TUESDAY     February 15, 2000    vol. 11, no. 32    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Events that happened this day in Church History
  • SIMPLY SHEEN
  • Pope to visit Palestinian Refuge Camp
  • Cardinal Ratzinger to headline special two day seminar in Spain as Archbishop entreats people to reject abortion
  • Scotland pulls a double-cross in favoring homosexual agenda
  • Chicago's Cardinal George entreats artists to draw on inspiration of Holy Spirit
  • Carpetbagging Hillary called on carpet by Giuliani but his pro-abort stance could hurt him
  • Conservatives assail Clinton Administration for double standards in prejudicial measures toward Religious Right


  • Events that happened this Weekend in Church History

      On this date two Popes were elected, one 855 years ago in 1145 when Blessed Pope Eugene III became the 167th successor of Peter and was remembered for dispatching a Crusade and completing the College of Cardinals. He also began construction of the Papal Palace at the Vatican. Also 225 years ago the Sacred Conclave chose as the 250th in the line of Peter, Pope Pius VI whose 24 year pontificate was frought with contending with Napoleon Bonaparte and being arrested and humiliated by the little general. The Pope was force to pay the French despot tremendous sums from the Church coffers as well as surrender priceless works of art. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for February 15:

    • 121 A.D.
    • Death of the brothers Saint Faustinus and Saint Jovita, Martyred preachers from Brescia who had their heads severed from their bodies during the ruthless reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian. It was the emperor himself who ordered the decapitation when they steadfastly refused to become apostates.

    • 273 A.D.
    • Death of Saints Castulus, Lucius, Magnus and Saturninius, martyrs who were followers of Saint Valentine. They were all put to death for their faith on this date.

    • 530 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Severus of Androcca, a holy parish priest who is said to have brought back a man from death so that he could confer the last rites on him.

    • 1040 A.D.
    • Death of three Benedictine monk martyrs - Saints Sunaman, Unaman and Winaman, all nephews of Saint Sigfrid of County Wexlow. These Irish monks received their martyrdom in Sweden when they were decapitated by by pagan tribes. Their heads were tossed into the river and retrieved by their uncle.

    • 1045 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Sigfrid of Wexlow, missionary bishop who retrieved the severed heads of his three martyred nephews and used that as incentive to convert and baptize countless pagans in Sweden including King Saint Olaf. He traveled throughout Scandinavia bearing much fruit and is considered the "Apostle of Sweden."

    • 1145 A.D.
    • Death of Pope Lucius II, 166th successor of Peter. Born in Bologna, he was elected on March 12, 1144. During his one year papal reign he had to govern during the disorders caused by Arnold of Brescia. With the rise of the communes in Italy began the end of the Middle Ages. While he was trying to prevent an extremely grave riot in the streets he was struck by a stone which caused his death a few days later on this date.

    • 1145 A.D.
    • The Cistercian Abbot Bernardo Pignatelli is elected the 167th successor of Peter on the same day his predecessor died. He took the name Eugenius and is known today as Blessed Pope Eugene III. His pontificate would last eight years and he would be forced to flee Rome several times. He would also send the previously declared Crusade on its mission and complete the institution of the Sacred College as well as begin construction of the Papal Palace at the Vatican.

    • 1775 A.D.
    • Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Braschi is elected the 250th successor of Peter and chooses the name Pope Pius VI. His pontificate would last 24 years during which he would celebrate the 19th Jubilee, and be forced to break with France for which he would have to pay a large sum of money and donate many works of art. It was during his papacy that Napoleon Bonaparte would conquer Rome and arrest the Pope. Pius VI would also have the great bell of St. Peter's cast, a massive metal casting that measures two meters in diameter.

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    Which direction has America taken? You be the judge!

       They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop 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".

    "The latent power of blood and sweat and tears in our American youth will be captured within the next generation by one of the other forces: either by some political crackpot who will turn that desire for sacrifice into something like Nazism, Fascism, or Communism, or by our leaders, political, educational and moral who will first show self-discipline and moral courage in their own lives and thus give an example to others."

