TUESDAY     February 22, 2000    vol. 11, no. 37    SECTION TWO

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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:

  • Jubilee for Roman Curia begins today
  • Jubilee for Deacons wraps in Rome
  • Iraqi Catholics in solidarity with Holy Father for historic walk "in spirit" to begin "Jubilee Journey"
  • Bush assures all he is definitely not the anti-Catholic candidate his opponents accuse him of being
  • Opera Tenor Luciano Pavarotti to orchestrate campaign to get rich nations to forgive huge debt

  • The golden rule of love!

       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".

    "Since God finds us lovable because He put some of His love into us, so we can find others lovable because we put some of our love into them. But to do this implies a basic kindness which is always prepared to be pleasant with other people."

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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

    Time of Spiritual Renewal for Papal Collaborators

        VATICAN CITY, FEB 20 (ZENIT).- The Jubilee of the Roman Curia is the next in a series of back-to-back Jubilees for special groups within the Church. The Jubilee of Permanent Deacons followed on the heels of the Jubilee of the Sick, and in the same Angelus message, the Holy Father Sunday closed that Jubilee and announced the Jubilee of his closest collaborators -- climaxing Tuesday.

        The Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus," promulgated by John Paul II on June 28, 1988, explained that the Roman Curia is the ensemble of organizations that assist the Pontiff in the exercise of his pastoral work for the good of the universal Church and the local Churches. In addition to the Secretariat of State, which has particular characteristics in its assistance to the Bishop of Rome, the organizations of the Roman Curia are classified into Congregations, Tribunals, Pontifical Councils, Administrative Offices, the Pontifical Household, and the Office of Liturgical Celebrations.

        As the Holy Father pointed out today, the Jubilee of the Roman Curia was "preceded by meetings of reflection and prayer, through which those who make up the Curia have prepared themselves to live this moment of grace, which invites them to a conversion of heart, with special intensity."

        Those who give their services to the Holy See represent all states of life in the Church: "Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, priests, men and women religious and the laity. Together they will cross the Holy Door, which is a symbol of mercy and a call to the renewal of life," the Pope explained.

        The Roman Curia's Jubilee will begin this afternoon with a penitential service led by Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal Household preacher, and on Tuesday, in the Vatican Basilica, there will be a Jubilee Mass presided by John Paul II.

        "A very close tie links the family of the Curia to Peter's Successor, who makes use of its service in the exercise of the ministry entrusted to him by Christ for the benefit of the entire ecclesial community," John Paul II explained. "Therefore, in addition to the capacity and efficiency of his collaborators, it is important that he be able to count on their communion in a love so profound so as to make of the Curia, as Pope Paul VI often said, 'a permanent Cenacle,' totally consecrated to the good of the Church. The purification that the Jubilee experience looks to will not fail to make its positive contribution in this respect." ZE00022006

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    Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos Ordains 18 in Vatican Basilica

        VATICAN CITY, FEB 20 (ZENIT).- Sunday morning John Paul II bid farewell to over 2,000 Permanent Deacons, who came to Rome this past weekend to participate in their special Jubilee, and reminded them of the words they heard on the day of their ordination: "Believe in what you read, teach what you believe, live what you teach."

        In addition, addressing the 25,000 Permanent Deacons throughout the world (married and celibate), the Pontiff summarized their mission: "to embrace the Gospel, to go deeper in faith into the message, to love it and give witness to it in words and works."

        In this way, these men become decisive protagonists, according to the Holy Father, of the "new evangelization," thanks to their contribution "made with coherence and dedication, courage and generosity, in the daily service of the liturgy, the word, and charity." Prior to this final meeting of the Deacons' Jubilee with the Pope, there was a Mass presided by Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy, in which he ordained 18 new Deacons in St. Peter's Basilica.

        Servants of the Word, the Eucharist and their Brothers "Mature men, called to the service of the Word, the Eucharist, and charity," were the words chosen by Cardinal Castrillon to paint the profile that characterizes a Deacon.

        Above all, the Deacon is a servant of the Word who explains the meaning of life to individuals and society, as "the dominant cultures cannot be erected as criteria for reading and understanding." This belongs to the message of God. "It is truth that judges events, and not vice-versa, as so often tragically happens," the Cardinal said during his homily.

        In the second place, the Deacon is a servant of the Eucharist, with which he enters a new dimension, different from the "rest of the ways of living and of human friendships," explained Cardinal Castrillón.

        And, finally, the Deacon is a servant of the needy, becoming a "live and operative expression of the Church's charity, which is, simultaneously, bread for the hungry, light and cooperation for social development and progress, word and action of justice,... privileged vehicle of the social doctrine of the Church." But, as the prefect of the Congregation of the Clergy explained, the deacon will not be able to live any of these dimensions without prayer, thanks to which he can "see the world with God's eyes" and "love his brothers with God's heart."

