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SPLITS ROCK COUPLES FOR CHRIST/GAWAD KALINGA(GK)

by PESANTE-USA Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007 at 5:45 AM
magsasakapil@hotmail.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

he Couples for Christ (CFC) , one of the biggest Catholic lay organization with membership in 160 countries announced it has spit into two with the largest segment remaining as CFC, the Philippine News reported today. Until the release of the letter dated August 16, the internal dissension was kept under wraps. The CFC was established in 1981. The CFC started the Gawad Kalinga (GK) program that seeks to build 777, 000 housing units for the “poorest of the poor” in the Philippines.

SPLITS ROCK COUPLES FOR CHRIST/GAWAD KALINGA(GK)

Los Angeles—The Couples for Christ (CFC) , one of the biggest Catholic lay organization with membership in 160 countries announced it has spit into two with the largest segment remaining as CFC, the Philippine News reported today.

Until the release of the letter dated August 16, the internal dissension was kept under wraps. The CFC was established in 1981. The CFC started the Gawad Kalinga (GK) program that seeks to build 777, 000 housing units for the “poorest of the poor” in the Philippines.

As one of its “seven pillars” GK is under the supervision of the CFC. GK promotes the “discipleship of Christ” by helping the poor and providing them livelihood and decent shelter.

GK MELOTO QUITS GAWAD

The program has earned international recognition as well as accolades for Meloto including the Ramon Magsaysay Award and the 2007 person of the Year by the Philippine newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI). However GK also earned the scorn as it was accused of overshadowing the work of the CFC.

Former GK head Tony Meleto resigned as GK head in an apparent move to diffuse tension within the CFC. Throughout the conflict remained silent .

The Joint Statement of Frank Padilla and the CIC International Council declared the split together with the CFC US Country Coordinator Ricky Cuenca. Cuenca also asked the dissenters “ to stop all these negative emails, accusations and other conduct unworthy of Christian leaders.”

One email message circulating in different CFC online groups asked: “ Are we building God’s kingdom (GK) villages? Or we building instead altars for foreign gods of some GK partners: wives of Solomon ( anti-life corporations).

Under the leadership of Padilla, the splinter group will be known as the Restoration Movement it is also referred as the Easter Group. Padilla is one of the founding members of the CFC established in the Philippines. He reportedly quit in protest of the CFC concentrating much of its resources of Gawad Kalinga (GK)

US CFC AFFECTED WITH THE SPLIT

In the U.S., Cuenca quickly realigned the CFC-USA and replaced people who are loyal to Padilla, who formerly was overseeing the North American region. In Chicago, Manny Hermano sided with Padilla in the US Midwest.

The cooptation of the GK with the government agencies led by Vice President Noli “Boy” De Castro that heads the government housing program makes the matter worse.

The CFC people believes that the government is having a free ride with the GK especially when it was supported by the former US president Carter’s Habitat for Humanity. The CFC people both in the United States ad in the Philippines wanted the government housing program out of the GK.

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