THE PHILIPPINES’ high rate of pornography demands Christian re-evangelization, said a priest in a lecture titled “You and the Year of Faith” at the Iraya Study Center in Sampaloc, Manila last Nov. 7.

“Our way of culture and doing has changed. That’s why we need the Year of Faith. One of the reasons why some [people’s faiths aren’t] healthy is because people now base their thinking and acting not on faith anymore,” said Fr. Manuel Belarmino, S.Th.D., executive secretary of Theological Centrum, a group that trains secular priests.

According to Tech Media Network, an international research and advertising website, the Philippines ranked No. 8 in the world in terms of revenues from pornography ($1 billion) in 2006, tying with Taiwan and Canada.

The country with the highest revenues from pornographic materials were China ($27.40 billion), South Korea ($25.73 billion), Japan ($19.98 billion), United States ($13.33 billion), Australia ($2 billion), United Kingdom ($1.97 billion), and Italy ($1.40 billion).

Belarmino, an editor of the publication titled “Documentation Service,” said the Year of Faith is also necessary amid debates over the “reproductive health” (RH) bill as well as the decline in morality and widespread ignorance of faith.

“Ignorance” is one of the enemies of the Church when it comes to moral teachings, he said.

“The Lord is very good that the door of faith is open. We just have to enter it, but not all people do. If you want to be a Christian, you have to receive the faith,” Belarmino added.

He challenged students to take a step in spreading the faith in the country by proclaiming the Word of God and opening their hearts to Him.

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“We have to practice our faith in an integral way. It’s not enough to know faith and the teachings of the Church. We also have to profess and declare it to others.”

Belarmino finished his doctorate in Theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome and his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Santo Tomas.

Year of Faith

The second year of faith, which runs from Oct. 11 to Nov. 24, 2013, coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict XVI announced the Year of Faith in his homily last Oct. 16, and released a letter, Porta Fidei, which means “door of faith.”

“It was called such because the door of faith is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into His church,” the Pope said. ”The initiative is required because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people.”

The “new evangelization” aims to restore the strength of faith in traditionally Christian countries now dominated by secularism.

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