The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) today formally began its 2012 National Convention with a press conference held at 11 am today at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.
Prominent Catholic leaders including Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan Socrates Villegas, DD; CEAP President Fr. Gregorio Bañaga, Jr., CM; CEAP Vice President Fr. Antonio Moreno, SJ; CEAP National Advocacy Chair Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ; and members of the CEAP Board of Trustees met with members of the media to introduce their annual gathering with the theme “Remembering with Gratitude, Renewing with Fervour”, part of a five-year leadup to the organization’s 75th anniversary.
Fr. Bañaga opened the floor by discussing the various contributions of Catholic education in the Philippines, and highlighted the goals of this year’s convention—to look back and show appreciation to the legacy of Catholic education. He also pointed out that this was one of the largest conventions yet, with more than 3,000 delegates attending the three-day conference.
The Church leaders also remarked that 2012 is a seminal year for Filipino Catholics, with the impending canonization of Pedro Calungsod on October 21, noting that this was one of the goals of Catholic students—to make students into saints.
CEAP on the RH Bill
After going over the various advocacies of the organization in the past, CEAP National Advocacy Chair Joel Tabora released a statement regarding the controversial Reproductive Health Act, saying that CEAP stands with the Catholic bishops in its opposition to laws that promote abortifacients, and that one of the beliefs of the Catholic Church is the protection of life from the onset of conception. Furthermore, CEAP “supports the bishops in their official teaching of the dignity of human life” and to affirm and reaffirm the sacredness of the sex act.
However, Tabora emphasized, “in all these issues, there is ongoing theological discussion,” noting that the 192 faculty members of the Ateneo de Manila University who have expressed their support of the RH Bill are free to do so under the academic freedoms granted to Catholic universities.
The CEAP also “supports bishops in discussions with objectors” to Catholic views. The demands of the common good in a plural society in new legislation are of the highest importance, Tabora added.
The CEAP National Convention runs from August 21 to 31 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. Interested parties may follow CEAP on Twitter at CatholicEdPH, and follow our liveblogging coverage below: