FRI-SAT-SUN     February 11-13, 2000    vol. 11, no. 30    SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • World Day for the Sick begins
  • Confession at the heart of the Jubilee Pilgrimage and Indulgences
  • Maronites celebrate Jubilee with Holy Father
  • Bishop's offer to IRA rejected
  • Congress to try again to preserve bans on Partial Birth Abortions
  • Hillary getting caught in her own lies
  • Guatemala priest arrested again as coverup continues
  • Havana's archbishop warns Cubans not to attack Church over Gonzalez affair
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC


  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant


    THE JOY OF THOUSANDS OF SICK PILGRIMS IS CONTAGIOUS
    Unforgettable Gatherings Begin for the Jubilee of the Sick

        VATICAN CITY, FEB 10 (ZENIT).- Thousands of sick people from around the globe have made a point of coming to Rome to participate in the Jubilee of the sick. At least four thousand seriously physically-handicapped people will meet with Pope John Paul II today at the Jubilee Mass he will celebrate -- a total of fifteen thousand, including care personell, have requested the free tickets.

        This Jubilee involves one of the greatest organizational efforts for the Vatican and the city of Rome. No detail serving to prevent understandable obstacles has been left to chance, in order give these pilgrims -- some in wheelchairs, some with crutches -- a hearty welcome. The numbers speak for themselves: Rome's municipal transportation commission has added almost 140 buses equipped with special platforms and wheelchairs, two thousand volunteers have been mobilized, eighty doctors are on standby at the residences that will house them, and in the zones to be traveled by these pilgrims the number of first aid stations has been increased.

        The program of celebrations began Thursday afternoon with an opening Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, in which eight thousand sick people participated; 836 of them in wheelchair, and 6 on beds. This spiritual meeting opens the door to a whole series of suggestive encounters. After the Mass with the Holy Father tomorrow morning, an evening candle-light procession in honor of Mary will be celebrated on Via della Conciliazione, the street which leads up to St. Peter's Square from the Tiber River. The day will end with a sound and light show in front of St. Peter's Basilica.

        On Saturday morning there will be a Way of the Cross at the Coliseum, and in the afternoon the sick will become protagonists in a Festival of testimonies, prayer, and music in the Paul VI Audience Hall. Finally, the pilgrims will bid farewell at Holy Cross of Jerusalem Church.

        Thursday, a two-day Congress held in preparation for this Jubilee drew to a close in the Vatican. Sessions took place in groups divided by categories, and the conclusions of the Congress will be distributed to the healthcare personnel involved in the debates: doctors, nurses, and pharmaceutical representatives. ZE00021004

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    CONFESSION STRESSED AS KEY TO JUBILEE PILGRIMAGE

        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In a note published on the front page of the official Vatican newspaper, the head of the Vatican's Apostolic Penitentiary-- the body concerned with penances and indulgences-- has set out the conditions for obtaining indulgences during the Jubilee year.

        In the February 10 issue of L'Osservatore Romano, Cardinal William Baum emphasizes that a Jubilee pilgrimage should lead to "reconciliation with God," beginning with individual confession.

        Msgr. Jean-Marie Gervais, an official at the apostolic penitentiary, explains that the note from Cardinal Baum is intended to clarify the purpose of the Jubilee pilgrimage. He explains: "Many people have planned to make a Jubilee pilgrimage to Rome during the Holy Year, but perhaps they have not all realized that this should first and foremost be a time of personal conversion, centered on the Sacrament of Reconciliation."

        The note from Cardinal Baum is intended to provide a pastoral understanding of the pilgrimage and the accompanying indulgence. It also offers a less formal approach to the topic than had previously been available. The Apostolic Penitentiary had published a formal decree in November 1999, setting forth the indulgences that could be obtained during the Holy Year, as well as a "manual of indulgences." But these publications were formal legal documents; now Cardinal Baum provides a more accessible guide to the topic.

