents. Beside others the survey asks for the motivation for receiving Holy Communion, the knowledge of the parts of the Holy Mass, the respondent’s participation in the Eucharistic celebration, the effects of the Eucharist in the daily life of the Youth. All data are presented and analyzed for pastoral consequences which underline especially the need for an effective Catechesis on the Eucharist.

It is planned to extend the service also into the different local Bishops’ conferences. The survey will also help to indicate a road map for the program of the FABC Youth desk in the years to come.

AY and Eucharist

The publication is available at FABC – OLF – Youth Desk, Maryhill Compound, Ortigas Ave. Ext. Km 22, Taytay, Rizal, Philippines or email to asianyouthdesk@gmail.com. 140809

back to top



Persons Who have 'Depth' Needed for Asia



Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, sdb, Archbishop of  Guwahati, India, addressed the 9th Plenary of FABC in Manila on Thursday August 13. In his pastoral reflection on the Word and Bread “A Presence that Challenges and Strengthens” the Archbishop referred to the last two Synods of Bishops in Rome (2005,2008) on the Eucharist and Sacred Scriptures. The tiny minority of Christians in Asia is sustained through this gift of God. “Indeed, Jesus is present in our lives; he is the source of our  strength.  That is why the ‘little flock’ in Asia need not to have any fear, even if it means being constantly ready to face persecution” the Archbishop said. He contrasted the life giving presence of the Eucharist  with the “louder message” about death with news of war, ethnic conflicts, genocide, suicide, communal clashes, bomb explosions, and domestic violence…” In the Eucharist Jesus calls us to intimacy with Him which leads to unity and to “being open to all people” thus developing  a “sense of  common belonging.”

The intimacy with Jesus  calls us “into a Relationship that which is performative, and communicative as well.” The Archbishop calls such communication the “whispering of the Gospel to the soul of Asia.”  It leads also to “non-threatening ways of evangelization” which means that we “never should go against the selfhood of a community.” All this, calls for “persons who have depth in themselves… Today we look for such persons of convictions, spiritual stamina and unction, persons who have the ‘Word of God’ as lamp to their feet and the light for their path.” By this we do not merely mean “persons of intellectual acumen, but those who are deep in their spiritual perceptions.”

The Archbishop referred also in his own text which he wrote  for the Way of the Cross at the colosseum in Rome during the Holy Week 2009 which Pope Benedict XVI. Accepted as his own.  “Only persons who have depths in themselves will be equal to this immense task.” 130809

back to top



From Daejeon to Manila



The Asian Bishops’ Meeting 1970 in Manila was the origin of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, General Secretary of the FABC based his report on this historical happening in Manila and the first Plenary Assembly 1974 in Taipei which stressed the need and importance for a local Church, “incarnate in a people, a Church indigenous and inculturated.” Since then the Church in Asia has been guided, the archbishop believed, by key principles: like co-responsibility, participation, committed engagement in mission with its constitutive dimension of social transformation, contextualization, authenticity and credibility.”  He then traced developments from the last Plenary 2004 in Daejeon, Korea which was deliberating on the family in Asia.


The General Secretary then gave an overview of the activities and offers of the nine FABC offices which are at the service of the member bishops conferences.120809

back to top


Cardinal Arinze Opens FABC 9th Plenary



The 9th Plenary Assembly of the FABC opens on August 11, 2009 with a solemn Eucharistic celebration at the Manila Cathedral presided by Francis Cardinal Arinze, Papal envoy to the assembly. In his homily, the cardinal brought special greetings and blessing of Pope Benedict XVI to this 9th Plenary of the Federation, which was actually founded in Manila in 1970.


The cardinal concelebrated with 6 cardinals and some 100 bishops and priests.  In his homily, he underlined and elaborated on the theme of the assembly, “Living Eucharist in Asia.”  He repeated the words of Pope Benedict asking the bishops, “in particular, to teach Christ’s faithful, the importance of participating in Eucharistic celebrations especially on Sundays, and of receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation.” The Cardinal then made the sub themes of the assembly the main points of his homily, namely; 1. Transforming Power of the Holy Eucharist, 2. The Eucharistic Meal in the Service of Communion,  3. Rooted in the Eucharist, we meet other believers  4. Eucharist and Solidarity. 5. Eucharist and Evangelization.


The Eucharist empowers to live more worthily human lives, whether we are poor or rich. It entails communion in the teachings of the Apostles in the sacraments, and it is, as Pope Benedict XVI says,  “the supreme sacramental manifestation of communion in the Church.” Finally, the Eucharist is a sacrament of love, a bond of charity and an invitation to harmonious living.” This is what the bishops will discuss in this Plenary.  They will also immerse in the reality of Asian continent where 60 percent of all humankind lives and struggles and where Christian are very small minority.


The Assembly was also welcomed by the secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines government, Sec. Alberto Romulo, who considered it an honor for the Philippines – one of only two Catholic nations in Asia – to host the event. The Mayor of Manila, Alfredo Lim, also graced the opening, both at the Cathedral and in the program that followed in Pius XII Center. In his greetings, he specially remembered the late President Corazon Aquino as a living example of a true Christian, setting standards for the whole country and beyond. 110809

back to top



FABC Plenary Opens at Manila Cathedral



The 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of the Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) will open with a Eucharistic celebration at the Manila Cathedral on August 11, 2009.  The main celebrant and homilist will be Francis Cardinal Arinze, special Papal envoy for the assembly.  Some 100 bishops and priests are expected to concelebrate.

