WEDNESDAY     February 16, 2000    vol. 11, no. 33    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • APPRECIATION OF THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR LIFE - Installment 111 - part two of UNITY OF THE BLESSED TRINITY
  • Events that happened this day in Church History
  • SIMPLY SHEEN
  • Be an angel! Help keep the DailyCATHOLIC on-line in reaching more souls!
    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
  • Holy Father commemorates 5th anniversary of release of Evangelium Vitae by reissuing challenge to uphold Sanctity of Life
  • Pro-aborts in UN planning new counter-attack against pro-life forces
  • Pope ends speculation by naming new prelate to replace Cardinal Hume in England
  • Israel making special plans for Papal Visit
  • Egypt's Coptic Church makes preparations for Pope's "Jubilee Journey" next week   &bnsp;


  • Appreciation of the Unity of the Blessed Trinity

        Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. Today we present the fourth part of this brief catechesis on the essence of the Holy Trinity with the Unity of the Blessed Trinity. For the 111th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 111: UNITY OF THE BLESSED TRINITY part two

          We cannot fully understand how the three divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are one and the same God, because this is a supernatural mystery.

          A supernatural mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand, but which we firmly believe because we have God's word for it. A supernatural mystery is above reason, but not contrary to it. No man can explain a mystery; neither can anyone know it unless it is revealed by God. "Great art thou, O Lord, in counsel, and incomprehensible in thought" (Jeremiah 32:19).

          It is not unreasonable to believe in a supernatural mystery. There are many natural mysteries around us that no one has yet been able to explain, yet we believe them: electricity, magnetism, force, and many of the processes of life.

          The doctrine of the Blessed Trinity is a strict mystery; that is, we cannot learn it from reason, nor understand it completely, even after it has been revealed to us. The doctrine contains two truths our reason cannot fully understand: (1) that there is only one God; and (2) that each of the three Persons is God. We can understand each of these truths separately, but not when taken together.

          The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is not a contradiction. We do not say that there are three gods in one God, nor that the three divine Persons are one Person. We only say that there are three Persons in one God, that is, three Persons, and one nature or essence. Somewhat similarly, the soul of man has will, understanding, and memory, but it is only one soul. Also, the sun has form, light, and heat, but is only one sun. Three flames put together make only one flame.

          We believe in the mystery of the Blessed Trinity because God Himself revealed it to us. "Thy word is Truth" (John 17:17). The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is the greatest of all mysteries. We believe it because God has revealed it to us, but we cannot fully understand it. It would be foolish to refuse to believe just because we cannot understand; that would be like a blind man who refuses to believe there is a sun, because he cannot see it. Is God limited because we are:

          The Jews did not explicitly believe in the Blessed Trinity, although there are re ferences to the mystery in the Old Testament. Before making man, God said: "Let Us make man to Our own image" (Genesis 1:26). David says: "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand."

          Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed the mystery. He said: "Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).

      "But when the Advocate has come, Whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth Who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness concerning Me" (John 15:26).

          The Blessed Trinity manifested Itself at the baptism of Jesus Christ. God the Father spoke from the Heavens; God the Son was baptized; God the Holy Ghost descended in visible form, in the form of a dove.

          We profess our faith in the Blessed Trinity especially when we make the sign of the cross. We also honor the Blessed Trinity every time we say the doxology or "prayer of praise": "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end."

          The Feast of the Blessed Trinity, called Trinity Sunday, is kept on the first Sunday after Pentecost. All the sacraments are administered in the name of the Blessed Trinity. On our death-bed the Church through the priest will comfort us with the words: "Even though he hath sinned, he hath not denied the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

      Tomorrow: Creation part one


    Events that happened this Weekend in Church History

      On this date 1,910 years ago in 90 A.D. Saint Onesimus,the beloved run-away servant of Philemon and who the Apostle Saint Paul refers to in his epistles in advising Philemon that Onesimus should not be considered a slave, but a brother in Christ. Onesimus not only became a brother in Christ, but a Bishop of Berea and was martyred on this day in what is today Spain. 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 16:

    • 90 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Onesimus, run-away servant of Philemon whom Saint Paul refers to in his epistle and asks Philemon to forgive Onesimus and to embrace him not as a slave but as a brother. Colossians 4: 7-9 verifies that Philemon followed the apostle's advice. Onesimus became a preacher and is said to have been martyred in Spain while the Bishop of Berea.

    • 305 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Juliana of Nicomedia, Virgin and Martyr who was thrown into a boiling pot of oil. When that didn't do her in, she was beheaded. During her life she was tormented greatly by satan who tried to deceive her in visions but she was hep to his devious schemes and would not submit to his temptations. Her family had thought she was crazy because of her escapades with the devil and consequently treated her with disdain.

    • 309 A.D.
    • Death of the Caesarean Martyrs Saints Daniel, Elias, Isaias, Jeremy, Porphyrius, Samuel and Seleucius who were all killed at the gates of the city in Palestine because of their Christian faith. When they would not sacrifice to the pagan gods they were put to death by beheading.

