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Sep 29th
Home Columns Op-Ed Page “Divorce” between the Couples for Christ and Gawad Kalinga Now Final
“Divorce” between the Couples for Christ and Gawad Kalinga Now Final PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Op-Ed Page
Tuesday, 11 September 2007 16:07

By Nonoy Mendoza

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 8, 2007 (As Updated on June 15, 2009) - I just had dinner with Frank Padilla of Manila, one of the most-interesting and renowned Filipino positive image builders of our generation. We had a chat at the residence of Jim and Tess Taylor of South Arlington, Virginia.

UPDATE As of June 15, 2009: Please view Nonoy Mendoza's "Same Dog, Different Collars" article (Part III of this series) at this hyperlink:

NEWS FLASH (on May 14, 2009): The Couples for Christ Global Foundation has relinquished control of Gawad Kalinga. As such, Joe Tale ceases to be chairman of the GK Board, and Melo Villaroman, installed in the midst of conflict only last January, steps down as GK president. 

This is a complete vindication of Frank Padilla, who in September 2007 removed himself from all associations with Gawad Kalinga, left CFC Global and revived the original CFC corporation established in 1984, the Couples for Christ Foundation Inc (CFCFI) taking on the trade name Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life. Tale’s CFC Global was incorporated only nine years after in 1993, and has since 2007 been known as CFC-GK.

How Frank Padilla acted in prophecy, Joe Tale chose to deal with hindsight and perhaps even “damage control”, as his followers in Canada and few stragglers in the United States circulated recently. 

Two years ago on September 8, I had a chat while dining with Frank Padilla who was visiting the CFC local chapter in the Washington DC area, and he told me that “CFC should go back to evangelization, as we are better . . . 

To read in its entirety Nonoy Mendoza’s report on the “divorce” between the Couples for Christ and Gawad Kalinga, please click on this link:


He and his wife, Gerry, are traveling to different areas in the United States, Canada and Europe where the once-intact Couples For Christ with more than million members are confronted with the spectre of separation between those who prefer evangelization and family and those who wish to continue Gawad Kalinga's over-arching stress on CFC.

Having met Frank on several occasions during the time when I was active in CFC, his mild mannerism has always disarmed me in our conversations. He has not changed a bit except for some evidence of a riper age on his forehead. He mentioned his Restoration Movement, which this writer heartily endorses. I mentioned to Frank that I will be filing a report of our conversation in our Global Pinoy Online News wide a global distributions giving a brief explanation as interpretated by the writer.

"The CFC should go back to evangelization" began Frank. He said CFCs are better as evangelizers rather than fundraisers for social developments," referring obviously to Gawad Kalinga (GK).

Last Easter Sunday, Frank Padilla enumerated 13 reasons why CFC should rationalize its role in GK and claimed that because of GK, CFC had started to veer away from its original charism which is evangelization and family life. With that platform, he organized a "restoration movement" inside Couples for Christ, a gesture that was clearly misunderstood by the present CFC International Council. Not only ignoring his recommendations, the powers-that-be of CFC/GK fired Frank as International Director, by email.

Left with no more alternative and upon the recommendation of Philippine bishops and the Episcopal Commission on the Laity, Frank organized founded Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life.

Frank clarified "We in CFC-FFL remain as 'Couples for Christ.' We have not left CFC, which is the spiritual body and international movement distinct from the Philippine corporation. What we have left is the legal entity of 'Couples for Christ Global Mission Foundation Inc.' We in CFC-FFL have as much right, if not more, to remain as CFC than those who have veered away from our original charism."

GK has replaced holiness with "heroism" and winning the world for Christ with "nation-building'. Thus winning souls have been subdued in favor of constructing houses. CFCs who go to GK events have also been warned to remove their IDs for fear by GK leaders that they might scare prospective partners by the fact that CFC is a faith-based organization.

Frank Padilla, one of the original 16 couples who began Couples for Christ in 1981 and who has served as its executive director for the past 26 hours, said "there is nothing wrong about helping the poor, in fact it completes the gospel and we are honored to have been a great part of it, but our mission is that of an evangelistic community and our priority is preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. We love GK but we will not change our Catholic character just because of it."

One local CFC leader who attended the dinner reception explained that because of the stress GK has been giving CFC, the membership of the latter has dramatically dropped from over a million to about 800,000 as of end 2006. A lot of the disenchantment by members has been caused by the great demand for funds and time by the humanitarian organization on CFC at the expense of evangelization. Regular activities of CFC and its bias for family life have been disrupted by GK fundraisers and construction events.