With the theme "Living the Eucharist in Asia," it is fitting to begin all deliberations of the assembly with a Eucharistic celebration at the Cathedral of the host city, where Asian bishops first met in history in 1958.  The occasion was the re-consecration of the then renovated Cathedral which was destroyed during World War II.

Manila Cathedral was recently in the limelight at the wake and funeral of former Philippine President Corazon "Cory" Aquino.  On August 6, her remains were transferred from there to her final resting place, beside her late husband Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino.  The funeral procession to the cemetery, south of Manila, took more than eight hours. 070809

back to top



Asian Youth Day 2009 Theme



"YASIA FIESTA! Young Asians, Come Together, Share the Word and Live the Eucharist!" is the theme of Asian Youth Day 2009. The event will be held in Imus, Cavite, Philippines November 23-27.   It will highlight activities exploring God's Word and the Eucharist in the formation of young Asian Catholics.  Prior to the main event, delegates will be staying in 10 dioceses from Nov 20 to 23 for cultural and pastoral orientation with host families and parish interaction/ service.

Youth Commissions of different Asian countries have started already their preparations for the event.  The Bamboo Youth Day Cross is already on pilgrimage to different parishes of the host diocese Imus in Cavite, next to Metro Manila.  It will continue visiting other parts of the Philippines, including the Moslem areas in South.  In Hong Kong, the youth commission has planned a preparatory formation for some 40 Catholic youth aged 18-35 to participate in AYD 2009 in the Philippines.  After the Asian Youth Day in November, the diocese also plans a special Diocesan Youth Day for Hong Kong to be celebrated in December this year. Also the Church in Taiwan has a special "Taiwan Youth Day" on August 19 - 22 in Taichung, organized by the youth desk of the Regional Bishops' Conference.

After the main event, heads of the youth commissions of FABC-member countries and associates will gather for the Asian Youth Ministers' Meeting Nov 27-30.  Parallel to this, several post-AYD workshops will be offered aiming at further immersion in the AYD theme.  The CICM Fathers' Bukal ng Tipan Pastoral Center will host one such workshop.  The Southeast Catholic Press Association (SEACPA) and its partner organizations will hold a workshop on pastoral communications. These activities will extend till Dec 4, 2009.  For details, please contact the Youth Desk of the FABC-Office of Laity and Family: asianyouthdesk@gmail.com. 030809

back to top



More than 100 Participants in FABC Plenary



More than 100 participants have signed up for the upcoming 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC).  They are official representatives of the Federation's member-bishops' conferences, as well as bishops related to the nine FABC offices, and observers from other continental bishops' conferences and funding agencies.  The biggest number of bishops of a single country will come from India, which has, not only a conference of Latin Rite bishops, but two conferences in addition for the Syrian rites.  The Indian delegation has altogether 15 bishops, including two Cardinals and those related to FABC offices.  In total, 22 Asian countries will be represented at this year's Plenary Assembly, including two countries from Central Asia - Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.  There will be two representatives of the Holy See, with Francis Cardinal Arinze as the official Papal Delegate.  From outside Asia, bishops from two European countries (Germany and Spain) will come, as well as bishops from New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Canada.  A representative of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), FABC's Protestant counterpart, will be present.  The arrival of foreign participants is foreseen for Monday, August 10, while the official opening of the assembly will be on Tuesday, August 11, with a Eucharistic celebration at the Manila Cathedral.  The meeting itself will be held at Pope Pius XII Center in Paco district, Manila. 300709

back to top



FABC Members Visit Manila Parishes



The participants of the 9th FABC Plenary Assembly in Manila August 10-16 will visit some 12 parishes in Metro Manila on Saturday afternoon, August 14.  The itinerary will include a visit to the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall, the pilgrim church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, and the popular Black Nazarene Basilica in Quiapo.  The participants will also visit St. Joseph Parish in Las Pinas, house of the famous Bamboo Organ, the Holy Rosary university parish of Santo Tomas and some parishes in depressed areas of the Metropolis.  Metro Manila has some 14 million inhabitants.

The FABC representatives from all over Asia will participate in the vigil services for the Feast of the Assumption on Saturday afternoon, August 14, will have dinner with the parishioners before returning to Pius XII Center for the final session that concludes the Plenary Assembly on Sunday, August 15.  The visit to the parishes should expose them to living the Eucharist in a local church.  The general theme of the Plenary will be "Living the Eucharist in Asia."  Such plenaries are only celebrated every four years. 270709

back to top



Two FABC Meetings in One Week



Two FABC offices have organized respective conferences in Thailand in the week July 20-25.  The FABC-Office of Evangelization (OE) reflected on "Evangelizing Indigenous Communities" at the Redemptorist Center in Pattaya July 20-24.  The Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (OEIA) held a seminar for Bishops responsible in the bishops' conferences for interreligious dialogue July 21-25 at the FABC Documentation Centre in Bangkok.  The seminar was titled "The Church is Called to Dialogue, Special Role of Bishops."  The very first plenary of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) in Taipei (1974) has already declared a "triple dialogue" as one of the main thrusts of the Church in Asia which, beside the dialogue with people especially the poor, and with cultures, includes interreligious dialogue.  The FABC-OEIA has published over the years documents containing a rich treasure of teaching and reflection in this field. 230709

back to top



Working Document for the FABC Plenary Assembly 2009



The draft of a working document on "Living the Eucharist in Asia" for consideration and study at the upcoming 9th Plenary Assembly of the FABC has been submitted to the different member-conferences of the Federation and those who will participate in the Manila assembly August 10-16, 2009.

