FRI-SAT-SUN     February 18-20, 2000    vol. 11, no. 35    SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Deacons having their day this weekend for Jubilee celebration
  • Ultra-liberal Jewish sect seeking to prevent Pope from saying Mass on Feast of Annunciation in Nazareth
  • Cardinal Ratzinger strongly reaffirms One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as Christ's chosen Church
  • Head of South Korea will meet with Pope on March 4th
  • House passes bill to give religious organizations greater leeway
  • Archbishop Weakland goes after House for snub of his priest in political move that is sure to backfire
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant continued

    Great Novelty in the Church Since Vatican Council II

        VATICAN CITY, FEB 17 (ZENIT).- Permanent deacons from all over the world will come to Rome to celebrate their Jubilee from February 18-20. These men have been a real phenomenon in the Church in the last three decades. In 1970 there were only 309 permanent deacons. Today their number has risen to 24,407.

        In its effort to update the life of the Church, Vatican Council II made allowance for the diaconate "to be restored to its own permanent position in the hierarchy" (Lumen Gentium, 29), also making it possible for married men to be conferred this sacrament. The Council established that the deacon assists the Bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, proclaims the Gospel and preaches, presides at funerals, and dedicates time to charity works.

        The institution of deacons has had stupendous results in the United States and Europe, where many laymen have felt the calling and requested the sacrament from the Bishop. In North America, there are 12,621 permanent deacons, and in Europe 7,536. In Central America there are 685, in the Caribbean 696, in South America 2,265, in the Middle East 39, in Southeast Asia 90, and in Oceania 167. 16% of permanent deacons are celibate.

        The deacons' Jubilee will begin tomorrow afternoon when Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy, will welcome them in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. They will spend time in prayer and Eucharistic adoration.

        The climax is scheduled for Saturday, when the deacons will meet the Holy Father in the General Audience Hall. In the early afternoon a special event for the families of married deacons is planned, although the deacons' wives and children will be able to participate in all the events of this special Jubilee. At 6 p.m. all participants will meet in St. Peter's Square to join a penitential procession and prepare spiritually to cross the threshold of the Holy Door of St. Peter's.

        On Sunday, February 20. Cardinal Castrillon will ordain 18 new permanent deacons -- 17 Italians and a Spaniard from Seville. The celebrations will end with a noon Mass after which John Paul II will bid farewell to all participants. Initially it was thought 1,500 deacons would attend the Jubilee, but 3,000 have already registered. ZE00021704

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      Brouhaha brewing in Israel over Pope celebrating Holy Mass on the Sabbath in Nazareth

         There is a potential problem brewing in Israel for the Holy Father's scheduled Papal Mass on the Feast of the Annunciation in Nazareth. An ultra-orthodox Jewish sect known as the United Torah Judaism party are demanding the Pope not celebrate Mass on that day, a Saturday, for it represents the Sabbath and it is wrong to have Jews working on the Sabbath. Their rationale is that since Israel is responsible for the Pontiff's safety, he would be left vulnerable with all Jews refusing to work. Note this comes from a Jewish sect, not the Israeli government and though it is a sensitive subject, because of the priority of the Annunciation at the place where the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary it is believed the Pope will not make any changes. continued inside.


        JERUSALEM ( - Leaders of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews said today they are asking Pope John Paul II to drop plans for a Mass on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, during his visit to the Holy Land next month.

        Meir Porush, leader of the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) political party, said Jews expect the Pontiff to respect Jewish traditions during his March 21-26 visit, including allowing Jews to properly observe the Sabbath. "He doesn't need to observe the Sabbath, but when he conducts a Saturday mass he makes soldiers, police and security forces work," he said. "They'll bear arms and they'll use phones and they'll need to travel -- all a desecration of the Sabbath. I expect consideration from the Pope regarding religious Jews."

        The Holy Father has an outdoor Mass planned for Saturday, March 25, in Nazareth.

        Israeli government spokesmen said the Pontiff's schedule was planned by both Israeli and Vatican officials. "The entire visit from beginning to end was coordinated with the government of Israel ... and since Israel is responsible for the Pope's safety, all necessary security considerations have been taken into account, including on Saturday," said spokesman Moshe Fogel.

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        MADRID, 17 (NE) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave yesterday a conference during the International Theological Conference, being held these days in Madrid to reflect on Pope John Paul II's encyclical "Fides et ratio." The conference, which dealt with the theme "Faith, truth and culture", took place and the Palace of Congresses and Expositions in the Spanish capital city.

        The Prefect said that the Pope's last encyclical aimed to "restore the subject of truth in a world marked by relativism". Without truth "faith loses the air in which it breathes", the Cardinal emphasized. The encyclical Fides et ratio, he continued, "simply wishes to encourage once again to the adventure of truth".

        Further on, Cardinal Ratzinger stated that "if people stop talking about God and man, about sin and grace, death and eternal life, then any scream our sound will be just a meaningless attempt forget the silence of that which is properly human". He also recalled that the dethronement of theology and metaphysics, far from liberating human thought, as it once was pretended, has made it even more limited.

