FRI-SAT-SUN     April 7-9, 2000    vol. 11, no. 70    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • WAY OF THE CROSS 6-14
  • SIMPLY SHEEN

    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:

  • House passes Partial Birth Abortion Ban
  • Pope to beatify five on Sunday
  • Kofi Annan to call on Pope today
  • Elian in middle of tug-of-war with Castro trying to pull Church into the mud


  • WAY OF THE CROSS continued: Stations 6 through 14

    6. Veronica wipes the Holy Face of Jesus

      We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
      (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

      MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, at times I am afraid to reach out to others. I do nothing when I should act; I say nothing when I should speak out. Give me a deeper and more courageous faith. Help me to trust that You are with me.

      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

    7. Jesus falls for the Second Time

      We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
      (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

      MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, failure and disappointment sometimes lead me to despair. I hide behind my pride and self-pity, withdrawing from You and others. Give me the hope I need and help me never to be afraid to begin again.

      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

    8. Jesus comforts the Women of Jerusalem

      We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
      (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

      MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, Your great compassion for others overwhelms me. I feel petty and selfish when I think of You and the way You love. Help me to pour out my love, that You might fill me with Your Love.

      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

    9. Jesus falls for the Third Time

      We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
      (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

      MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, Your failing strength makes me see how helpless I am. Without You, I can do nothing. Help me to rely on Your strength, to see how much I need You.

      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

    10. Jesus is stripped of His garments

      We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
      (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

      MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, seeing You so cruelly humiliated makes me realize how I cling to my accomplishments, my possessions, my way. Help me to let go of those things in my life that prevent me from growing closer to You and others.

      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

    11. Jesus is nailed to the Cross

      We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
      (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

      MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, I can never doubt Your great love for me when I see You crucified. Help me to see Your cross as the great sign of Your love for me.

      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

    12. Jesus dies on the Cross

      We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
      (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

      MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, Your broken and lifeless body calls me to deeper faith. You chose death, even death on the cross. Help me to see my crosses as ways of loving You.

      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

    13. Jesus is taken down from the Cross

      We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
      (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

      MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, seeing Your body taken from the cross reminds me how fearful I am of letting go of my own life. I am frightened when I think of being unimportant, useless, and helpless. Help me to place my life in Your hands.

      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

    14: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

      We adore you, O Lord, and we praise You. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
      (genuflect or make the sign of the cross)

      MEDITATION: Lord Jesus, when I see the great stone sealing Your tomb, I feel alone and abandoned. Even though You sometimes seem distant or absent in my life, help me always to believe in Your closeness and loving presence.

      Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

    CLOSING SCRIPTURE READING

    "On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn, they went to the tomb with spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but on entering they discovered that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there. As they stood there not knowing what to think, two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared at their side. Terrified, the women lowered their eyes. But the two men said to them, "Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; He has risen. Remember what He told you when He was still in Galilee: that the Son of Man had to be handed over to the power of sinful men, be crucified, and rise again on the third day?" And they remembered His words" (Luke 24: 1-8).

    CLOSING PRAYER

         Lord Jesus, help me to walk with You each day of my life, even to Calvary. The sorrow and joy, the pain and healings, the failures and triumphs of my life are truly small deaths and resurrections that lead me to closeness with You. Give me the faith and trust I need to walk with You always. Amen.
        Nihil Obstat: Very Rev. Msgr. Carroll E. Satterfield, S.T.D. Censor Librorum

        Imprimatur: William Donald Borders, D.D. Archbishop of Baltimore
        August 21, 1984

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    Cloak and dagger religion is not of God!

       They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

    "It is not to the politicians and the economists and the social reformers that we must look for the first steps in spiritual recovery; it is to the professed religious. The nonreligious can help by repudiating those who come to them in the name of God or America and say that their neighbor does not love either. Religion must not be a cloak covering the dagger of hate! "

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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:


    U.S. HOUSE PASSES PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION BAN
    Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Practice

        WASHINGTON, D.C., APR 6 (ZENIT.org).- The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed a bill banning partial-birth abortions. The 287-141 margin guarantees the success of a vote to overturn a Clinton veto. However, the Senate companion bill did not pass with a 2/3 margin, endangering the possibility of overturning a veto.