The document is placed into the recent teachings and reflections of the Church on the Eucharist (John Paul II, Benedict XVI), but considers in a special way the Asian living of the Eucharist, which should not be taken as "a mere appendix to Eucharistic faith" but as the "very life of Christ given to us," as a "gift of the Father with the mission to give life."

For Asia, the Eucharist is seen as "a unique experience of God's dialogue with us and our response to God as a dialogue of life and love."  The document treats the living of the Eucharist in Asia under the headings: "Living in Community," "Living in Faith," "Living in Hope," and "Living in Love."  The text concludes with a section on "Living in Mission."

The proposal for the assembly's final document follows the different steps of Eucharistic celebrations.  Half of the 16-page document refer especially to situations and challenges of Asia.  Some of these were already treated before, in special meetings of FABC offices like the ones on Communication and Education (cf. FABC Paper no. 124 "Eucharist as Communication," and no. 126 "Being Schools, Becoming Eucharist").  Since it is a reflection paper, there are no special footnotes or resources to indicate which special resources have been used or underlie the present document. 200709

back to top



FABC Paper No. 125 Published



FABC Paper No. 125 titled "FABC Papers, Period Index" is now available.  The 48 pages publication, edited by Maryknoll Fr. James Kroeger, lists the FABC Papers nos. 100 to 124 with each publication's title and content.  It gives a short summary, listing of subjects mentioned and names of persons cited in the text.  Each of the 24 entries has one full page which is complemented by indices for subject and persons of all papers. The listing of FABC Papers covers a period of eight years.  The publication ends with a list of academic- and mainly doctoral- dissertations on and about the FABC.100709

back to top



Seven Cardinals at the FABC Plenary



Among the estimated 120 expected participants at the upcoming 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) will be at least seven Cardinals.  Beside Cardinals Gaudencio Rosales (Manila) and Ricardo Vidal (Cebu) from the Philippines and the Papal Envoy, Francis Cardinal Arinze, the two Cardinals from India - Telesphore Toppo (Ranchi) and Oswald Gracias (Mumbai) - will come along with Joseph Cardinal Zen (Hong Kong), and John Baptist Cardinal Phan Min Manh (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam).  To-date, some 70 delegates from 16 bishops' conferences have sent their registrations, seven of them from associate member-countries of the FABC.  These are countries where no bishops' conferences do not exist yet.  As observers from outside Asia, the presidents of the Federation of Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Oceania and Australia (ACBC), the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) are expected, as well as the Secretary General of the Spanish Bishops' Conferences and representatives from other Christian Churches in Asia. 070709

back to top



FABC Plenary Program



The 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) will open with a Eucharistic celebration on August 11 at Manila Cathedral with Cardinal Francis Arinze, Papal representative to the assembly, as presider.  This will be followed by the official opening of the meeting at Pius XII Center, along United Nations Avenue.  The afternoon of the first day and the morning of Wednesday, August 12, will be devoted to the discussion of a working paper on the conference theme "Living the Eucharist with Christ in Asia."  Wednesday afternoon will be a discussion on the Statutes of the Federation, while Thursday, August 13, will see groupings of the participants according to regions; including a conference on "The Word of God and the Eucharist" by Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Guwahati, India.  For Friday, August 14, the workshop reports of the regional groupings will be presented as well as activity reports from the nine FABC offices, which carry out the basic activities of the Federation.

The morning of Saturday, August 15, will be open for interventions of individual bishops' conferences while the late afternoon and evening of this day will distribute the participants to some 12 parishes in Metro Manila for a pastoral exposure and dinner with local communities.

The Plenary will end on Sunday morning, August 16, with the final document of the meeting and the concluding Eucharist at the conference venue, Pius XII Center, Manila.  All in all, some 120 delegates and participants are expected, representing the 18 member-bishops' conferences of the Federation and 11 associate members.  The general theme of the assembly is "Living the Eucharist in Asia."  This will be the second time that such a plenary takes place in Manila, after the foundation of the Federation in Manila in1970, and the 6th Plenary Assembly in 1995. 030709

back to top



E-Newsletter of Laity and Family Office



The FABC-Office of Laity and Family has published its first e-newsletter in June.  The six-page edition features, beside others, a presentation on "Small Christian Communities as the Fundamental Paradigm of the Church" by the Bishop of Cheju diocese (South Korea), Monsignor Peter Kang.  There are also news sections from the Laity, Women and Youth Desks of the Office.  Persons interested in a hard copy can also ask for it directly from the office: fabclaity@gmail.com 010709

back to top



Evangelization among Indigenous/ Tribal Communities



A Consultation on "Evangelization among Indigenous/ Tribal Communities" will be held at the Redemptorist Center, Pattaya, Thailand from July 20-24, 2009.  The consultation is organized by the FABC-Office of Evangelization and will study beside others, the spiritual and cultural resources, methods of evangelization and emerging opportunies, but also the threads from globalization and dominant cultures.  Expected participants are those working among and living in indigenous/ tribal communities in different parts of Asia.  For details, please contact FABC-OE: jtheckanath@gmail.com. 250609

back to top



FABC Paper: Inter-Faith Marriages



"Theological and Pastoral Perspectives of Inter-Faith Marriages" is the theme of the latest FABC Paper No. 127 published by the Central Secretariat of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) in Hong Kong.  The paper develops further the considerations of a theological colloquium of Asian bishops in Hong Kong in May 2006 (FABC Paper No. 118), without claiming that the new publication "will be exhaustive in its theological and pastoral treatment of the issues of inter-faith marriages" (Introduction).  The expression "inter-faith marriage" refers to "the marriage of a Catholic with a believer who is not a Christian and is not baptized" (Introduction).  An opening situationer is followed by a theological vision, a longer section on the challenges and opportunities of pastoral practice, and the "Rites of Inter-Faith Marriages."  The situations in Thailand and Japan are especially studied.  The publication concludes with a section on "Islam and Inter-Faith Marriages."  The Paper is edited by Fr. Vimal Tirimanna, CsSR, the executive secretary of the FABC-Office of Theological Concerns.

