MONDAY     February 21, 2000    vol. 11, no. 36    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • SIMPLY SHEEN
  • Special retroactive commentary for PRESIDENTS' DAY
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Daily WORD
  • Events that occurred this day in Church History
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC
  • Church of Scotland now firmly in Cardinal Winning's corner


  • A kind person is one of a kind!

       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".

    "Because kindness is related to love, it follows that the kind person loves another not for the pleasure the other person gives, nor because the other person can do us a kindness in return, but because the other person is loveable in himself. The basic reason why everyone is lovable is because God made him."

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    Dichotomy of the Dignity of the Office of President

       In honor of "Presidents' Day" we bring you a hard-hitting editorial we ran last year at this time that shows how far the esteemed office of the President of United States has sunk when you compare the greatest and most honest President this country has ever had to the worst and most dishonest, immoral president ever to be elected to that high office. In this pivotal election year, it is important to return a moral and good man to the office. Right now the only one fitting that bill is longshot Alan Keyes but we can pray that the eventual Republican nominee will uphold God's laws; the Democratic nominee surely won't. See "A house divided against itself cannot stand"

    "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

          The great Abraham Lincoln once likened a hypocrite to "a man who murdered both his parents and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan." What is the difference between a man who murders the laws and values handed down by God and then pleads mercy on the grounds that the law is arbitrary? Think about it. Doesn't our current president Bill Clinton come to mind? Does it strike you as odd and a twist of irony that most likely Clinton is going to once again pull the wool over the eyes of the senators and go scot-free, despite overwhelming evidence that he lives by the lie? We say this on the day we honor the man to which a lie would be worse than death: Abraham Lincoln. It was also this humble sixteenth President of the United States who coined the words, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time." Evidently he never envisioned the office he held so dear being so demeaned and trivialized as it is today when all respect for the highest ideals and moral values, which Lincoln exemplified, have been rebuffed as being out of tune with modern thinking. In fact, the only regular mention Honest Abe gets these days is about his bedroom where scores of Hollywood types, who perpetuate the same amoral attitude, slept during the past seven plus years.

          Speaking of sleeping, that's what we've been doing as a nation. We've fallen into a stupor where right and goodness are weaknesses and immorality is the norm. More than some of the people have been duped most of the time. Over and over, Clinton has fooled the people and they just keep coming back for more lies, more cover ups, more of the same disregard for morals and values. This, folks, is a proud man who spits in the eye of God's virtues and gives lip service to platitudes only when it is politically expedient with nary a hint of sincerity or true contrition. Lincoln once said, "If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem." Are you listening, Bill Clinton?

          There was a big brouhaha over the article in People magazine which carried an eight-page feature on Chelsea Clinton and her relationship with her mother Hillary. The Clintons were upset that their daughter was being exploited, that she deserved to be protected from the media glare. They were quite concerned over protecting their child. Did it ever occur to them that what's good for the goose is good for the gander, or should we say what's bad for the goose is equally bad for the gander? While Bill Clinton is so concerned for his daughter, that didn't seem to phase him throughout all of his affairs dating back to his good ol' boy days in Arkansas right up through his tryst with Miss Monica. His being upset over Chelsea's innocence being exploited is merely a touch of tough touche! The results of his "playing around" caused not only scandal to our children, but, in fact, has done untold damage to all of God's children. Again, it was Lincoln who said, "Knavery and flattery are blood relations." Yet the more we listen to Clinton's lies, the more we condone his licentiousness. The more we flatter his lifestyle, the more we diminish our own value system while perpetuating the fraud. The accounts we have been subjected to because of the obscene, suggestive prurient details of the affairs and the lifestyle of this amoral man have immeasurably weakened the soul of America and, as Lincoln predicted, "we cannot escape history."

          The real problem lies in the lack of our being upset. To quote Bob Dole who ran a weak, losing campaign the last time around, "Where is the outrage?" That's what we would like to know. Not just from the senators who have been appointed to try him, most of whom side with whichever way the political winds are blowing, but also from parents, preachers and promoters of goodness. We fear too few priests have tackled this issue, prefering to stay clear of it because, one it is a political issue; and two, it might rock the boat regarding the "economy issue." Ah the great economy issue. Here, too, is where so many have been fooled. They think Clinton is responsible for the economy. How wrong can they be? A country's economy is not forged overnight or instantly with the change of an administration, but is something that takes years, even a decade to materialize. Without getting political, the good fortune of today's economy in America began during the Reagan administration and then Bush. Clinton is just reaping the spoils and so is Al Gore who is just as dishonest and riding Clinton's coattails from a distance in his run for the highest office of the land. To elect another of Clinton's ilk would be suicide for America.

