WEDNESDAY     April 26, 2000    vol. 11, no. 82    SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Holy See gearing up for Divine Mercy Sunday
  • Supreme Court to decide partial-birth abortion ban perimeters
  • Pure insanity in Ohio as court rules that God is unacceptable
  • Priest pleads for both sides of the barrel of the gun in the Philippines to have mercy
  • Zimbabwe Bishops pray and appeal for peace in war-torn land
  • British Martyrs may no longer be part of pilgrimage if greedy merchants have their way
  • Holy Father invited to visit Turkey as Armenian Catholics celebrate their Jubilee in Rome
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC



        VATICAN ( -- The city of Rome is bracing for a huge influx of pilgrims who are expected to arrive-- particularly from Poland-- for the April 30 canonization of Blessed Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun who popularized the Divine Mercy devotion.

        Blessed Faustina, who died in Krakow in 1938, was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 18, 1993. She became famous first in Poland, then around the world, for receiving a request from Jesus that the first Sunday after Easter should be observed as Divine Mercy Sunday. Her canonization will take place on that feast this year.

        Born on August 25, 1905, as the third of six children born into a poor family in Glogowiec, Faustina Kowalska entered religious life at the age of 20. As a member of the congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, she worked in several different convents as a cook, gardener, or porter. On February 22, 1931, while she was stationed at a convent in Plock, she received a vision in which Jesus Christ appeared to her, asking for the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. The picture of Christ as Blessed Faustina saw him-- clothed in white, with one hand raised in blessing and the other touching his heart-- has also become famous throughout the world.

        In subsequent revelations, Blessed Faustina reported that Jesus had called for the recitation of the Divine Mercy rosary, including prayers for those guilty of grave sins, and other prayers that are specific to the feast. At 3 in the afternoon, observers are asked to prayer for sinners, contemplating the death of Jesus, which occurred at that time of the day.

        Blessed Faustina died on October 5, 1938, several months after receiving a final revelation regarding the Divine Mercy observance. Her body remains at the Krakow convent where she died, along with the picture of Jesus as she saw him, as objects of veneration.

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      Litmus test for Supreme Court as they begin hearings on Nebraska ban on partial-birth abortions

         The United States Supreme Court, which in truth has no clue that there is a higher SUPREME COURT, is hearing arguments in the first major case involving abortion since its infamous Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973. The case involves Nebraska's ban on partial-birth abortions. The outcome, either way, will drastically alter the laws in other states. We can only pray that the Infinite Supreme Judge above will enlighten the minds of the nine finite judges...perhaps asking that the nine choirs of angels surround them in their decision, a decision that will affect the lives of millions of unborn children. continued inside.


        WASHINGTON, DC ( - The US Supreme Court on Tuesday began hearing oral arguments in the first major case involving abortion since a landmark decision in 1992. The current case involves a Nebraska law banning partial-birth abortions and could affect laws in 30 states as well as bans pending in state legislatures and the US Congress.

        Nebraska Attorney General Don Stenberg told the court the law is intended to draw "a bright line between abortion and infanticide." But lawyers representing the Nebraska abortionist challenging the law said it is "so broadly written it could prohibit most second-trimester abortions" and could lead to making all abortions "more dangerous for women."

        Justices David Souter and John Paul Stevens, who upheld the constitutionality of abortion in the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs. Casey decision, also doubted the constitutionality of the Nebraska ban, as did Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer who joined the court after 1992. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas seemed to lean toward upholding the ban, mirroring their dissent from the majority opinion in 1992.

        Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy appeared to be the swing votes, although they also voiced concerns about the breadth of the Nebraska law. The court's decision is expected by late June.

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      Federal Appeals Court bucks Buckeye State Motto proclaiming God

        While the Supreme Court is poring over the partial-birth abortion decision, there is consternation in Ohio after a Federal Appeals Court declared the motto "With God, all things are possible" unconstitutional. You've got to be kidding?!! It's true, after decades the Buckeye motto is no longer applicable in the politically correct godless society! The ACLU brought it to the attention of a few and a liberal Presbyterian minister signed on with satan to challenge the motto despite protests from countless Christians. What would our founding fathers or those who first established the state of Ohio think? For that matter, what does God think about the fact that He is no longer applicable? One thing we do know for sure, "With God all things are possible!"continued inside.


        CINCINNATI ( - A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled Ohio's state motto, "With God, all things are possible," is an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.

        A panel of the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the words had no secular purpose and was an endorsement of Christianity, since the words were taken from the Gospel of Matthew. The phrase has been Ohio's motto since 1959.