"FABC Papers" aim to "bring the thinking of Asian experts to a wider audience and to develop critical analysis of the problems facing the Church in Asia."220609

back to top



Cardinal Arinze, Papal Envoy for FABC Plenary



Cardinal Francis Arinze, the former president of the Pontifical Congregation for Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican, has been appointed as the special representative of the Pope Benedict XVI for the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) in Manila August 10-16.  The former archbishop Onitsha, Nigeria (1967-1985) was since 1985 president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in Rome till he became 2002 the head of the Communication for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican.  Together with the Cardinal will be also Archbishop Robert Sarah, secretary of the Pontifical Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda) in the Vatican.  He comes from French Guinea. The Plenary was originally planned for Bangalore in January 2009. 150609

back to top



Latest Communication INFO



The latest editions of the FABC-OSC Communication INFO (April, May and June) are now available. Click here



back to top



FABC Plenary Assembly 2009 in Manila


The 9th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) will take place at Pius XII Center, Manila from August 10 to 16, 2009. Some 120 delegates from different member bishops' conferences are expected to attend the six-day meeting.  The theme "Living the Eucharist in Asia" will unfold through a sub-theme assigned for each day of the meeting.  On the first day "Witnessing to the Transforming Power of the Eucharist" will be the sub-theme, the second day will be on "The Eucharist as Service of Communion of Asian Cultures."  The third and following days will be devoted to the "Eucharistic Lord in Our Pilgrimage with People of Other Faiths, to Building Peace and Harmony, and Solidarity."  The final day will be on "Living the Eucharist in Sharing the Story of Jesus in Asia."  The Manila assembly follows the last Plenary (8th) on the role of Family in Asia in Daejeon, Korea, 2004.  Plenary Assemblies, the highest governing body of the Federation are held once every four years.  This year's assembly was planned originally for January 2009 in Bangalore, India but later postponed and transferred to Manila.  The last FABC Plenary Assembly held in Manila was in 1995 with Pope John Paul II's visit at the 25th anniversary of the FABC during the World Youth Day celebrations. 080609

back to top



BISCOM VII Final Statement Released


The Final Statement of the 7th "Bishops' Institute for Social Communication" (BISCOM VII) on "Social Communication in Catholic Universities of Asia: Fact,s Experiences, Challenges" is now available.  Like similar statements in the past, also this document is divided into "Orientations" and "Recommendations."  The orientations are based on the presentations at the meeting and the deliberations of the respective workshsops, which are then formulated into concrete resolutions to guide the work and responsibilities in the concern for social communication programs at Catholic universities in Asia.  Beside others, the importance of Christian values in programs and teaching are underlined and the commitment for proper research and cooperation.  Click here. 020609

back to top



German Bishops Visit AsIPA/ Korea


A group of six German bishops and four other delegates including the new president of Missio-Aachen, Msgr. Klaus Kraemer, visited Korea in April 2009  to learn about the AsIPA method for Basic Christian Communities.  Together with a group of bishops from five different countries of Asia, they visited Suwon  and Cheju dioceses and several parishes in South Korea to observe their experiences in setting up and developing Basic Christian/ Ecclesiastical Communities.  They were also presented with a theological reflection on Small Christian Communities as the fundamental paradigm of the Church by Bishop Peter Kang from Cheju diocese.  The German participants, under the leaderhsip of Archbishop Schick from Bamberg, were grateful for the whole experience which was also an immersion to Korean culture and hospitality.  The experience should, according to them also serve as an incentive for pastoral activities in Germany. 290509

back to top



Book on Pastoral and Evangelizing Communication with New Edition


A third and extended edition of "Communicating in Ministry and Mission, Introduction to Pastoral and Evangelizing Communication" has been published.  The book comes with some 30 pages more than the second edition, adding further considerations in the sections on Ethics and Internet.  It also introduces the new position of a "communication animator" within parishes and dioceses.  The book is authored by Franz-Josef Eilers, svd, executive secretary of the FABC-Office of Social Communication.  It is the basic textbook for an MA/Lic Theology program of the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila.  The second edition of the book released in 2004 is also available in Italian, Indonesian, Vietnamese translations and an Indian re-print.  The Mandarin, Thai and Korean editions are in preparation.

Pastoral 3rd

The new book is available at Logos Publications, 1916 Oroquieta Street, 1003 Manila Fax: (+632) 7322736 Email: info@logospublications.com 250509

back to top



BISCOM VII:  Social Communication in Catholic Universities of Asia


Representatives of 34 Catholic universities and colleges from 13 Asian countries reflected and discussed the situation and challenges of teaching "social communication" in Asia.  Bishops and secretaries of bishops' commissions for communications were also present at the seventh "Bishops' Institute for Social Communication" (BISCOM VII) held in the Suvarnabhumi campus of Assumption University in Bangkok May 11-16, 2009.  The meeting was organized by the Office of Social Communication of the FABC in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican.

