Gawad Kalinga heightens Couples For Christ fray, Ilonggo devouts spread Padilla-led message
Ilonggo couples under the religious Couples For Christ (CFC) group are helping spread the word to fellow members with the CFC hit with a seemingly worsening internal conflict.
Bearing messages of understanding and clarification, an open letter to the Ilonggo community has been passed around in support of CFC's Frank Padilla.
Dubbed as "spiritual warfare" and acknowledged as "the reality of a split within the CFC," Ilonggo couple-members are given the choice – go for the CFC International Council (IC) or stay with the CFC –FFL of Padilla.
At the helm of the unprecedented split was the Gawad Kalinga (GK) program, a globally-hailed housing program for the poor and homeless. Unfortunately, with corporate sponsorships pouring in and fundings from just about any international donor welcomed, CFC hierarchy crumbled. And thereafter came the CFC-GK and the CFC-FFL.
A copy of the open letter was obtained by The News Today (TNT) from longtime CFC members, an overwhelming majority backing the position of Padilla or the CFC-FFL.
"Last year the Lord brought us to Lamentations, to teach us a stern lesson that we would lose it all if we are unfaithful to our covenant… We all allowed the enemy (the devil, our common enemy) to enter our gates with the result that CFC plunged into deep crisis and then split… if we had not split, CFC would soon have disintegrated as the enemy wanted to destroy us all.. We in the CFC-FFL, the restored CFC true to its authentic charism, moved on, with great joy and starting to experience the return of God's anointing," excerpts of the letter went.
As such, CFC-FFL here calls on member-couples and the community to pray. Yet first – be not afraid.
"The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. Second, rejoice in the persecution for the sake of righteousness... and Third, do not retaliate in kind. Fourth, pray hard," the letter continued.
CFC-FFL Ilonggo group wants a distinction from the CFC-GK saying the priorities as now set makes the difference.
CFC-GK continues to put emphasis on social aspect which primarily includes the continued GK program. CFC-FFL on the other hand now puts emphasis on spiritual life with family and life as the center. CFC-GK is out to build a nation while CFC-FFL the group pointed out, is out to build God's Kingdom.
And it is also heroism for CFC-GK over holiness of CFC-FFL alongside the GK program looked by CFC-GK as non-sectarian while CFC-FFL work is "overtly Catholic."
"If GK as a pillar of CFC had not veered away from God's intent, then we would still be united today. However, given the importance of work with the poor, we can understand CFC-GK's continuing with GF777 (700,000 houses by 2010). We admire its passion to help the materially poor. With the clear difference in emphasis between CFC-GK and CFC-FFL, then our brethren can follow their heart and decide what is God's call to them. We go our separate ways, free from the conflict generated by the tension between CFC and GK," Padilla then wrote in November while adding an appeal, "But even as we separate ways, might we still not be united in some way?"
Padilla has since presented a proposal "covering two important dimensions of the gospel" – the spiritual and the social without generating internal conflict. The proposal was outrightly rejected.
"But in the meantime, there is much work to be done. We in CFC-FFL are moving forward…," he ended.
It was not immediately clear how many CFC-members belong to the Ilonggo community yet estimates are placed at least 5,000 couples.