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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant


      Palestinian Refugee Camp on Holy Father's itinerary during his Jubilee Journey to the Holy Land

         While Israeli officials might not welcome the news, everyone else should. That is the news that His Holiness John Paul II will make a side trip to a Palestinian Refugee Camp near Bethlehem to comfort those who were forced to flee during the Arab-Israeli war over fifty years ago. The announcement was made by Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michael Sabbah at the close of the Synod of Bishops from the Eastern Rites in union with Rome. The Holy Father will be in the Holy Land between March 20th and March 26th. continued inside

    POPE TO VISIT PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMP DURING PILGRIMAGE TO HOLY LAND

        BETHLEHEM, 14 (NE) Upon concluding the Synod of the Catholic Church in Holy Land, which gathered Catholics from the different rites present in this region, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah announced that Pope John Paul II will visit a Palestinian refugee camp during his pilgrimage to Holy Land. In a press conference on Saturday, Patriarch Sabbah said the the Pope will visit Dheisheh refugee camp near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

        Patriarch Sabbah said as well that during his visit, to take place from March 20 to 25, the Pope will assure refugees in Dheisheh that they "have the same dignity as all human beings, and your pains and suffering are part of the general sufferings and pain we carry in our hearts". Thousands of Palestinians were driven out or fled in 1948 due to the Arab-Israeli war. "All refugees who were expelled from their homes have the natural right to return to their homes and land", the Patriarch further emphasized.

        During the final declaration of the synod, issued after closing the assembly which gathered 300 Bishops, priests, religious and lay people, the Catholic Church in Holy Land called to peace and equal rights for all the inhabitants of this region. The meeting was the final phase of the Synod, which began five years ago.

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    MADRID'S ARCHBISHOP CALLS TO REJECT ABORTION IN SPAIN AS CARDINAL RATZINGER TO ATTEND CONGRESS IN MADRID ON ENCYCLICAL FIDES ET RATIO

        MADRID, 14 (NE) Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid, reaffirmed in recent declarations the rejection of the Catholic Church in Spain to the "culture of death." Recalling the distribution of the abortive pill 'RU-486', which began last week in Spanish hospitals, the Cardinal encouraged that there be "a reaction of many social groups to begin to recognize the wickedness" of all pro-abortion legislation and abortion techniques.

        Underlining the graveness of attempting against an innocent and defenseless life and the violation of the human dignity that it supposes, he reminded that abortion is a sin "reserved to the ordinary," that is to say, that its absolution can only be administrated by the bishop or whomever he designates. He also remembered the value of repentance and the necessity of reconciling, for which this Holy Year presents itself as a providential opportunity.

        Regarding this issue, Madrid's ABC daily interviewed several Spanish bishops, who pointed out that "the position of the Church in Spain regarding the defense of life -in accordance with the Magisterium of the Universal Church- either of that unborn or that of a terminally ill person, has not changed." Therefore, "all the declarations of bishops or Episcopal statements concerning this matter should be seen in harmony with the documents approved by the Spanish Bishops' Conference, and with the sentence of the Supreme Court of 1985, in favor of the right of the unborn to be protected by law."

        Meanwhile it was announced that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, will attend this week in Madrid a congress organized to reflect about Pope John Paul II' encyclical "Fides et ratio". The International Theological congress will be carried out in the Council Seminar of Madrid from the 16th to the 18th of this month. Cardinal Ratzinger will give a conference on "Faith, truth and culture," to take place Wednesday evening. The Cardinal's conference will be held in the Palace of Congresses and Exhibitions of Madrid, and will be open to the public in general.

        The congress of theology, directed mainly to philosophers and theologians, expects to gather more than 300 professors and experts coming mainly from Germany, Italy, United States, France, Mexico and different countries of South America and Africa. As members of the organization committee announced, the congress will aim to deepen into the relation between Christian faith and reason in the light of Pope John Paul II' the last encyclical, published in October 15, 1998. The Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco, will close the event on the 18th of February.