    • 1933 A.D.
    • The German Catholic newspaper Germania is one of the first to warn the faithful of the terrible policies of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi beliefs as well as communism.

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    Speak up for virtue, clamp down on vice!

       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 greatest responsibility falls on religious leaders whose message ought to be the message many want from politicians - the clarion call to restraint on evil influences and the showing forth of altruism and love of God."


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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant


      Pope marks fifth anniversary of release of Evangelium Vitae by stressing Sanctity of Life and need to rein in runaway legislation that is undermining the moral fabric of mankind

         Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Holy Father's important encyclical Evangelium Vitae - the "Gospel of Life" which so stresses the Sanctity of Life, the Pope lashed out at legislatures around the world who seek to pass measures that promote the culture of death and undermine the moral fabric of society and cultures. He was speaking to the Sixth Plenary Assembly for Life convening at the Vatican. continued inside

    HOLY FATHER STRESSES THAT ANTI-LIFE POLICIES CAUSE DECAY OF SOCIETY

        ROME, 15 (NE) Pope John Paul II renewed yesterday his call for scientists, educators, families, journalists and, especially, legislators, to commit themselves in defense of the right to and promotion of life. During his address to participants in the sixth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, on the day commemorating the fifth anniversary of the publication of the Encyclical Evangelium vitae, the Pope denounced an anti-life mentality expressed in several legislations and their dramatic consequences.

        The Pontiff manifested his concern for a increasingly common "mentality of abdication", considering policies against life almost as a "social necessity", when in fact "it constitutes the seed of the corruption of society and of its foundations. Civil and moral conscience cannot accept this false inevitability, just as it cannot accept the idea of the inevitable nature of war or inter-ethnic slaughter."

        Before the great number of facts that "prove with growing clarity that anti-life policies and legislation are causing the decay of society, not only in a moral sense but also demographically and economically", the Holy Father stressed that the message of Evangelium vitae "may be presented not just as a true and authentic signpost to moral rebirth, but also as a point of reference for the salvation of civil society".

        During his address, making reference to the relationship between civil and moral law, he called for "a renewed and unanimous commitment, especially from legislators, to modify unjust laws that legitimize or tolerate this violence. May no path be left untried to eliminate legalized crime, or at least to limit the damage of such legislation." The Pope also stressed that "the modification of laws can only be preceded and accompanied by a modification in mentality and behavior."

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      Vatican in for a fight with pro-abort UN group who are plotting their insidious schemes

         One of the Pope's main targets is the UN's committee intent on stifling population through culture of death methods that they are trying to railroad through the global stage. And, still stinging from John Paul II's brilliant stand at Cairo, they are planning anew for the Beijing+5 at the UN meeting this June in New York where they have let it be known they're going to use the tactics of the woman's right over all other rights - including God and the unborn child. They realize the Vatican is a formidable force and therefore are planning all the harder. It will take prayer to stop them! continued inside.

    UN GROUP STRATEGIZES TO PROMOTE ABORTION AT BEIJING+5

        LIMA (CWNews.com/LSN.ca) - Last week at a meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the regional group agreed on the position they will take to the upcoming Beijing +5 conference, promoting so-called "reproductive rights."

        The UN meeting, to be held in New York in June, has been labeled: "Women in 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century." The meeting in Lima served as the region's preparation for the June meeting and the 400 participants from 45 countries adopted a "Lima Consensus" which included the promotion of abortion and sex-education under their usual synonyms "sexual and reproductive rights."

        Of the four main points from the Consensus mentioned in a UN report on the proceedings, the first two referred to the "need to":

        "Reorient public policies, placing social and gender equity at the center of governmental concerns;"

        "Direct State policies so as to redress inequalities and to guarantee human rights of women and girls, particularly sexual and reproductive rights, devoting special attention to the most vulnerable groups."

        Various UN agencies and pro-abortion non-governmental agencies have used recent international conferences to promote their agendas of population control, radical feminism, and promotion of sexual promiscuity especially to children. The Vatican in recent years has led pro-life, pro-family groups and the delegations of mainly Catholic and Muslim countries in opposing those policies.

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      Pope ends suspense in the UK, appoints Bishop of Arundel and Brighton to replace late Cardinal Basil Hume

         Ever since Cardinal George Basil Hume, OSB died of cancer last June 17th, English Catholics have been on pins and needles waiting to see who the Holy Father would appoint as his successor and most assuredly the red-hat at the next Consistory. The wait is over with the announcement that Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor would be the new Archbishop of Westminster. The new archbishop, who is 67, has been the shepherd of Arundel and Brighton Diocese for 23 years. He is a strong advocate for the Sanctity of Life and renowned in Britain for his ecumenical milestones on behalf of the Church. continued inside.

    BISHOP NAMED SUCCESSOR TO BRITAIN'S CARDINAL HUME

        LONDON (CWNews.com) - Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, bishop of Arundel and Brighton since 1977, was named today by Pope John Paul II as the successor to the late Cardinal Basil Hume of Westminster, ending weeks of speculation and conjecture.