          Through the leadership of men like Clinton, we have dissected the laws and moral code to fit our whims. Clinton lives by the polls and his popularity; the hell with what is right. He would be wise to take the advice of his predecessor Honest Abe who counseled, "Avoid popularity if you would have peace." Clinton may think peace can be achieved by dispatching scud missiles on Iraq, but he would be even wiser to heed Lincoln's words, "Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived." Looking at history we can see the shallowness of victories that do not have meaning. We gage victories today on how much we can get out of it. Greed has become the standard bearer on the front lines. We have become so complacent in our faith that we worship the almighty dollar and no amount of natural disaster omens or pleading has been able to stir the cold, hard, selfish hearts of a nation reveling in riches while much of the rest of the world experiences poverty. The Blessed Mother has said over and over and over again that this life is fleeting, that our economy will collapse and our nation will experience what Third World countries have suffered. Despite these warnings, we kowtow to satan's "pie-in-the-sky" platitudes and plow on out of stubborn pride as the Dow continues to rise skyward, dispelling any doubts that God knows what He's talking about in Sacred Scripture and through His Church. Only one voice speaks out clearly; albeit an aging, rasping voice that commands respect but, sadly, is considered out of touch by many of the duped ones. That voice is Pope John Paul II, the wisest, most widely known, most understanding, most trusted, most respected and most compassionate soul this century has known. Still only a handful of bishops and priests take up his clarion, only a few echo Christ's words in a sea of serpents slithering into our homes and our hearts. That is why the Holy Father has an accomplice, God's chosen messenger in His very Own Mother whom He has sent to set us straight. Still we snicker and continue on the path of destruction. When will we learn?!?

          It surely will not be through the banality of the media and Washington D.C. where once we looked for guidance and right, but now is only a shallow replica of what the constitution intended. It is time for the priests and laity to stand and be counted, if not for us, then for the children. Isn't that the axiom spewed forth by the Clintons and Democrats who, in the depths of their hearts, are living the lie? If they were so concerned with "the children" would they condone abortion?!? No way, Jose! There is a double standard so evident that it duplicates the devil's desires. And we've all been willing pawns in this charade that cries out to Heaven for vengeance. Isn't it time we wake up and realize the lies? Isn't it time we realize the fact the emperor isn't wearing any clothes is a vice, not a virtue? Isn't it time we live up to what Abraham Lincoln envisioned for his people, what God expects of His children? If we can't answer "yes" to those last three questions, then we might as well continue to enjoy the good life and block out the inevitable that lies ahead, continuing blindly on this self-destructive course.

          We leave you with another quote from Lincoln, "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in." We echo his words for God has given us the signs to see the right and now it is up to the few who still exalt virtue and values to finish the work in which we are embroiled on this temporary territory called earth. Catholics must be united in this crusade to win back souls, to retrieve the darkened soul of our nation and to return our country and peoples to their rightful stature with God. Our lives depend on it. But we need the unified effort of all priests, bishops, religious and laity solidly behind the Vicar of Christ in this fight to the finish. They must be willing to speak out, to stand up for what is right and proper before God, to interlock arms of truth and love in this great battle to win back our "house of honor" for, besides the Word of God and Our Lady's constant admonitions, we have Lincoln's warning that "a house divided against itself cannot stand."