All in all, there are about 50 Catholic universities and colleges with communication programs in Asia.  The majority are found in the Philippines which is a predominantly Catholic country, like East Timor.

The participants included Oswald Cardinal Gracias from Mumbai, and the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Monsignor Paul Tighe.  They were reminded of the Church teachings on the responsibilities of Catholic universities in general, and in the field of communications in specific.  The Pastoral Instruction "Communio et Progressio," in particular, assigns "special studies on the effects of social communication in different cultural environments and on different types of people." (no. 184)

The expression "social communication," as proposed and accepted by the Second Vatican Council over and above "mass media" or similar other terms, was also clarified.  "Social communication programs of Catholic universities in Asia need to mirror a theological perspective which is roted in a distinctively Catholic ethos," the final statement of BISCOM VII says. Beside others, there is "need to go beyond what we have done in the past to meet the challenges before us," the participants acknowledge. The conference tried to translate the considerations into concrete proposals, like fostering ethnic values, faith formation and theology, depending on the possibilities in the contexts.  The need for a truly Christian-inspired ethics beyond the mere "Codes of Conduct" of professional organizations was underlined, as well as the need for a deep spirituality of the communication professor who communicates often through his/her personality, more than the content of the programs.

Also the need for greater networking was underlined without, however, developing concrete steps.  The need for proper research in the field as well as the role of social communication in general were also identified as important concerns.  (The full text of the final statement will be published later.) 180509



back to top



Summary of Doctoral Dissertations on FABC


A two-volume listing of all existing doctoral dissertations on the FABC till 2008 has been published by Maryknoll Father James H. Kroeger under the title "Theology from the Heart of Asia, FABC Doctoral Dissertations 1985-2008."  The two volumes, with a total of some 940 pages, re-print the title, the list of content and bibliographies of 27 dissertations submitted to 17 different universities or Schools of Theology located in 13 different places all over the world.

The volumes intend "to serve as a source book for professors, researchers, bishops, theology students and pastoral workers in Asia and beyond."  (Introduction)  The editor of the volumes sees his contribution as a proof for the FABC to be "validly termed: Asia's continuing Vatican II" and "a clear testimony to the continuing action of the Holy Spirit in Asia."

The two volumes are published by Claretian Publications, Manila.  Volume 1 contains the dissertations from 1985 to 1998, and volume 2 the ones from 1999 to 2008. Price is 1,000 Pesos in the Philippines (P998), and 40USD for the international market. 110509

back to top



The Migrant Family in Asia


The presentations of a "Consultation on Migrants and Refugees," as the Second Bisops' Institute for Christian Advocacy (BICA II) December 4-8, 2007 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, are now available as a book.  The publication under the title "The Migrant Family in Asia: Reaching Out and Touching Them" is edited by Bro. Anthony Rogers, fsc and provided by the FABC-Office of Human Development in Manila.  The 238-page publication presents, beside the general overview, reports on the migrants' situation in different Asian countries but also the considerations of the different workshops of the meeting. The book does not "just analyze and reflect on the current problems being faced by migrants

and their families but tries to create a greater awareness of the need to stand up for human migration" (Foreword).The book is dedicated to two former chairmen of the FABC-OHD, the late Cardinal Fumio Hamao who died on Nov 8, 2007 and Bishop Leon Thammarai of Kottar, India who died Jan 16, 2007.040509


The book is available at the OHD,1451 P. Guevarra Street Sta. Cruz, Manila 1014 Philippines Tel: (63-2) 731 3768
Fax: (63-2) 743 2618 Email: ohdfabc@tri-isys.com


back to top



Youth Ministry Regional Meeting



"Catch the Vision, Live the Dream" was the theme for a Youth Ministry Regional Training for South-East Asia in Bangkok April 20-24, 2009 organized by the Youth Desk of the FABC-Office of Laity and Family.  26 youth minister from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar gathered to understand better the basic foundations and principles of Youth ministry, to explore components of Youth ministry, and to become aware of modern Youth culture and consequences for catechetics and different fields of Youth ministry.  The meeting deepened the resolve of Youth ministers to establish collaboration and networking among them.  From an activity-oriented approach, the participants plan to professionalize the Youth ministry within the region and to develop effective structures for mutual support. 300409


back to top


Bishops in Dialogue




"The Church's Called to Dialogue: Special Role of Bishops" is the title of a seminar for bishops responsible for interreligious dialogue within the Asian bishops' conferences and other interested bishops. The seminar will be organized by the FABC-Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (OEIA) from July 21-25, 2009 in Bangkok.  The meeting aims to reflect, discuss and jointly address that challenges faced by the Asian Church in understanding the rich religious and cultural plurality of Asia. 280409