        The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the motto and a 1998 decision by a federal judge in Columbus that allowed the motto to be displayed as long as it does not state it comes from the Bible. The state argued that the motto does not compel people to believe anything and that to some people it would not have a religious connotation.

        The ACLU represented the plaintiff, the Rev. Matthew Peterson, a Presbyterian minister in Cleveland, who objected to the use of the motto. It appears on the secretary of state's stationery, state reports, and state tax returns, as well as a bronze plaque in a plaza at the entrance of the Statehouse in Columbus.

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      Captured priest appeals to Filipino military to back off before all 27 Catholic hostages are killed

         As Our Lady and the Holy Father appeal for peace throughout the world, Father Ruel Gallardo, a Claretian missionary being held hostage by Muslim terrorists in southern part of the Philippines on the island of Basilan, is also pleading for peace beginning with the Filipino military's withdrawal from around the compound in the mountainside encampment where the rebels hold 27 Catholics hostage. Fr. Gallardo made his plea via radio, stating that if the soldiers do not retreat all the hostages, including 22 children, are liable to be either killed by beheadings or the artillery from military bombing for the terrorists are using them as human shields. He has asked that both sides negotiate in good faith in order to resolve this sensitive and volatile crisis. continued inside.


        ZAMBOANGO, Philippines ( - A priest being held hostage by an extremist Muslim rebel group on Tuesday appealed for the Philippine government to end a military attack on the rebels' camp.

        Claretian Father Ruel Gallardo told a local radio station the captives, including 22 children, were in danger of being killed in the artillery bombardment. "We are all scared, we will die from the bombings," he said. "If you want us to be released, let us do it peacefully through negotiations, not through bombings. It is not only bullets that will kill us but also terror."

        He also appealed for the government to give in to the rebels' demands, including the release of three Islamic terrorists in jail in the United States. The US has refused to release the three, including the cleric Ramzi Yousef who was convicted of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York. "Whatever the group's demands are, give it to them," Father Gallardo said. "Withdrawal of the military is the number one need right now if you want to save our lives." It was unclear whether the priest was expressing his own opinions or was to forced to read from a rebel script.

        Last month, the Abu Sayyaf rebel group kidnapped more than 70 children and teachers from two Catholic schools in the southern Philippines, releasing most within several days. However, 29 of the hostages were still being held until last week when the rebels beheaded two adult male teachers as a "birthday present" for President Joseph Estrada. The army began an attack on the rebels' mountain stronghold on Monday in an effort to free the captives.

        A military spokesman said the rebels appeared to be using the hostages as human shields, hiding in underground shelters while forcing the captives to stay in a hut above ground. Abu Sayyaf is one of several Muslim groups fighting to establish a separate Islamic homeland in southern area of the mainly Catholic Philippines.

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      Zimbabwe Bishops appeal for peace in spirit of reconciliation for Jubilee Year in their war-torn land

         Meanwhile in Africa, the Bishops of Zimbabwe have offered an appeal for peace in that warring region, which has not known peace for decades. The call to reconciliation is one of the major themes for this Jubilee Year and is a call for all of us to join in making reconciliation in our own lives. All are asked to so that our prayers may be more powerful in bringing peace to nations where peace does not exist. The twentieth century has already seen its record number of martyrs. continued inside.


        ROME, APR 24 ( In a country torn by war and political vengeance, the Bishops of Zimbabwe made a unanimous appeal for reconciliation among warring parties in celebration of Easter. Only a common endeavor will permit a solution to the disagreements and problems "that cannot be resolved by violence."

        Farmers need more land, the city's poor need better housing, and unemployed youth need opportunities for work. But this is not all: national laws must protect the population from every form of abuse; courts must be respected; electors and candidates must not be the object of violence or intimidation and, in addition, international agencies in Zimbabwe must fulfill their duty "without fear and, above all, without favoritism," the Bishops stressed.

        The Bishops conclude that there is a need for reconciliation, which posits a more equitable distribution of land as the first imperative. Land is the national economy's first resource; "it is limited, cannot be produced or multiplied. It can only be subdivided in such a way that all citizens benefit adequately," stressed the Bishops. ZE00042403

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      Pound of prosperity not worth an ounce of devotion in London's Oxford Street where merchants want pilgrimage honoring Catholic martyrs to be halted

         While persecutions continue throughout the world from the Philippines to China, from Zimbabwe to the Sudan, another kind of persecution is continuing unabated in London where the annual pilgrimage to Tyburn honoring over 100 martyrs of the 16th and 17th centuries will soon come to an end due to the almighty dollar, or, in this case, the British pound. This traditional pilgrimage is being stifled by street merchants and shop owners along Oxford Street, the main route of the pilgrimage. Those who take part in the pilgrimage are very aware that a pound of flesh isn't worth anything compared to the immortal soul and its eternal home. They learned that from the 100 Catholic martyrs for the Faith whom they honor. continued inside.