But what broke the camel's back, the leader said were two things: first, GK no longer discriminates where it gets funds. In an official clarification, Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of CBCP's Commission on the Laity, confirmed this in Tony Meloto's own words that appeared in the Philippines Daily Inquirer. Meloto said: "GK is non-partisan. We do not take any side in building a nation in the same manner that we do not pass judgment on any corporation that we engage. We do not even ask them what their (corporations) products are as long as they want to help."

This drew an immediate rebuke from the bishops, who virtually placed CFC Global's church recognitions under probation. Bishop Reyes added: "Since the CFC Council committed to stop the practice of Gawad Kalinga from accepting funds from companies that produce contraceptives, the CBCP Commission for the Laity will not make any report about this to the Pontifical Council for the Laity."

GK has also allowed the proselytic Mormons to build water systems in all villages. Joe Tale, the new CFC executive director, also promised the bishops to look into it.

The second factor was that GK made Tony Meloto its sole "public face" of instead of thousands of CFC volunteers who pitched in their mites and their brawns to build and maintained the villages. Tony was even given the false credit of being the founder of Gawad Kalinga instead of the ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) Foundation that began the work with the poorest of the poor in Bagong Silang. At one time, Meloto's face was all over all Shell stations all over the country that people started asking if he were running for the Philippine presidency.

GK garnered all kinds of accolade for succeeding what other groups had tried and failed to do in the past. It was even being compared to the concept of the Grameen Bank, for which its advocate won a Nobel Peace Price. GK and Tony Meloto themselves won separate Ramon Magsaysay awards last year.

But as we speak, Meloto is bound to fall flat in his face because in less than three years, he has promised to deliver 7,000 villages and 700,000 homes and today only 22,000 homes in 1,400 communities have been built.

This split within Couples for Christ is an even glaring assurance that Meloto will never get near his bloated target.

On the other hand, Frank Padilla is a simple and humble man and I support him because he is obviously in the right direction of steering the CFC die-hard members to go back to the basics of evangelization... with just a piece of GK and not consumed by it.

Frank has also delivered on his word. Many years ago, he said, by the time CFC gets to be 25 years old, it will be established in 150 countries worldwide. Last year, CFC celebrated its silver anniversary and he went to the center of the stage and announced "as of tonight, CFC is already in 153 countries!" to the thundering applause of those present.

This I say to Frank: "Onward Christian Soldier!"

Related news items:
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Last Updated on Monday, 15 June 2009 11:37
Comments (12)
1 Wednesday, 15 April 2009 19:31
I completely agree with you. The CFC GK should once again look back into its original charism and ask itself if it has been faithful to it through the years.
2 Thursday, 28 May 2009 00:19
"Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him.The goal of the call of God is His satisfaction, not simply that we should do something for Him. We are not sent to do battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles. Are we more devoted to service than we are to Jesus Christ Himself?" - Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), "My Utmost For His Highest"
3 Thursday, 28 May 2009 00:29
"Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him. The goal of the call of God is His satisfaction, not simply that we should do something for Him. We are not sent to do battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles. Are we more devoted to service than we are to Jesus Christ Himself?" - Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), "My Utmost For His Highest"
4 Saturday, 13 June 2009 08:31
i don't know why this story is blown out of proportion... as a "journalist" your supposed to be unbiased... therefore, getting the story from both sides...

"a few stragglers?" only 10% of the CFC in the US moved over to FFL... and some are choosing to come back due to the lack of direction being given to them.. and through some sources, it was Frank that came up with the GK777 idea... so i'm not sure where you get your facts buddy...

improve on your journalism skills... it might get you to the big leagues one day... know that slander won't get you anywhere.
5 Tuesday, 28 July 2009 21:13
don't deny, however, that GK accepts donations from pharmaceutical companies that produce contraceptives, which is blatant disobedience to Church doctrines of PRO LIFE. And Joe Tale pushed through with the elections even though the bishops recommended not to. Haven't you read the article as a whole? It is clear proof that GK doesn't want to be part of CFC anymore and Frank is vindicated.
6 Wednesday, 29 July 2009 14:55
nope, it was not joe tale who pushed through, actually he was trying to follow the PROPOSAL of tito frank on how to conduct the election. it was the ELDER'S ASSEMBLY that decided to push through, it was through votation, read your history :)

and btw, frank partnered with Habitat for humanity? Isn't that a clear contradiction on our catholic faith since? its s protestant community :)
7 Wednesday, 11 November 2009 18:18
I do agree with solidYFC.
8 Sunday, 22 November 2009 23:27
it's a matter of PRIDE MONEY and POSITION noy.