        The Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also gave a press conference before the event. Answering several questions from journalists, the Cardinal said that today many faithful "believe that all religions are equal, that each one is a way to truth and that it does not matter to belong to one or another. Well," he emphasized, "we Catholics confess that the way to truth is in the Catholic Church."

        Asked about issues regarding the defense of life, Cardinal Ratzinger stressed that the right to life is at the center of all other rights, and therefore cannot be violated by any legislation. He further added that "Catholics are convinced that any human being can understand that a fetus is a person and has every right to live."

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      South Korea's President to meet with Pope in two weeks

         In what will be the first visit ever by a Korean leader, President Kim Dae-Jung will pay the Holy Father a formal visit at the Vatican on March 4th after the Pope returns from Egypt on the second leg of his "Jubilee Journey." Dae-Jung's visit corresponds to his European tour. He represents a country where only eight percent are Catholic and sure to be discussed will be the Holy See's relations with South Korea as well as on-going Vatican negotiations with North Korea where the clergy was kicked out in 1948. continued inside.


        VATICAN ( -- South Korea's President Kim Dae-Jung will visit the Vatican on March 4, to meet with Pope John Paul II for the first time.

        The South Korean leader will be traveling through Europe in March, making stops in France and Germany as well as Italy. This will also be the first visit to Rome for the Korean president. Pope John Paul has traveled to South Korea twice during the course of his pontificate: in May 1984 and October 1989.

        There are about 4 million Catholics in South Korea, making up 8 percent of the country's population. But the Vatican is also actively pursuing contacts with the government of North Korea. Although the Church has no official presence in that Communist country-- all priests were expelled or imprisoned after the Communist regime took power in 1948-- there are believed to be at least 100,000 Catholics in the country's beleaguered underground Church.

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      House passes bill to allow identifications of faith to be displayed while administering programs federally funded

         Important legislation in the House could provide the freedom for Catholic schools who are partially funded by Government grants to display the icons and crucifixes so necessary for the faith of the pupils but presently a roadblock to a godless government. It will further free the Church to work with poverty programs without having to cover up everything Catholics believe in. The bill, which passed easily, was sponsored by Indiana Congressman Mark Souder who summed it up that previous action in "trying to totally separate the faith of a society from any form of influence is ridiculous." continued inside.


        WASHINGTON, DC ( - A new bill approved by a US House committee on Wednesday would allow religious groups to participate in federal literacy programs without forcing them to hide or disguise their faith background.

        The House Education and the Workforce Committee approved a bill funding the $500 million Even Start program, which offers tutoring to preschoolers and literacy and job training for parents. Supporters say the changes in program regulations will allow, for example, Catholic groups to run programs without having to remove crucifixes from the walls.

        "Trying to totally separate the faith of a society from any form of influence is ridiculous," said Rep. Mark Souder, R-Indiana, who sponsored the changes approved by the committee.

        But critics maintain that the changes violate the separation of church and state. "The courts have never allowed churches to get tax dollars to run educational programs," said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "It is particularly appalling that a congressional committee thinks it is OK to fund programs that practice religious discrimination in hiring."

        So-called "charitable choice" programs that allow religious groups to participate in federally funded social programs have been the cornerstones of the presidential campaigns of Republican Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Democrat Vice President Al Gore. They won their first victories in 1996 as part of federal welfare reform which allowed religious groups to provide services to the poor.

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      Once again Milwaukee Episcopacy trying to swim upstream without any substance

         Leave it to the dissidents' darling - Milwaukee's Archbishop Rembert Weakland, OSB to again try stirring things up. He's upset one of his priests was passed over by the House of Representatives for Chaplain and has put his auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba on it. Maybe it was because a priest has never served in that post or the House felt someone holding Weakland's liberal views might run into problems with true Roman Catholic teaching. Even more bizarre is that Weakland accused Republicans of being anti-Catholic while they've mostly embraced the Catholic doctrine on life while Weakland's preferred party - the party of the most immoral president ever to sit in office - has largely embraced the culture of death. While it would be nice to have a priest as a chaplain, the House felt better off without a liberal, modernist person in that post. continued inside


        MILWAUKEE ( - A Milwaukee auxiliary bishop this week entered the fray over the rejection of a Catholic priest as chaplain for the US House of Representatives for a Presbyterian minister.

        Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba of Milwaukee said he was asked by Archbishop Rembert Weakland to examine the case of Father Timothy O'Brien, a Marquette University political science professor. Marquette is located in the Milwaukee archdiocese. "The appearance that religious discrimination might be involved is abhorrent," said Bishop Sklba.

        Liberal lobbyists and Democrat congressmen have accused the House's Republican leadership of anti-Catholic bigotry in rejecting Father O'Brien. GOP leaders replied that Democrats are politicizing the issue, trying to score election-year victories by bringing the bigotry charges.

        Congressional sources have said Father O'Brien was mainly passed over because he spent 18 years as an academic and not in pastoral ministry, and that his past political activities raised fears he would use his position to lobby Congress, rather than minister to congressmen.

        Jerry Topczewski, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, has said that the two bishops do not necessarily believe bigotry was at work in passing over Father O'Brien, but "even the perception that there may have been bias makes Catholics in Milwaukee uneasy."

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    February 18-20, 2000     volume 11, no. 35
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