back to top


Radio Veritas Asia: 40 Years of Broadcasting




Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), the only continental Catholic radio station in the world beside Vatican Radio, celebrated 40 years of broadcasting under the theme "Crossing Borders, Sharing Christ" on April 15-16 at the studio premises in Quezon City, Metro Manila. A symposium on April 15 entitled "Catholic Radio Broadcasting in Asia" preceded the main celebration on April 16. The symposium was opened with RVA Broadcasting Experiences for China, India, Myanmar (Burma) followed by a life-experience of radio broadcasting in Asia from Prof. Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, president of Saint John's University in Bangkok. Mrs. Irmgard Icking (Missio), the European funding coordinator for RVA programs, stressed in a special way the responsibility of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) as the Church-body responsible for programming and financing the station. Confirmed already at the first FABC general assembly in Taipei (1974) and again at the Bandung general assembly (1990), the FABC should "seriously participate in the financing and striving a financial sustainability of the RVA operations." The FABC as well as the station, she said, should not avoid a serious self-critical assessment because "failing to plan is planning to fail." The jubilee on April 16 started with a Eucharistic celebration presided by Archbishop Claudio Ma. Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication at the Vatican, along with two Cardinals, the Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines, Archbishop John Edward Adams, some 17 Bishops and a greater number of priests concelebrating. More than 300 guests were present. In the midst of congratulatory messages of many bishops and the German ambassador to the Philippines, Archbishop Oswald Gomis (Colombo) shared his experiences right from the early 1970s with RVA, where also the FABC Office of Social Communication was born. Awards of recognition were given to several institutions. A "Cardinal Sin -RVA Award" was created on the occasion of the jubilee and for the first time given to Mons. Pietro Van Nguyen Tai, program director of the station who began his work there as a producer for Vietnamese programs in 1978. RVA broadcasts in 15 different languages to some 20 Asian countries including four hours to mainland China, two and a half hours to Vietnam. The station also re-broadcasts the daily Vatican Mandarin program for China and is available with some programs on the Internet. Visit the RVA site. 200409


back to top


First publication of the FABC Youth Desk



The Youth Desk of the FABC-Office of Laity and Family has published its first book with the proceedings of the second "Bishops' Institute for Lay Apostolate" (BILA II on Youth) which took place in Johor, Malaysia Nov 10-14, 2007.  Under the title "Youth Ministry in Asia: Reliving the Emmaus Story," the publication documents the proceedings on a day-to-day basis of a journey of the participants: from a "Look at Reality" to the "Heart of the Ministry" to the question "What Now?" and the Final Statement.  In a second part, youth ministry reports and stories from the different countries of East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Central Asia are presented together with an analysis.


The 223-page new book, which also celebrates 10 years of the existence of the Youth Desk within the FABC Office of Laity and Family, hopes "to serve as a companion to all youth commissions and all those called to be at the service of our young people" (Introduction).  The editor, Jessica Joy Candelario, head of the FABC OLF Youth Desk hopes that the publication "can convey the dreams and convictions of the Church in Asia for its young populace."

The book is available from the FABC-OLF Youth Desk, Maryhill compound, Ortigas Avenue Ext., Taytay Rizal, Philippines Email: joyphils03@yahoo.com 170409


back to top



World Communication Day 2009 Message & Liturgical Texts


The latest editions of the FABC-OSC Communication INFO are now available.  The February edition features the Holy Father's Message for World Communication Day 2009; while the March edition carries the commentary and Liturgical texts for the celebration. 060409


click here


back to top


AsIPA Exposure for German Bishops



An exposure program for German bishops on the "Asian Integrated Pastoral Approach" (AsIPA) has been organized by the respective desk of the FABC Office of Laity and Family.  The dates are set for April 14-22, 2009 in the Korean dioceses of Suwon and Jeju.  Members and trainers of the FABC AsIPA Team will familiarize six bishops from Germany, and some of their cooperators with the Korean culture and the AsIPA experiences of the FABC in these two dioceses and beyond.  Eight Asian bishops from six countries will join the exchange and report on their own experiences in Basic Christian Communities.  The group of German bishops is led by Archbishop Dr. Ludwig Schick of Bamberg who heads the respective commission in the German bishops' conference. 060409


back to top


INFO on Human Development


The latest issues of the "INFO on Human Development" are now available.  Jan-Jun 2008 contains the key papers on the issue of Family and Migration in Asia. Jul-Dec 2008 document's the FABC-Office of Human Development's conference on "Nurturing the Inner Being for a New Social Evangelization" (Bangkok, Sept 15-19, 2008). 060409


click here



back to top


FABC bishop asked for meditation on the Way of the Cross



Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, SDB, of Guwahati, India and chairman of the FABC Office of Evangelization has been asked to write the meditations for this year's Way of the Cross on Good Friday at the Coliseum in Rome.  In an interview with AsiaNews, the archbishop interpreted the request of the Pope as a sign that "his Holiness regards very highly the identity of Asia," and apparently, "has a prophetic vision for Asia" as a "the cradle of civilization."  The archbishop intends to mention various places in the meditations from the Himalayas to the Alps and Americas so that the "message of Christ echoes to all the ends and corners of the world to enrich humanity."  In an interview with the South Asia Religious News (SAR News), he shows his struggles in writing the meditations: "I had several commitments already, including a social work program in the villages of Mariampur parish for about 250 young people... It was not easy to produce a set of meditations and prayers for the use of the Holy Father on one of the holiest occasions of the year, in a village with no assistance... constant power cuts, generator failures and computer collapses... I was not merely describing the agony in my meditations but also experiencing it.. (but) my agony was nothing in comparison with that of those poor villagers who were striving for sheer survival against all odds..."

Archbishop Menamparampil who serves a third term as chairman of the FABC Evangelization office is convinced that "living out our faith leads to an enhanced human development in every field of life."  "A person of deep faith," he says, "will be able to enrich society through development and also build bridges of understanding, peace and harmony." 300309


back to top


Asian Youth Day Preparations Launched



Preparations for the 5th Asian Youth Day to be celebrated November 20-27, 2009 in the Philippines started on March 14, 2009 in Silang, Cavite, Philippines. The Episcopal Commission on Youth, the Imus Diocese, and Youth Desk of the FABC Office for Laity and Family were the organizers of the assembly. Some 1,000 young people were present at the Nuestra Senora dela Candelaria parish of Silang where the Asian Youth Day will be held in November.