        In an introduction to the prelate's note, L'Osservatore Romano notes that "the gift of an indulgence shows the fullness of God's mercy which is expressed in the first place through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation." The paper goes on to say that even after being absolved of sin, "the human person is still marked by the 'residue' of sin, because of which he is not fully open to grace." Thus the individual still needs God's grace to complete the process of conversion. For this purpose, L'Osservatore states, "the gift of an indulgence is a powerful help."

        The Holy See is placing a heavy stress on the importance of Confession during the Jubilee Year. Inside St. Peter's Basilica, the entire right side of the transept has been closed off to tourists, to accommodate confessionals for pilgrims. Also, the left side of the colonnade in the atrium of the basilica has been filled with rows of confessionals, where priests from the Roman Curia are hearing confessions on a regular basis. Vatican officials are doing their best to ensure that pilgrims will have ready access to the sacrament, with priests available to hear confessions in a number of different languages.

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      Bishop of Rome welcomes 500 Maronites celebrating the Jubilee

         The Holy Father warmly welcomed the Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir and 500 Maronite faithful Thursday in Rome to celebrate the Jubilee. The Pope called for prayers and action to end the hatred and volatile situation in Lebanon where the majority of the Maronites come from. The Patriarch of Antioch and bonafide member of the Sacred Conclave celebrated Mass at St. Mary Major before all met with the Vicar of Christ. continued inside.

    POPE PLEADS FOR AN END TO HATRED AND INTOLERANCE IN LEBANON
    Maronite Pilgrims in Rome for the Jubilee

        VATICAN CITY, FEB 10 (ZENIT).- In his words to five hundred Maronite Lebanese pilgrims who yesterday celebrated their Jubilee in St. Mary Major's Basilica, John Paul II asked this morning that an end be put to hatred and intolerance in Lebanon, so that this country can continue to be a "message" of coexistence between believers of different religions.

        He began by calling to mind the great figures of Maronite Catholicism. This is a Church that has engendered numerous saints throughout the centuries. The Pope reminded them of the hermit, Charbel Maklouf, canonized by Paul VI on October 9, 1977; of blessed Rafqa, a Maronite nun beatified by John Paul II himself, on November 17, 1987; and of Nimatullah Al-Hardini, a Maronite monk and priest whom he beatified eleven years later. The latter's cause concluded just after the Pontiff's historic visit to Lebanese soil.

        Making reference to the Apostolic Exhortation written at the conclusion of the special Synod for Lebanon held in Rome, he expressed his joy at seeing its prompt implementation. This was made tangible in the recent Assembly of Patriarchs and Catholic Bishops of Lebanon, organized last November.

        With heartfelt joy, John Paul II announced that yesterday, after long years of closure due to the consequences of the second World War and the delicate situation in Lebanon, he officially reopened the doors of the Pontifical Maronite College. This institution was created by Pope Gregory XIII in the sixteenth century and has made a decisive contribution to the cultural splendor that imbued the whole Lebanese people, forming some of their sharpest minds.

        For the Pope, Lebanon is not only a country, it is a "message.".Hence, the Lebanese vocation turns this country into a place where "Christians can live in peace and brotherhood with the followers of other beliefs, and where they will be able to promote coexistence." He added, "I wish to tell you today with the strength of love: 'The Pope is always close to you.' I am at your side as a father in this period when intolerance leads, at times, to the revival of the spirits of hate, which we would like to have disappear forever."

        Yesterday afternoon in the Basilica of St. Mary Major, Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, presided the Mass in the Syro-Antiochian Maronite rite. Among those present were hundreds of Maronites, many from Lebanon, celebrating their Jubilee in Rome.

        In his homily, the Patriarch insisted upon the historical relations that unite the Maronite Church with the See of Peter. The Maronite Church takes its name from the hermit St. Maron, who died around the year 410 and whose liturgical feast is celebrated on the ninth of February. The liturgical language of the Church is Aramaic -- the language Jesus himself spoke. Following the Arab invasions, the Maronites began to use Arabic, especially from the fourteenth century on. They now use the language of the country in which they live, although the most sacred part of the Liturgy, the Consecration of the Eucharist, is conserved in Aramaic.