    "Martyrdom of Incomprehension"

        The decisive moment of the Deacons' Jubilee took place 24 hours earlier when John Paul II received the permanent deacons and their families. This was an affectionate meeting in which the Pontiff spoke to the point: "In our times, there is no lack of persons to whom God calls to cruel martyrdom; but much more numerous are the believers who are subjected to the 'martyrdom' of incomprehension. May your heart not be troubled by the difficulties and contrasts but, rather, on the contrary, may it grow in confidence in Jesus who has redeemed us through the martyrdom of the Cross."

    Apostles of the Culture of Life

        Following the audience with the Pope, the deacons continued to reflect on their role and mission thanks to proposals made to them by Archbishop Roberto Octavio Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Archbishop emphasized that in times like ours, in which a culture of death is predominant, deacons can be of unique assistance to Bishops. Specifically, he encouraged those who are married (84% of Permanent Deacons) to make their family a "domestic Church."

        At that same moment, the married deacons' families were meeting with Cardinal James Francis Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who analyzed the challenges to a family in which the father is also a servant of the Church through the sacrament of service.

        Eventually all the deacons and their families met in St. Peter's Square to cross the threshold of the Vatican Basilica's Holy Door -- an intense penitential moment that culminated with the renewal of commitments made when ordained to the diaconate.

        John Paul II summarized these commitments this Sunday when he addressed his final words to the participants of this special Jubilee. "You deacons, called in celibacy to a life totally dedicated to God and his Kingdom, live your mission joyfully and faithfully! Married deacons, whom Christ calls to be models of real love in the heart of family life, live your mission! The Lord has chosen you and the others as his collaborators in the work of salvation." ZE00022005

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    Chaldean Vicar Hails It as "A Sign of Grace; We Are Exultant"

        VATICAN CITY, FEB 20 (ZENIT).- The news that the Holy Father will make a "spiritual" pilgrimage to Ur of the Chaldeans this Wednesday was received by Iraq's Catholic community with great rejoicing, according to Msgr. Youssif Habbi, the Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar and Professor at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. He explained that Catholics in Iraq are very enthusiastic and will join the Pontiff during this celebration, which will take place in the Vatican, following in Abraham's "footsteps."

        Msgr. Habbi made these statements after presiding at a Mass for the closing of the "Ba 'utha Ninawa" feast,- the Rogation of Nineveh, attended by thousands of Iraqi faithful who observed three days of fasting and prayer, which the Eastern Church established to commemorate a famine that occurred in that area in the 6th century, which has become the most popular and solemn festivity of Iraqi Catholics.

        The feast ended with the above-mentioned papal surprise. "It could not have happened at a better time. The Lord does everything well, and this is a further sign of grace and blessing that will undoubtedly bear fruit. The Holy Father gives constant proof of a totally paternal love for the people and Church of Iraq," Msgr. Habbi said.

        The Vicar gave the faithful the news during the Mass. "I read the joy in everyone's eyes the joy. They almost began to shout in Church. In spite of the sad situation and the consequences of the embargo, fortunately, we still have room for joy. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was right when she said that if the gift of ourselves doesn't make us suffer, it means that we are not living love as it must be lived. It has been a happy coincidence that the news came when the feast was being held to celebrate the Lord's love for his people, which our people organize with magnificent songs composed by St. Ephraim and other Fathers of the Church."

        "The Chaldean Church has chosen this year, precisely on the feast of Rogation, to call the faithful to the conversion, renewal and prayer to which the Jubilee invites us, and many of my parishioners -- 20,000 in total -- broke the fast they kept over these days at the end of today's celebration. You can imagine, then, the effect of my announcement," Msgr. Habbi explained.

        The Vicar said that "Patriarch Bidawid will undoubtedly celebrate a solemn Mass and this afternoon (February 16) and there will be a discussion on the possibility of extending the celebrations to all the dioceses of the country, given that in the near future, on March 18, the Jubilee of the Chaldeans will be held, which is included in the Holy Year's official calendar."

        Msgr. Habbi indicated that this "spiritual" pilgrimage does not rule out a "physical" pilgrimage some time later in the year. "I wouldn't go so far. I remind everyone with whom I speak that the year 2000 is only beginning. We must hope against all hope, as St. Paul says. Moreover, one of the Jubilee's objectives is, precisely, hope," the Bishop emphasized.