    Michael Cain, editor

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    DAILY LITURGY    Today is both Ordinary Time and the Feast of Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church while tomorrow we celebrate the glorious Feast of the Chair of Peter. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profiles on these feasts, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Monday, February 21, 2000

      Monday February 21:
      Seventh Monday in Ordinary Time and
      Feast of Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

      Green or white vestments

        First Reading: James 3: 13-18
        Responsorial: Psalm 19: 8-10, 15
        Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 14-29

    Feast of Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor

          Born in Ravenna, Italy at the turn of the second millennium, Saint Peter Damian became an orphan at a very early age and was cared for by his brother for whom Peter tended pigs. One of Peter's older brothers was a priest - Padre Damian and when Peter was older the priest sent him to Faenza and then to Parma to receive his education. Peter adopted his older brother's religious name as his surname. After Peter became a professor, he followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit which lead him to join the Benedictines at the monastery of Fonte Aveliana where he lived as a hermit, devoting his life to an intensive study of the Scriptures. At the age of 42 he was chosen prior and subsequently founded five more Benedictine hermitages. His fame for great austerity and denunciation of simony spread throughout Europe and he was consecrated a Cardinal as Bishop of Ostia by Pope Stephen IX in 1057. However, because of his disdain for worldliness and his uncompromising stance against the trappings of the bishopric, he tried to resign his see but Stephen's successor Pope Nicholas II wouldn't accept it. When Nicholas died Peter entreated the new pontiff Pope Alexander II to accept his resignation which was duly recognized and Peter returned to being a Benedictine monk, but he never stopped working on ecclesiastical reform. He especially defended Alexander against the antipope Honorius II and became known far and wide as a great reformer and peacemaker, including being sent by the Pope to Germany to talk the German King Henry IV out of divorcing his wife Bertha. Peter was a prolific writer and penned many mystical writings on the Eucharist and Purgatory as well as producing writings which hold today in regards the explanation of clerical celibacy, immorality, and simony. He died in Faenza, Italy in 1072 at the age of 71 enroute back from Ravenna after having reconciled that see with Rome. It was not until the nineteenth century that he was canonized though he was popularized by local cults including being immortalized in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries by Italian poet Dante in his work Divine Comedy. In 1828 Pope Leo XII officially recognized Peter as a saint of the Church and proclaimed him a Doctor, extending his feast to the Universal Church on February 21st each year.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2000

        First Reading: 1 Peter 4: 1-4
        Responsorial: Psalm 23: 1-6
        Gospel Reading: Matthew 15: 13-19

    Feast of the Chair of Peter

          This feast, designated for February 22, commemorates the first service in Rome by the first Pope in Rome - Saint Peter who established the see of Antioch. He is said to have sat on a portable chair that ultimately became the "chair of Peter" and which is a liturgical emphasis on the apostolic succession, the episcopacy within Holy Mother Church and the unbroken line of pontiffs since Peter. The chair is preserved in the Vatican with evidence of this being the authentic chair dating back to the second century. It was officially made a feast day in the Roman Calendar in 394 to coincide with the day the Romans commemorated their deceased. It was first celebrated at the old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome during the middle of the fifth century, preceded by an all night vigil with the Holy Father present. In the eighth century the Franks moved the feast to January 21 while the rest of Europe virtually ignored the feast altogether. However, at the beginning of the eleventh century it was revived and observed on February 22 where it has been fixed ever since.

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    The DAILY WORD

    "And sighing deeply in spirit, He said, 'Why does this generation demand a sign? Amen I say to you, a sign shall not be given to this generation.'"

    Mark 8: 12

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    Events that happened today in Church History

      On this date two Sovereign Pontiffs passed on to their Heavenly reward. The first was Pope Julius II 487 years ago in 1513 as the Protestant Reformation was looming. This 216th in the line of Peter is best remembered during his ten year pontificate for completing construction of St. Peter's Basilica and during that time his love-hate relationship with the master painter Michelangelo Buonoratti made famous in the novel, and then film "Agony and Ecstasy". He also called the 18th Ecumenical Council. The second, 270 years ago in 1730, was Pope Benedict XIII, the 245th successor of Peter whose six year pontificate was highlighted by the 17th Jubilee in 1725. He concentrated mostly on his spiritual mission, strengthening the Church during this time. 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 21:

    • 107 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Simeon , believed to be first cousin of Jesus and nephew of St. Joseph who became one of the first bishops. Some historians believe he was given a heavenly warning of the impending destruction of Jerusalem in 66 AD and gathered a group of faithful and fled the city, setting a safe distance away until returning to Jerusalem to rebuild it. Though many times he nearly met his martyrdom, it wasn't until 107 when, under the persecution of Emperor Trajan that he was scourged and crucified like his relative Christ had been 74 years before.

    • 434 A.D.
    • Death of the Northern African Martyrs Saint Felix, Fortunatus, Saturninus, Secundinus, Siricius, and Verulus along with their companions at Hadrumetumm at the hands of Vandals who derided them for their superstitious faith.