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    SCOTLAND LIFTS BAN ON HOMOSEXUAL ADVOCACY IN SCHOOLS, BRITISH TO LOWER HOMOSEXUAL AGE OF CONSENT
    Direct slap in the face of Scotland's Cardinal Winning

        EDINBURGH (CWNews.com) - Two days after the British House of Lords voted to retain Section 28 which bans the promotion of homosexuality in schools, the Scottish Parliament yesterday voted to scrap the legislation north of the border.

        The Scottish Executive argued Section 28 prevents teachers from preventing homophobic bullying and MSPs backed the repeal by 88 votes to 18, with three abstentions.

        MSP Michael Matheson told the BBC: "Some of our people are gay. Some of our children will be gay. Whether as a parent or as a concerned citizen, it is our duty to care for, to nourish, and to support all our nation's children."

        But Anne Allen, convenor of the Church of Scotland's Board of Social Responsibility, said statutory safeguards were vital. "In 12 years since this act was in place we don't appear to have had any problems, any worried parents or any issues, simply because there has been a sanction and there has been legislation in place," she said. "If you remove that legislation what are you left with -- guidelines that are going to be toothless?"

        The Scottish Executive has announced a working party to review what pupils can be taught about homosexuality. The group comprises representatives of parents, churches and teachers and includes John O'Keane, head teacher of Cardinal Newman Catholic High School, North Lanarkshire, and John Oates, representing the Catholic Education Commission.

        Meanwhile in London, Britain's Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of reducing the age of consent for homosexuals from 18 to 16. The legislation was passed in the House of Commons by 263 votes to 102.

        The bill now goes to the House of Lords, where it is bound to be opposed but the government has signaled that is is ready to use special powers to force the change through Parliament.

        The sexual offenses (amendment) bill will end the anomaly that heterosexuals and lesbians can consent to sex at 16 while homosexuals have to wait until 18.

        Opening the debate, Home Secretary Jack Straw said lowering the age would create a more tolerant society. "For me the issue raised in this bill is one of equality," he said, "of seeking to create a society which is free from prejudice, of one where our relationships with others, including with strangers, are based upon respect and not upon fear."

        But Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe, a Catholic, described the bill as "a dangerous move," sending the wrong signals to teachers, parents and young people. "It is wrong that a young person of 16 should be free in law to embark on a course of action that might lead to a lifestyle which would separate him, maybe permanently, from the mainstream life of marriage and family," she said.

        The government is introducing the move after a ruling that the existing law was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The House of Lords has twice rejected the proposal since 1997.

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      Cardinal George encourages art for God's sake in preparation of Jubilee for Artists celebration this weekend

         Though the special main Jubilee celebration for artists will be held in Rome on Friday, it is also being held in various other places including Chicago where the Archbishop of the Windy City Cardinal Francis E. George, OMI is encouraging artists to express their creations the way God intended illustrating in their own inimitable way the beauty God created and cultivating the "artistic 'inspiration'" that "gives insight into the action of the Holy Spirit, Who 'is the mysterious Artist of the universe." continued inside.

    ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO CALLS ART TO BE AT THE SERVICE OF FAITH

        CHICAGO, 14 (NE) Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, recently emphasized the special role of artists in the transmission of faith. "The Church needs art in our age as in every age. Believers in the Incarnation desire to see the faith made visible and hear the faith expressed", the Archbishop wrote. "The faith -further added Cardinal George- has inspired great works of art through the ages in every medium: painting, sculpture and architecture; music and chant and polyphony; poetry, sermons and prayers. Art inspired by faith and serving the faith moves people to adore God".