        The Maronite liturgy is quite simple; it was born in an austere monastery context. The rite has a stupendous spiritual and theological heritage, transmitted by Syrian Fathers such as Saint Ephraim (306-373), famous in both East and West for his hymns to Mary, and one of the 33 doctors of the Catholic Church.

        The total number of Maronite faithful in the world was given as 3,580,000 in the official 1999 statistics. However, the actual number is much higher, perhaps 6 million, since in many parts of the world, given that they cannot find a local Maronite Church, many register themselves in parishes of the Latin Rite. After Lebanon, the largest Maronite communities are to be found in the United States, Cyprus, Egypt, Mexico, and other countries on the American continents. ZE00021002

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      IRA's response to Bishop on offer to watch over weapons: "Thanks, but no thanks!"

         So much for County Derry's Bishop Seamus Hegarty offer to safeguard weapons turned in by IRA members for the latter are not willing to cooperate. Since it takes two to tangle, this becomes an even more complicated tangled web for the Sein Fein coalition right now stands as a roadblock to maintaining the peace accord signed on Good Friday two years ago and which since has been dangling by a brittle thread continued inside.

    IRISH BISHOP'S ARMS OFFER REJECTED

        BELFAST, Northern Ireland (CWNews.com) - The Irish Republican Army has rejected the offer by Bishop Seamus Hegarty of Derry to personally accept weapons from the IRA in an attempt to end the deadlock over decommissioning.

        Bishop Hegarty said on Tuesday that he was ready to act as a guarantor and supervisor for the safekeeping of a quantity of weapons "to allow time and space for the political process to develop" on the condition that the arms were "put beyond use."

        But Sinn Fein assembly member Alex Maskey said yesterday that the matter should be left to General John de Chastelain who heads the body overseeing decommissioning.

        He told the BBC: "While the bishop is responding to this sense of desperation in attempting to make a positive contribution, the most effective way of dealing with this issue is through calm and considered political dialogue and by allowing the International Independent Commission on Disarmament to do its job."

        Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said the bishop's offer was a "well-intended contribution." But Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Mandelson welcomed the bishop's intervention as "courageous and imaginative." He said he hoped the parties involved would seriously consider the offer.

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      Congress to try again to block liberal courts from overturning bans on partial birth abortions

        In this pivotal year for pro-life, Republican congressmen are trying their best to take decisions out of the hands of liberal lower courts that have consistently overruled bans on partial birth abortion in so many states. They are submitting a bill that would do just that, leaving it up to the Supreme Court only to make such rulings. The measure is based on Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution and therefore should pass the House. The Senate is another story. continued inside.

    BILL WOULD REMOVE PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION FROM LOWER COURTS

        WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - A bill to be introduced in the US House of Representatives would prevent federal courts, other than the US Supreme Court, from ruling on the constitutionality of partial-birth abortion bans.

        Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, an obstetrician-gynecologist, and Rep. Richard Baker, R-Louisiana, are co-sponsors of the law based on Article 3 of the US Constitution. The measure would remove "partial-birth abortion related cases from federal claims court jurisdiction."

        Section 2 of Article 3 states, in part, "In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make."

        Paul's spokesman said numerous federal courts have overturned state partial-birth abortion bans with some of those challenged to the US Supreme Court, with the high court expected to rule on them this session. The Partial Birth Abortion and Judicial Limitation Act would help define the role and jurisdiction of lower federal courts on the partial birth abortion issue, he said.

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      Hillary's actions coming back to haunt her

         If the shoe fits, wear it or, if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. But carpetbagging Hillary Rodham Clinton is in the same mold as her husband when it comes to twisting the truth - a truth she doesn't like being spread and is spewing back by defending herself that she is a woman of faith - yeah, right, like the "faith of the day" that is expedient to her political aims! We hope and pray New Yorkers have sense enough to turn her away at the voting booth. continued inside.

    HILLARY OUTRAGED AT CHARGES OF HOSTILITY TOWARD RELIGION

        NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - Senate candidate and First Lady Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that she was "appalled" and "outraged" at comments by her Republican opponent, New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, that accuses her of having "hostility toward America's religious traditions."