        LONDON ( - The annual pilgrimage to Tyburn in central London where more than 100 martyrs were hanged, drawn, and quartered in the 16th and 17th centuries is to be axed following complaints that it disrupts shopping in Oxford Street.

        For the last century, hundreds of pilgrims have followed the two-mile route from the Old Bailey to Marble Arch along which the martyrs were dragged on hurdles or taken by cart to a gruesome death at the gallows. But this year's walk, next Sunday, will be the last.

        Organizers are under pressure from police to reroute the procession away from Oxford Street, which has become increasingly busy on weekends. And they feel that if they can no longer walk in the footsteps of the martyrs, the event loses much of its significance.

        Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood, who is one of the leaders of this year's Great Jubilee walk, said it had become a "casualty of our age."

        "It is very regrettable," he told The Daily Telegraph. "It is a sign of the growing secularism and commercialism of our age, exemplified by such things as Sunday opening. Life today is full of so many things, but it is good to have time to pause and remember. We all respect the tremendous integrity of the martyrs and, of course, many Protestants as well as Catholics died during those times. In many parts of the world, there is more martyrdom now than ever before."

        Mother John Baptist, a 77-year-old nun at Tyburn convent near the site of the executions, at Marble Arch, said the news had come as "a great blow" to her cloistered community.

        "In the past people used to stream to Tyburn to see the executions," she said. "Now people stream here from all over the world to visit the shrine of the martyrs. People are being attacked in different ways today. You don't have to risk your life, but you can be jeered at for honoring the martyrs."

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      Pope invited to Turkey in 2001 while Armenian Catholics celebrate their Jubilee at Vatican

         Turkey's Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II has invited the Holy Father to visit the Turkish people next year in a statement made on Easter Sunday. While Muslims are the majority religious sect within Turkey, there are many Armenian Catholics and the area is privileged to be the keeper of such holy sites as Ep;hesus. The Holy See has not yet announced a response but they were entertaining a large contingent of Armenians including the former Armenian Catholic Patriarch during the Armenian Jubilee on Monday. continued inside.


        ISTANBUL ( - Turkey's Armenian patriarch invited Pope John Paul II to visit his country in the next year as he delivered his Easter message Sunday.

        Patriarch Mesrob II, spiritual leader of Turkey's Armenian community of around 50,000, said: "We hope the Pope will come to Turkey, as he went to Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, to experience the hospitality of the Turkish people for himself," the patriarchate said in a statement received by Reuters on Monday.

        Most of the 65 million Turks are Muslim with Armenian Christians making up the second largest religious group. Turkey is the site of several key biblical sites, including Ephesus, to whose Christians St. Paul wrote his epistle, where St. John the Evangelist was bishop, and where the Virgin Mary lived for some years with John after the resurrection, according to tradition.

        The day after the invitation, the former Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, Jean-Pierre XVIII Kasparian, led the Jubilee celebration of the Armenian Catholic Church at the Vatican on April 24.

        The date chosen for that celebration coincided with the day on which Armenians all around the world commemorate the genocidal massacres of 1915 and thereafter, which wiped out a substantial portion of their people. (Over 1 million Armenians were killed in concentration camps or died of hunger and disease between 1915 and 1918, as the "Young Turks" of the Ottoman Empire forcibly moved the entire Armenian population from their original homeland on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to a new land on the other side of modern-day Turkey, just south of Georgia and east of Azerbaijan.)

        About 300 members of Rome's small Armenian Catholic community participated in the Easter Monday ceremonies at the Vatican, with a procession through the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica, and a celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the Armenian rite, in the smaller church of St. Anne.

        The Armenian Catholic Church traces her origins back to the Crusades, when the Christian armies made their way through Armenia on their way to the Holy Land. There are about 345,000 Armenian Catholics in the world today; the Armenian Apostolic Church, which broke from Rome at the time of the Council of Chalcedon in 451, is much larger, with about 6 million faithful.

        The Armenian Catholic Church is headed by a patriarch, whose base is now in Beirut. Patriarch Jean-Pierre XVIII Kasparian held that post from 1982 until his retirement last year. In October 1999 the Armenian Synod elected his successor, Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX.

         For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and the Dossiers, features and Daily Dispatches from ZENIT International News Agency CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC, but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

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