MANILA, April 27, 2011?At least 36 researchers from Catholic academic institutions across the country have gathered since yesterday at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center for a two-day meeting to evaluate Pastoral Plans of dioceses, 20 years after the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II).
San Fernando de Pampanga Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, chair of the CBCP-wide assessment study, said the gathering hopes to review the Second Plenary Council after two decades.
The 132 PCP II decrees have been implemented in two degrees, on the national level by CBCP Commissions and on the diocesan level by the Diocesan Pastoral Councils or other pertinent bodies.
Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi, OP, who was then at the forefront of the PCP-II, provided backgrounders on the Second Plenary Council and National Pastoral Council during the meeting.
Legaspi said his talk â€œrelived the memory of special grace of PCP-II to the Church.â€ When asked if the goals of the Second Plenary Council held in 1991 have been accomplished, the prelate said â€œonly God can judge that but there are many solid indications that the dioceses, with different levels and different forms tried to accomplish something.â€
â€œHe (Abp. Legaspi) was the one who presided over the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines including the drafting of the National Pastoral Plan,â€ David said, recalling that 10 years after the PCP-II, it seemed â€œnothing was happening and that PCP II was not moving.â€
A National Pastoral Consultation or NPCCR was called in 2001, Bishop David recalled.
However, Legaspi said it may not necessarily be true that nothing was happening ten years after the national event at San Carlos Pastoral Complex in Makati City. The senior prelate opined it may have had something to do with what the people expected to happen after PCP II.
â€œItâ€™s more of an issue of describing rather than prescribing,â€ David said.
David said his group of researchers will try to find out where the Philippine church and its people are and what the dioceses are doing and in what ways have they been implementing the decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines.
â€œWeâ€™re trying to detect these through the output of the dioceses like their consultations and pastoral councils and pastoral plans they have produced,â€ David explained. He said they will also go through the available documents which could become basis for charting the serious implementation of the decrees of PCP II.
Catholic universities which have research capabilities have been tapped to help. These are the University of Sto. Tomas, Ateneo de Davao, Ateneo de Zamboanga, University of San Carlos, University of San Agustin, Xavier University, Adamson University, Assumption University, Aquinas University, and Holy Angels University.
The researchers would help the CBCP with Secretary General Juanito Figura and Assistant Secretary General Joselito Asis, to assess the output of the dioceses.
â€œOn the basis of the documents we have in our hands and our knowledge of PCP II, we came up with an instrument of assessment,â€ David explained.
He acknowledged a doctoral student who made a dissertation out of PCP II and proposed an instrument that would serve as tool for evaluating the pastoral plans of the dioceses so the implementation process could be assessed.
Both Legaspi and David agreed most of the bishops who took part in the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines have all retired or may have passed away.
â€œEighty percent of the bishops who participated in 1991 have either long retired or have gone ahead,â€ David said.
Legaspi said it may be hard to assess PCP II without a living memory of the event.
After two-day meeting, the researchers hope to have understood the assessment study to be accomplished according to its criteria and target audience, determine the approach and design to make a full assessment of the pastoral plans and programs and to fine tune and test run the assessment tool to be employed in the study.
The academicians also hope to schedule activities and submit deliverables according to their schedule.
Figura said the two-day activity is anchored on commitment, capacity and control. (Melo M. Acuna/Vanessa Puno)