        Giuliani made the remarks in a letter sent out months ago to potential supporters and donors that said Clinton showed her contempt for religion by defending a Brooklyn museum that presented a painting of the Virgin Mary composed of elephant dung and pornographic photos.

        "In the minds of left-wing activists like Hillary Clinton, I guess it's okay to use taxpayer funds to subsidize religious expression so long as it involves the desecration of religious symbols," Giuliani wrote. He also referred to "the 30-year war" waged by the left-wing in the courts against religion.

        A visibly angry Clinton said in Rochester, New York, that the letter is an outrage. "As a person of faith, I am appalled that he would make false statements about me and my respect for religion in order to raise money for his campaign," she said.

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      Scapegoat Guatemalan priest arrested again as investigation of Bishop Gerardi's two year-old murder drones on

         Facing extradition for suspicion of involvement in the murder of human rights activist and Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera who was bludgeoned to death on April 30, 1998, Father Orantes Najera was arrested for the second time after returning to Guatemala City and checking into the hospital there. He had come directly from Houston where he was was being treated for medical problems stemming from his incarceration a year ago. Human rights advocates are still convinced arresting Father Orantes is merely a smokescreen to cover up the real culprits - member of the powerful military. continued inside.

    GUATEMALA PRIEST RE-ARRESTED IN BISHOP MURDER

        GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - Prosecutors arrested Father Mario Orantes Najera on Wednesday as he returned from the US where he was receiving medical treatment, and he was charged with taking part in the 1998 murder of a bishop.

        Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera was murdered at his home in April 1998, two days after releasing a report blaming most of the deaths in the country's 36-year civil war on the military. Father Orantes, who had lived with Bishop Gerardi, was arrested in July 1998 and released months later for lack of evidence. He was taken into custody in a Guatemala City hospital on an arrest warrant issued last month.

        A police spokesman said Father Orantes, who was in a Houston clinic when the warrant was issued, will be allowed to stay in the Guatemalan hospital under police guard.

        Last month, prosecutors arrested three military officers connected to an elite unit and the former housekeeper. The new arrests followed a pledge by new President Alfonso Portillo to investigate state security forces' alleged role in the bishop's murder. Human rights groups and religious leaders have persistently accused the military and said Father Orantes was a convenient scapegoat. Prosecutors have not yet made public what they believe is the link between the military suspects and the priest.

        Two previous prosecutors and two magistrates involved in the case have resigned from the investigation since the murder after they and their families received death threats.

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      Cuban cardinal fears tug of war for Elian Gonzalez is license to defame Catholic Church

         Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, Archbishop of Havana, defended the American nun who is sheltering the six year-old Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez,who has become an world celebrity in the tug of war between the U.S. and Cuba. He warned that by attacking Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin they are attacking Holy Mother Church and asked all Cubans to pray that God's will be done in this sensitive international incident. continued inside.

    CARDINAL SAYS CUBAN BOY CRISIS USED TO ATTACK CHURCH

        HAVANA (CWNews.com) - Cardinal Jaime Ortega of Havana urged Cubans to pray for six-year-old Elian Gonzalez, but said they should not criticize the Catholic Church for an American nun's support for keeping him in the US.

        Elian entered the US in November after he was found clinging to a raft off the coast of Florida. His mother and 10 others died when the boat they were using to travel to the US sank. Now Communist Cuba has demanded the boy be returned to his father in the island-nation, while Cuban-Americans maintain the boy should remain with US relatives.

        Massive protests have been organized by the Communist government and began to turn against the Church after Elian's grandmothers traveled to the US last month and were hosted by Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, president of Barry University, as they met the boy. After the meeting, O'Laughlin said she was convinced the boy should remain in the US.

        In a statement released Wednesday, Cardinal Ortega expressed concern about the derogatory references to O'Laughlin that appear daily in the local media and about criticism of Pope John Paul II for not pressing for Elian's return. He denounced "repeated references in the media to the sexual conduct of priests in the United States and statistics about clergyman sick with AIDS." He added that he hoped the comments were not part of a government-orchestrated campaign, and said the comments had unleashed "prejudices and dark feelings" against the Church.

      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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    February 11-13, 2000     volume 11, no. 30
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