The celebration began with a brief background on the Asian Youth Day. Organized by the Youth Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, the AYD has been held in Thailand (1999), Taiwan (2001), India (2003) and Hong Kong (2006). Through these events, young Asian Catholics are able to celebrate their faith, deepen their love for Church and are inspired to take on their mission in the midst of realities in Asia. Youth Commissions have likewise benefited in formation in ministry and through collaboration with each other.

Part of the launching was also the presentation of the official logo and the theme song for the Asian Youth Day. The AYD Cross, which has travelled all over Asia, started its journey in the Philippines, with visits to different parishes in the Imus diocese. From there, it will go to other places in the country to unite all in prayer for the upcoming event.

The theme of this year's AYD is "Young Asians, Come Together, Share the Word and Live the Eucharist." .240309


back to top


Radio Veritas Asia Broadcasting 40 Years


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), the only continental Catholic short-wave station in the world, will celebrate forty years of broadcasting on April 15 and 16, 2009.  The station first aired its regular overseas and domestic programs on April 11, 1969 after a longer period of test broadcasts.

RVA 40th Ruby Logo

The jubilee celebration on April 16 will be preceded by a symposium on April 15.  Radio producers, programmers and other invited professionals will share their experiences and insights on the theme "Catholic Radio Broadcasting in Asia."  The jubilee celebration proper on April 16 stands under the heading "Crossing Borders, Sharing Christ."  It will be opened by Archbishop Claudio Ma. Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican, who will give the keynote address.  This will be followed by greetings and reflections from the Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines, Archbishop Joseph Edward Adams, and other Church and secular authorities.

Radio Veritas Asia operates in the responsibility of the "Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences" (FABC).  It broadcasts in 15 different Asian languages via short-wave.  Some programs are also available via the Internet.  The studios of RVA are in Quezon City, Metro Manila; whereas the transmitter site is in Palauig, Zambales, some 230 kilometers north-west of Manila.  Major parts of the programs are produced in the local target areas, wherever this is possible.160309



back to top


'Latest Communication INFO


The latest editions of the FABC-OSC Communication INFO are now available.  The February edition features the Holy Father's Message for World Communication Day 2009; while the March edition will carry the commentary and Liturgical texts for the celebration.120309


click here



back to top


BISCOM VII Registration Extended

The date for registration for the seventh "Bishops' Institute for Social Commanication" (BISCOM VII) has been extended to March 16, 2009. BISCOM VII will reflect and discuss "Social Communication in Catholic Universities in Asia: Facts, Experiences and Challenges." All Catholic universities in Asia with communication programs are invited to participate together with any Asian Bishop interested and concerned about the theme. The meeting will be held at the Suvarnabhumi campus of Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand from May 11 to 16, 2009. BISCOM VII is organized by the FABC-Office of Social Communication, in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican.020309 Program

back to top



Timor Leste and FABC



The collaboration between the church in East Timor was strengthened through a recent visit of the FABC Assistant Secretary General, Fr. Raymond O'Toole.  The country is an associate member of the Federation because the country's two dioceses - Dili and Baucau - can not constitute a "bishops' conference" yet.  This will be only possible when a third diocese is erected, which is foreseen in the near future.  East Timor has less than one million inhabitants and is considered the most "Catholic" country in Asia (95%).  Together with the Philippines (85% Catholic), both are the only Christian countries in the Asian continent.250209

26 Doctoral Dissertations on the FABC



The number of doctoral dissertations on the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) and its documents has risen to 26 within the 39 years of the Federation's existence.  The very first doctoral thesis was submitted to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1985 under the title "The Idea of Church in Documents of the Federation of the Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), 1972-1982" written by Carolus Boromeus Putranta.  The newest thesis published this year (2009) was written by Ruben C. Mendoza and submitted to the Catholic university in Leuven, Belgium under the title "Church in Dialogue with Peoples of Other Faiths: A Journey to the Kingdom of the Spirit. The Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (1970-2007)."  The different doctoral dissertations were submitted at 15 different universities throughout the world. 180209


back to top


New Ecumenical OEIA Secretary



The Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (OEIA) of the FABC has a new secretary for ecumenical issues in the person of Maryknoll Father William LaRousse.  He succeeds Jesuit Father Tom Michel in the Ecumenical Desk of the FABC-OEIA.  Fr. LaRousee has a Doctorate in Missiology from the Gregorian University in Rome (2001), and has been working since 1977 in Mindanao, Philippines.  He is teaching beside others at St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary of Mindanao in Davao City.  As "ecumenical secretary," Fr. LaRousse will handle the Ecumenical Desk of FABC-OEIA, similar to desks of other FABC offices.

Fr. Michel served as executive secretary of the OEIA, being responsible for both interreligious and ecumenical desks of the office.  After Bro. Edmund Chia succeeded in the post, Fr. Michel continued as ecumenical secretary building relations and cooperating with other Christian churches in Asia.  The relations with other Asian religions remained in the responsibility of the executive secretary of the office.  There is a long-standing cooperation between the FABC and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), considered the Protestant counterpart of the FABC. 090209


back to top


5th ASIAN Youth Day 2009



The FABC-OLF-Youth Desk is organizing the 5th Asian Youth Day (AYD) to be held in the Philippines on November 20-27, 2009. Inspired by the Synod on the Word of God and the FABC Plenary theme on Living the Eucharist, the 8-day event hopes to:

  • Renew Asian youth’s  faith in and love for the Word of God and the Eucharist
  • Celebrate youthfully the Word and the Eucharist in their contexts, cultures and communities
  • Enable the young to become agents of transformation by living out the Word and the Eucharist in our realities in Asia

The AYD hosts aim to gather some 2,000 Asian youth delegates from the 22 countries.