Just listen all the musics on SIDE A and SIDE B. you heard only SIDE B.

So ... i just say you're the one to go back to the basics of journalism skills.

Also agree with solidyfc.

you also just go back to the basics of

9 Monday, 23 November 2009 14:06
Frank and FFL left CFC Global only as a legal entity.

Frank and FFL did not left Couples for Christ as spiritual body duly recognized by the church, ie. The Holy See.

SO, YOU ARE A REBEL CFC since Frank and FFL Do NOT SUBMIT to the Governing BODY of CFC which is the IC as stipulated in the CFC STATUTES duly approved and recognized by the VATICAN submitted by FRANK PADILLA when he was STILL the CFC Executive DIRECTOR of CFC GLobal.

10 Monday, 23 November 2009 22:50
CFC Foundation Inc. ito ang SEC registration na pinatay nila FRANK when he bolted CFC out from ANG LIGAYA ng PANGINOON. ITO ang FIRST LUCEFERIAN REBELLION.

THEN Frank regsitered in SEC CFC Global.

In 2007, Frank Bolted out from CFC Global (kuno) as legal entity. Hence, the used if the name Couples for Christ at may DAGDAG na FFL (Frank For Life) . This is The SECOND LUCEFERIAN REBELLION, Frank Submitted the STATUTES of CFC to Vatican and GAIN DECREE OF RECOGNITION, THe International Council is the overall governing body of CFC which FRANK was the longest serving IC member. NOW, FRANK and FFL do NOT COMPLY the STATUTE by not Submitting to the IC.

Binuhay ni Frank ang CFC FI na kanyan pinatay, A RESTORATION Indeed!
11 Saturday, 13 February 2010 08:28
feb 13, 2010

there was a time that the council could mend the problem by asking brothers involved with the present situations between the communit6y and gk. as i know, the culture of the cfc is what ever the differences exist, the elders or the council should not be bias in making decisions but by all means , have to find solutions to have solidarity as one family. but as what i see, the elders or council itself are the one trying to avoid in finding solutions, by letting go ( to coined a phrase) what been established as part of cfc ministry. as a cfc members, i.e tony meloto, and company is spiritually mature to understand what the elders try to convey, i.e. not accepting donations which is against the priciiple of the community, by telling them that it is not their pride that build homes but the relationships of brothers and sisters in the cfc. the oneness in spirit and blessing of our LORD and GOD. hope and pray that our GOD will not permit us to be a house divided. may the ic rethink their decisions and be enlightened of the right pathways the LORD wants them to walk with.

with this, we, the members will always pray for our solidarity.

12 Sunday, 04 April 2010 17:59
Indeed, time is a great determiner of who is saying the truth and who is in the right path.

We were called to be a brothers keeper, yet Tito Frank's inspired direction was misunderstood by people who were engrossed with position, power, and vainglory.

So not to diminish the spiritual body of CFC, the split in CFC must happen. CFC-Global and CFC-FFL.

After being a program head in Iloilo, I decided to go on as a kuya in SAGIP. I (again) learned in SAGIP many things, one of which is the importance of extending our help in the needy and less fortunate brothers and sisters.
It was really hard work in GK since only few of CFC and its family ministry are serving GK. (This is just to show you that I am not against GK or its good works). I am not generalizing, this is just a particular experience.

While we were serving in GK, the split was happening yet all of us in the ground were led to nowhere. It came to a point (even until today) that the fulltimers questioned the loyalty of its members. It is okay to ask questions, but to make an allegation and impulsively acting and planning out divisive moves against brothers and sisters is not an indication of "faith and good works".

CFC Global had another split. Again, the IC continued to cover GK and also CFC Global's face in humiliation. Yes, because after all that has been said, published, done against those who were just concerned in CFCs life and mission (one of whom is Tito Frank Padilla) like in CFC global's blog, circulated memos, fanned out text messages, in the end, time declared that Tito Frank was right.

So now that the "restoration movement" have proven its cause, we hope that those who are so annoyed by CFC FFL and Tito Frank to discontinue unpleasant behaviors.

Im still dreaming of CFCs-FFL and GMFI--reunion soon. I just hope that brothers and sister be mature enough to ask for forgiveness and really continue to move forward in the light of Christ.

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