        The only difference between the House and Senate versions is that the Senate inserted language declaring that the Roe v. Wade decision permitting abortion was "an important constitutional right" and should not be overturned. A conference committee will now work out the final version of the bill to be presented for President Clinton's signature or veto.

        Pro-abortion factions attempted to amend the House ban to permit the procedure in cases involving "serious long-term physical health consequences" to the mother. However, this amendment was rejected 289-140.

        A poll recently commissioned by the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Knights of Columbus shows that Americans overwhelmingly oppose the use of partial-birth abortion techniques. Of the respondants, 68% support the House bill banning the process, while 19.6% oppose it, and 13.4% indicated no opinion on the matter. The poll was done by MarketFacts, contacting 1,000 citizens between March 31 and April 2, 2000. It has a margin of error of 3.1%. ZE00040620

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    JOHN PAUL II WILL BEATIFY 20TH CENTURY APOSTLE OF ECUMENISM
    Founder of Order of Women Dedicated to Dialogue

        VATICAN CITY, APR 6 (ZENIT.org).- This coming Sunday, John Paul II will proclaim 5 new Blessed. Among them is Swedish religious Maria Elisabeth Hesselblad, who will be remembered as one of the great driving forces in the 20th century of the dialogue among Christians of different confessions.

        She was born in Sweden in 1870 to a Lutheran family. At 18, she emigrated to the United States to help her family financially. When she witnessed the suffering and sickness at Roosevelt Hospital in New York, where she worked as a nurse, Maria Elisabeth developed great spiritual and human sensitivity. She turned to the love of the crucified Christ, and was inspired by the life and writings of her compatriot St. Bridget of Sweden, a mystic who died in 1373, and whom John Paul II named last year co-patron of Europe.

        Maria Elisabeth converted to Catholicism on August 15, 1902. She described the difficulties and illnesses she suffered before embracing the Catholic Church in these words: "Some months went by during which my soul was submerged in an agony that I thought would take my life from me. But light came, and with it strength."

        This "strength" enabled her to go to Rome two years later where, with special permission from Pope Pius X, she received the habit of the Bridgittines, in St. Bridget's House in the Eternal City, which at the time was the property of Carmelite nuns. In 1911, she reconstituted the Order of St. Bridget, which recovered its contemplative tradition, the solemn celebration of the liturgy, the apostolate, and constant commitment to the Church's unity. She received final approval for the Order from the Holy See on December 2, 1940.

        During and after the Second World War, she carried out intense work of charity in support of the poor and persecuted, victims of Italian racist laws, and promoted the movement of dialogue among Christians. She told her spiritual daughters to be united to God and to love the Church and the Pope. Her driving force was the unity of Christians in the one Church of Christ: "This is the primary end of our vocation."

        Mother Maria Elisabeth's foundation today is present in Europe (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Poland, England, Switzerland, and Italy), Asia (India, the Philippines), and North America (Mexico and the United States). She died in Rome on April 24, 1957.

    Council Forerunner

        Mother Tekla Famiglietti, General Abbess of the Sisters of St. Bridget, remembers her with these words: "Coming from Lutheranism, Mother Maria Elisabeth lived her Catholicism with ecumenical sensitivity, and adopted this attitude in the formative dimension of the Order. One could say that Mother anticipated the spirit of Vatican Council II. In particular, she instituted 'spiritual and charitable ecumenism.' Following Mother Maria Elisabeth's prophetic intuitions, it is easier to understand what John Paul II says in his encyclical 'Ut Unum Sint' (1995), when he speaks of the 'ecumenical road' as the 'road of the Church' (Cf. nn. 7-14) and of the 'primacy of prayer' in the ecumenical movement (Cf. nn. 21-27)."

        All the religious heirs of the spiritual legacy of Maria Elisabeth Hesselblad (they number about 600 worldwide) are expected to be in Rome to participate in the beatification ceremony. There will also be many Swedish pilgrims. The celebrations will conclude next Tuesday with the profession of 16 new religious of this Order. The new consecrated women come from Finland, Poland, Mexico, and India, among other countries. ZE00040608

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    POPE TO MEET UN SECRETARY GENERAL TODAY AFTER YEMEN'S PRESIDENT VISITED PONTIFF YESTERDAY

        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II will receive Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations, in a private audience on April 7.