        There are those in Rome who feel the need to launch a Christian campaign against the embargo that lacerates the Iraqi people. "This could be a duty of Christians before the end of the Jubilee. Tell me, of what use is this embargo, in whose name has it continued for the past ten years and, above all, against whom? We will never tire of repeating that it is a foolish and inhuman scandal, and that its damaging consequences only punish the poor. It is an act against justice and against the cause of human peace throughout the world." ZE00022003

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      Bush refutes nasty accusation that he's anti-Catholic in trying to win Catholic vote in Michigan

         The Governor of Michigan John Engler has come to the defense of presidential candidate George W. Bush on the eve of the GOP Primary in his state over accusations by Bush's opponent John McCain that the Texas Governor is anti-Catholic because he graced Bob Jones University, a known bigoted establishment. Yet it was pointed out Alan Keyes, a staunch Catholic himself, also made an appearance at the University and Bush asked how he could ever be anti-Catholic, especially after encouraging his brother Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida, to convert to Catholicism. Bush himself is Episcopalian like his father. continued inside.


        DETROIT (CWNews.com) - Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush campaign in Michigan Monday, ahead of Tuesday's party primary, playing down charges that he offended Catholics by visiting a fundamentalist university in South Carolina.

        Bush spoke at Bob Jones University during the primary campaign in South Carolina, after which some reporters and other campaigns highlighted anti-Catholic comments made by the university's namesake in the past.

        Michigan Gov. John Engler, a Catholic, defended Bush and said Catholics in his state could confidently support the candidate. Bush added that his own brother, Jeb, the governor of Florida, converted to Catholicism several years ago, a decision for which he supported him. Catholics constitute a major voting bloc in Michigan, making up about 35 percent of those expected to vote in the GOP primary.

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        ROME (CWNews.com) - Famed opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti will call for industrialized nations to write off $300 billion in Third World debt during his appearance at Italy's largest music festival, according to the debt relief group Jubilee 2000.

        "Pavarotti has been quite clear -- he's doing the San Remo festival to support Jubilee 2000," spokesman Jamie Drummond said today. The festival begins today. Other musical stars have said they will also use their appearance to call for debt relief, but Irish rock musician Bono said he will only appear at San Remo if Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema made a pledge to increase Italy's debt relief.

        Drummond said Italy's pledges to date, in the form of a bill expected to go before parliament soon, would only write off some three trillion lire ($1.53 billion) in debts from the poorest countries.

        The debt relief movement stems from Pope John Paul II's 1997 call for a Jubilee Year to be called in 2000, including the forgiveness of debts, including debts owed by the poorest nations to the wealthiest.

        Last year, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown said he would propose to the G7 group of seven-most industrialized nations that they speed up debt relief and wipe out $50 billion of debt. The G7 agreed last June to cancel about $70 billion in loans to help 36 nations emerge from debt. Last September, US President Bill Clinton pledged to cancel all debts.

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        LONDON (CWNews.com) - The newly elected archbishop-elect of Westminster has called for an end to the law which bars the heir to the British throne from marrying a Catholic.

        Speaking on BBC television's breakfast show yesterday, Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said he hoped to continue the work of his predecessor Cardinal Basil Hume which has given the Catholic community a higher profile in British life.

        He said: "I think that, inasmuch as the Catholic community is part of this country, there is a strong part of me that would say that an heir to the crown should be free to marry whoever he wishes, whatever denomination, and there must be freedom here. I think that this is a question that needs to be looked at."

        Bishop Murphy-O'Connor said that, while he was "compassionate" to people who got into difficulties in life, he upheld the Vatican's teaching on contraception, priestly celibacy, and abortion which was "always an evil."

        Meanwhile, the leader of Britain's Anglicans yesterday called on politicians to remember that their private lives do impinge on their roles as decision makers.

        Archbishop George Carey of Canterbury said, "Anybody who thinks that morality can be viewed as purely a private affair, a matter of individual opinion, a matter of what feels right for me is, in my opinion, deluded. That view is untrue and hugely destructive."

        He added: "The question reasonably arises in the public mind, why should we have confidence in someone in public life who cannot be trusted not to cheat in their private life?"

        The archbishop's words were welcomed by Bishop Murphy-O'Connor, who said that "the moral life of any person affects his or her integrity."

        But Catholic MP Ann Widdecombe -- a convert from the Church of England -- said it was unfair to pick solely on politicians.

        She told today's Daily Telegraph: "It is all very well to see the Church of England at last speaking out about moral anarchy but it is not good enough to just mention political figures. The archbishop should be sending this message to all his flock and have the courage to say this to everybody in the country, not just pick on politicians. It's not just public figures getting it wrong."

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    February 22, 2000     volume 11, no. 37
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