Among the highlights of the event are 3-day Parish/Host Family experiences, plenary sessions on the Word and Eucharist, sub-regional reflections and deepening experiences, workshops and meaningful prayers and liturgies. There will also be post-AYD workshops.


After the AYD, the Asian Youth Ministers’ Meeting (AYMM) will be held on November 27-30, 2009 for the Episcopal Youth Commissions across the region to deepen the AYD experience in the level of ministry and to foster greater collaboration among youth ministers and leader in the region.


A preparatory meeting will be held in the Philippines on March 24-26, 2009 to formally launch the event, provide important information for delegations and finalize the program plan.


For more details please contact the FABC-OLF-Youth Desk at asianyouthdesk@gmail.com.



back to top


Archbishop Celli at Radio Veritas Asia Jubilee



Archbishop Claudio Ma. Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican, will be the main celebrant in the 40th aniversary celebration of Radio Veritas Asia in Manila on April 16, 2009.  The radio station for Asia, which is in the responsibility of the FABC, started regular broadcasts on April 11, 1969.  The station broadcasts via short-wave and Internet in 15 Asian languages.  Beside Vatican Radio, RVA is the only continental radio station of the Church in the world. 270109


back to top


Communication Meeting Dates Changed



The dates of BISCOM VII (seventh "Bishops' Institute for Social Communication") were shifted by one week from May 4-9 to May 11-16, 2009.  The meeting will be held at Assumption University, Suvarnabhumi campus in Bangkok, Thailand.  Some 60 participants are expected to discuss the role and importance of communication teaching and research at Catholic universities in Asia. 270109


back to top


Social Communication programs at Catholic Universities in Asia



Social communication programs at Catholic universities in Asia will be the focus of discussions and sharings at the seventh "Bishops' Institute for Social Communication" (BISCOM VII) from May 4 to 9, 2009 at Assumption University in Bangkok.  Representatives from some 30 different Catholic universities in Asia will share the content, teaching methods and experiences with their undergraduate and graduate students in this field.  Speakers will also highlight the special obligations of Catholic universities for social communication studies and training:  What makes social communication in Catholic universities different from others?  What do the teachings of the Church indicate in this field?  How can a more close cooperation and vision for these concerns be developed in Asia?  The meeting will be organized by the FABC-Office of Social Communication in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican.  A bigger group of university representatives are expected but also a considerable group of bishops to share the concerns and inter-link academe with bishops and their conferences.  Participation is by invitation only. 190109


back to top


New "FABC Paper"



A new release in the "FABC Papers" series has been published by the Central Secretariat in Hong Kong.  Paper No. 126 is on "Being Schools, Becoming Eucharist."  The publication lists the different presentations of a conference organized by the FABC-Office for Education and Faith Formation (OEFF) at Assumption University, Bangkok from May 25 to 30, 2008.  Participants were administrators, teachers and others from 10 Asian countries.  The three parts of the meeting were: (1) "Educators Speak," (2) "Bishops Speak," (3) "Professionals, Parents and Youth Speak."  Every section has at least two, one section three papers which are re-printed in this FABC Paper together with a longer Final Statement.120109


back to top


FABC in 2009



The Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) will finally celebrate its 9th Plenary Assembly from August 10-16, 2009 in Manila.  The assembly is supposed to take place every four years, but last year's schedule was postponed twice.  First, because of the Roman Synod of Bishops in October 2008, it was to be celebrated in the first month of 2009.  The proposed date was made impossible because of another important meeting in Rome where leading Asian bishops had to be present.  This year's FABC plenary assembly theme will be "Living the Eucharist in Asia."  Plenary Assemblies are the highest legal body within the Federation.  Up until 2004, assemblies used to conclude with short Final Statements reflecting the main considerations, messages or statements with some 12 to 20 pages.

Also, in 2009 will be the General Assembly of AsIPA (Asian Integrated Pastoral Approach) in Davao, Philippines from October 20 to 29.  AsIPA is the Asian application for Lectio Divina and Basic Christian Communities.  It was developed and has a Desk within the FABC Office of Laity and Family.

The Central Secretariat will again start to organize Leadership Seminars for Bishops in March (4-9) and October (12-17) this year.

The Office of Social Communication will organize, in cooperation with the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, the seventh "Bishops' Institute for Social Communication" (BISCOM VII) on "Social Communications in Catholic Universities of Asia: Facts, Experiences, Challenges."  This BISCOM will take place from May 4-9, 2009.

"Radio Veritas Asia," the Catholic short-wave radio station for Asia which is under the responsibility of the FABC, is celebrating 40 years of broadcasting on April 16 in Manila. 050109

See Events calendar

back to top


  • Some parts of this site are still under construction, please bear with us..

Other web-based functionalities will be included which will help provide information to users of the Web site and would also allow users to interact and participate in the fulfillment of the FABC’s objectives.

FABC Papers are designed to bring the thinking of Asian experts to a wider audience and to develop critical analysis of the problems facing the Church in Asia. The opinions, however, do not necessarily represent the official policies of FABC or its member Episcopal Conferences. FABC Papers on-line is a special service of the Union of Catholic Asia News

see papers