        For Annan-- who is in Rome for meetings on world hunger and the problems created by drought in the Horn of Africa-- this will be the fourth direct meeting with the Pope. He has been received at the Vatican in April 1997 (for an introductory meeting after assuming his UN post), June 1998 (to discuss the International Criminal Court), and June 1999 (to discuss the Balkan war).

        Pope John Paul II met yesterday with President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen in a private audience.

        The Yemeni leader arrived at the Vatican for the first time following the establishment of formal relations between his country and the Holy See, which took place in October 1998. Abdullah Saleh paid homage to the Pope for his role in bringing an end to the Cold War-- a conflict which exacted a heavy price from the people of Yemen, since their country was divided into two opposing states, one siding with the Soviet bloc and the other the United States.

        Yemen today has a population of about 15 million people, of whom only 3,000 are Catholics. Most of these Catholics are foreign workers, including many from southeast Asia.

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      Elian Gonzalez controversy covering up Castro's agenda against the Church

         While the world is concerned for the plight of little Elian Gonzales, who has become a political ping pong ball with his own father now in the United States parrotting Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the latter has been mischievously and insidiously worked behind the scenes in leading a cruel campaign against the Church and against human rights activists, according to sources in Havana. This is quite a setback after all the progress the Holy Father made just two years ago during his historic trip to the communist island. But Castro clings to the hammer and sickle and in his old age has become even more senile and sinister in his ways. continued inside.

    ELIAN CONTROVERSY MASKING CUBA REPRESSION OF CHURCH

        ROME (CWNews.com/Fides) - While the world is concerned for the plight of little Elian Gonzales, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, undisturbed behind the scenes, is leading a cruel campaign against the Church and against human rights activists, according to sources in Havana.

        Elian Gonzales, 6, is in the custody of relations in Miami after arriving in November, saved from a refugee boat that sank in the crossing, killing his mother and 10 others. The boy has become the focus of the conflict between the Cuban-American community that wants to keep him in the United States to save him from Cuba's "regime of terror" and Castro and his Communist government who want the boy returned.

        For several months, while the Elian story has become an international media circus, the Catholic Church has been repeatedly targeted in Cuba, according to the sources. "There is a sort of war to destroy the influence and prestige of the Church" which had acquired "so much credibility in the eyes of the people since the visit of John Paul II" two years ago, they said.

        The anti-Church campaign has used the story of Elian and the American Dominican nun Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, with whom the boy's Cuban grandmothers stayed in January. Last month, Cuban television showed a spot of the nun who, thanks to computer technology, gradually turned into a devil. Government newspapers refer to the nun as "Sister Dollar" and a "sexual pervert." Havana police have publicly announced that anyone openly defending the nun will be fined 2500 pesos, about ten times an average Cuban wage.

        In the schools, teachers tell the children that Elian has been "kidnapped" and that it is "God's fault." Another source said: "Children who have begun to come in large numbers regularly to catechism, are beginning to ask: Why does God allow this kidnapping? Why does the Church want it to continue? Why don't the priests do something?"

        Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino of Havana has consistently said since December that the boy should be reunited with his father, but official newspapers refused to print it for ten days. In February, the cardinal denounced the fact that the Elian case was used to attack Pope John Paul II, citing a television program in which a speaker asked, "How can he (the Pope) celebrate the birth of the Child Jesus when little Elian is still held captive?"

        After the Pope's visit there had been some opening, with more television space for the cardinal, Christmas restored as a regular annual holiday, and a national Congress on the Church's Social Doctrine in December with the participation of Archbishop Jean Louis Tauran, the Holy See secretary for relations with states.

        But sources said these small signs of opening are ever fewer and are giving way to more control. Last December, a meeting at the national shrine of Cobre, for which more than 1,000 young people had registered, was cancelled by the authorities the day before. Other events for which permits had been issued have also been cancelled without explanation and secret police have been checking homilies and watching movements.

        The Communist government's two main concerns, according to observers, are the increasing collaboration between dissidents and Christians to discuss the Church's teachings on human rights and dignity and the increasing numbers of people, especially young people, returning to the Church. "Our young people want the Church," one source said. "They are beginning to realize that the state denies God, prevents them from becoming fully human beings, with inalienable rights and dignity hitherto unknown."

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    April 7-9, 2000     volume 11, no. 70
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