    • 606 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Paterius, This Roman monk from Brescia wrote extensive commentaries on the Bible while transcribing the Latin Vulgate in his monastery. He was also a close friend and confidant of Pope Saint Gregory the Great and helped influence the latter in formulating Gregorian chant.

    • 1072 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church. Born in Ravenna, Italy he died when he was 71 after a dedicated life in his Church of giving of himself heart and soul.

    • 1173 A.D.
    • Saint Thomas Becket, Martyred Archbishop of Canterbury is canonized by Pope Alexander III three years after Thomas had been murdered in the Cathedral.

    • 1513 A.D.
    • Death of Pope Julius II, 216th successor of Peter. Born in Savona, Italy, he was elected on November 26, 1503 and his pontificate lasted ten years. During this time he encouraged the arts and contributed to the study magnificence of Rome through the contribution of the Renaissance masters Raphael and Michelangelo. It was Julius who completed construction of St. Peter's Basilica as it is today. He also called the 18th Ecumenical Council, also known as Lateran V in which the Church would deal with Neo-Aristotelianism and enact reforms in an effort to stave off the growing dissidence among those who embraced "enlightenment."

    • 1595 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Robert Southwell, Jesuit martyr who was canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 25, 1970 along with forty other martyrs in England and Wales during this time of persecution of Catholics. Robert, whose family was influential inside the court of King Henry VIII, considered his family of the Church greater and became a member of the Society of Jesus and returned to England, ministering to the people in disguise because priests were arrested at that time. Eventually he was betrayed by one of those who he ministered to as a chaplain and tortured terribly as the English executioners, at the order of Queen Elizabeth, sought to extract information from Robert to uncover the many other priests still in hiding. He refused and died a martyr's death.

    • 1730 A.D.
    • Death of Pope Benedict XIII, 245th successor of Peter whose pontificate lasted six years. Born in Gravina di Puglie, Italy on February 2, 1649 he was already 75 when he became Vicar of Christ. He occupied himself principally with his spiritual mission. On the occasion of the 17th Jubilee (1725) he inaugurated the marvellous flight of steps of Trinita dei Monti in Rome. It was Benedict who canonized Saint Louis Gonzaga and the patron saint of Poland, Saint Stanislaus.

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      SHIP LOGS:

        • Total number of visits as of February 18, 2000:
              1,102,632
        • Total number of visits in 1999:
             5,345,880
        • Total number of visits since this daily publication went on line November 1, 1997:
             8,335,593
      For more details, see DAILY SHIPLOGS

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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant continued from end of SECTION THREE


      Church of Scotland realizes their mistake in remaining silent over Section 28, tries to reverse damage by speaking out strongly against same-sex benefits

         For several months the Archbishop of Edinburgh Cardinal Thomas Winning seemed to be the lone voice in Scotland warning the people of the dangers of the homosexual agenda, but few listened, even standing by when the gay-agenda ripped the Catholic prelate to shreds. Now that the Scottish Parliament has decided to throw out Section 28 that would prevent homosexuality from being taught in the schools many other churches, including the influential Church of Scotland, and its leaders see the wisdom of Cardinal Winning's words. Let's hope it's not too late! continued inside.

    SCOTTISH CHURCH OPPOSES PLANS FOR SAME-SEX BENEFITS

        EDINBURGH (CWNews.com) - Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are considering proposals to make homosexual relationships equal in law to heterosexual marriages, but the move has angered the Church in Scotland and family campaigners.

        An earlier plan would have given homosexual couples the same legal status as other cohabiting couples, but because homosexuals cannot marry this was seen as discrimination. The new proposals will add a clause to the Parliament's Incapable Adults Bill to ensure legal equality is in enshrined in law.

        Parliamentary officer John Deighton condemned the idea, saying: "It would appear that this Labor Government which called itself the party for the family has adopted a radically different understanding of what true family values really are."

        Father Danny McLoughlin, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, told today's Universe newspaper: "We cannot accept homosexual activity as morally acceptable. We are against laws that are going to give the impression that a homosexual relationship is equal to that of a heterosexual married couple because that promotes the acceptability of a homosexual lifestyle."

      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 21, 2000     volume 11, no. 36
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