        Speaking at a press conference this morning, the archbishop-elect, 67, said: "Although I am not as young as I was when I first became a bishop, I now undertake this new task with equal willingness, encouraged as I know I will be by the good wishes and prayers of so very many people."

        The fifth son of Dr. George Murphy-O'Connor and his wife, Ellen, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor studied for the priesthood at the English College, Rome. His brother Brian, is a priest of Portsmouth diocese, as was his deceased brother, Patrick.

        Archbishop-elect Murphy-O'Connor has been known for his work in relations between the Catholic and Anglican Churches and was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, in recognition of all his work for ecumenism.

        The archbishop-elect has also recently made his opinion known on several issues facing the Church in Great Britain. He told British radio today he viewed debate over Section 28, a law forbidding promotion of homosexuality in schools, in the context of teaching students the importance of marriage and family. Bishop Murphy-O'Connor is also known for his vocal opposition to abortion and euthanasia.

        Also announced this morning was the appointment of Bishop Vincent Nichols -- Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster since 1992 -- as Archbishop of Birmingham.

        Archbishop-Elect Nichols said: "I am deeply honored by my appointment to be the next archbishop of Birmingham. It is an awesome responsibility, and a very new step for me."

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      Israel softens stance on Papal visit, will make special plans to accommodate the Holy Father, but no popemobile!

         Pledging to resurface certain cobblestones that could be treacherous for the Pope to navigate during his visit to Jerusalem and to erect a large tent to accommodate the nearly 6,000 pilgrims accompanying the Pope, Israeli officials are warming to this first visit to their land since Pope Paul VI touched down for a short papal visit back in 1964. To assure the Holy Father's safety, they will provide an armored vehicle to transport him through the city to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Because of the terrain, they have asked the Pope not to employ the famous popemobile. continued inside.

    ISRAEL UNVEILS PLANS FOR PAPAL VISIT

        JERUSALEM (CWNews.com) - Israeli officials on Monday revealed their preparations for Pope John Paul II's visit to the Holy Land next month, including rebuilding cobblestone streets throughout Jerusalem.

        Yossi Noi, the government official responsible for coordinating the visit, said Israel is building a tent city for 6,000 pilgrims expected to accompany the Holy Father on his trip. Noi also said the Pope will not be able to use the popemobile in the narrow streets of the Old City and will instead travel in an armored vehicle to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

        The papal visit will be the first by a pontiff since 1964 when Pope Paul VI became the first pope in the modern era to make the journey.

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      Patriarch of Catholic Coptic Church prepares his flock for historic Papal Visit next week

         Before the Holy Father touches down in Israel in the latter part of March, he will begin his much anticipated "Jubilee Journey" to Egypt next week from February 24th to 26th and the Patriarch of the Catholic Coptic Church His Beatitude Stephanos Gattas II is doing all he can to prepare his people spiritually for the historic Papal visit, encouraging his flock to partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and recommit to their Faith as a new awakening in crossing the threshhold with the Holy Father. continued inside.

    PATRIARCH INVITES CATHOLIC COPTS TO SPIRITUAL PREPARATION FOR POPE'S TRIP TO EGYPT

        ROME, 15 (NE) The Patriarch of the Catholic Copts, His Beatitude Stephanos Gattas II, recently sent a message urging Catholics Copts in Egypt to a spiritual preparation to welcome Pope John Paul II, to visit Egypt next week. "In the name of the Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Egypt, I have the plasure and the honour to announce to our good Catholic people that for the first time in history a Roman Pope in undertaking a visit to our dear homeland Egypt", said the Patriarch in his message, written in Arabic and translated by Fides.

        Recalling that through Egyptian lands traveled St. Joseph together with Blessed Mary and the Child Jesus, as well as centuries before had Abraham, Joseph, son of Jacob, the Prophet Jeremiah and Moses, the Patriarch stressed that "Pope John Paul II's visit to Egypt is a true pilgrimage to the Holy places that are abundant in our country." Expressing his joy for the Holy Father's trip, he also invited "all the Catholics in Egypt to prepare themselves spiritually in order to welcome the great grace that God is giving us in the Pope's visit to our dear country, at the very moment when we celebrate the second Alexandria Council, so that we can deepen our faith and renew our inner life".

        As a special moment for preparation, the Patriarch of the Catholic Copts recommended a Triduo in Catholic churches as well as in all the convents for religious and nuns from Sunday the 20th to Tuesday the 22nd of February. "Triduo that should go along with the sacrament of Reconciliation so that we would prepare our hearts to receive the graces in abundance that God will gratify us during His Holiness' visit."

        Pope John Paul II's visit will take place from February 24th to 26th. It will be the first visit of a Roman Pontiff to Egypt. Pope John Paul II visited this country when he was Archbishop in Poland, in the year 1963. Although Catholics in Egypt mainly live in Cairo, churches and catholic communities exist all throughout the country.

    More NEWS & VIEWS in SECTION THREE

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    February 16, 2000     volume 11, no. 33
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