        Recalling the proximity of the Jubilee of the artists, to be celebrated also in Chicago, the Archbishop stressed that "artists as well, like every man and woman, fashion their own lives through moral actions which shape a person's character". "Through their own lives given especially to the creation of beauty, artists can enjoy a privileged insight into God's act of creating. Artistic 'inspiration' gives insight into the action of the Holy Spirit, who 'is the mysterious Artist of the universe," the Cardinal wrote.

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      Politics of Religion coming back to haunt Hillary Clinton as Giuliani walks a tight rope with his Catholicity

         The bitter battle for senator of New York has begun with candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudolph Giuliani trading barbs and the one launched by the latter could come back to haunt the first lady who is now carpetbagging for the Democratic seat in the Senate from New York. The current mayor of the big apple has accused Clinton of hypocrisy in her stance on religion, citing many instances that belie her words for actions speak much louder, but it is possible that Giuliani - a cafeteria Catholic - has found her achilles heel and is trying to stomp on her. At the same time he should examine his own Catholicism and embrace the culture of life no matter what is politically expedient. continued inside.

    HILLARY CLINTON AND THE POLITICS OF RELIGION
    First Lady Unsettled by Letter Supporting American Religious Traditions

        NEW YORK, FEB 13 (ZENIT).- Hillary Clinton, now formally a candidate for the position of Senator of New York, this week accused New York City's mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, of unduly introducing the theme of religion into the elections. According to the "New York Times" on Feb. 10, Mrs. Clinton declared that she was scandalized by a Giuliani fundraising letter in which he made references to her hostility toward the country's religious traditions. The same letter also contained allusions to "liberal judges" who have prohibited displaying of the Ten Commandments in schools.

        Giuliani termed the comments of Mrs. Clinton as mere political propaganda and added that the issue is not new: the letter was sent in October, during the conflict about the Museum of Brooklyn's reprehensible "art" exhibit. Mrs. Clinton made her declaration during a press conference and returned to the same theme at a speech to 1,500 students and professors in the University of Syracuse. Giuliani has not yet presented himself as the Republican candidate to challenge Mrs. Clinton's bid for the Senate position, but it is expected that he will do so shortly.

        Only a few days earlier, Hillary Clinton declared that if she were elected to Senate, she would vote against all candidates for the Supreme Court who are anti-abortion, saying that she "couldn't imagine herself voting to confirm a candidate like that." Giuliani has supported the "right" to abortion in the past despite presenting himself as Catholic, but commented that he would not dismiss the possibility of voting in favor of a pro-life judge. ZE00021325

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      Double standards and hypocrisy betray Clinton administration in not investigating liberal factions

         Once again there is overwhelming evidence of the prejudices of the Clinton administration against pro-life organizations and those promoting a Christian culture of behavior and standards for his administration has refused to investigate the liberal organization Americans United for their intimidating tactics in trying to get non-profits and churches to back down from speaking out against the injustices and immorality in America. This intimidation has benefited the Democratic ticket by these neo-Nazi tactics and conservative Republican leaders want to know why attorney general Janet Reno has steadfastly refused to delve into these wrongdoings while feverishly going after conservatives. continued inside.

    JUSTICE REFUSES INVESTIGATION OF LIBERAL CHURCH-SEPARATION GROUP

        WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The Clinton administration Justice Department last week refused a request by Republican senators to investigate a left-wing group that attacks involvement of religion in public life.

        Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Keeney said in a letter that the department found no voter intimidation involved in efforts by Americans United for Separation of Church and State to warn churches they were jeopardizing their tax status by participating in Christian Coalition voter registration drives.

        Last July, six Senate Republicans, including Sens. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Paul Coverdell of Georgia, asked Attorney General Janet Reno to launch a criminal investigation into whether Americans United had violated citizens' rights to vote by "intimidating people of faith into not participating in the political process."

        The Clinton administration, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department, and the Federal Election Commission, has not hesitated to investigate numerous conservative groups that disagree with administration policies. The Christian Coalition, the Rutherford Institute, and other groups have been the targets of investigation and administrative judgements.

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    February 15, 2000     volume 11, no. 32
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