FRI-SAT-SUN     February 25-27, 2000    vol. 11, no. 40    SECTION THREE

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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:
  • Pope arrives in Europe
  • Cardinal Maida chastises Catholic Voters Group
  • Vermont Bishop carrying on crusade against gay marriages
  • Australian bishops urge boycott of gay Mardi Gras
  • Rio de Janiero cardinal offering 4-day retreat in lieu of lustful Carnival
  • Bill that could be pro-aborts' achilles heel protested by Dems
  • US overpopulation scam stinks of pro-abort tactics
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant


        VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II arrived in Egypt in the early afternoon of February 24, to begin the 90th foreign voyage of his pontificate.

        "Peace be with you!" the Holy Father said-- using the Arabic phrase that is a traditional greeting among Muslims-- as he stepped off the plane in Cairo. He was greeted by a welcoming delegation that included Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Patriarch Stephanos II Ghattas of the Coptic Catholic Church, and Skeikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi of the famous Al-Azhar University.

        After crossing the red carpet that was stretched from his plane to the presidential pavilion at the airport, the Holy Father took part in a quiet, solemn welcoming ceremony. The Pope's traveling party included Cardinals Francis Arinze, Achille Silvestrini, and Roger Etchegaray.

        In his brief remarks, delivered in English, the Pope emphasized that his trip was a "Jubilee pilgrimage," and should be seen as a spiritual rather than political occasion. "I have been waiting many years to be able to celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ, and to make a pilgrimage to pray at the holy sites that are connected in a special way with God's interventions in history," he said.

        The Pope's opening statement included a few discreet allusions to political affairs. He mentioned his concern for the progress of peace negotiations in the Middle East, and for an end to violence against Christians in Egypt.

        Speaking directly to President Mubarak, the Pontiff praised the Egyptian leader for his forthright commitment to peace in the Middle East. He added that all political leaders have a responsibility to promote "justice and rights for everyone." The Pope said that when he traveled to Mount Sinai-- the main focus of his trip to Egypt-- he would pray especially for peace in the Middle East and for harmony across religious lines.

        The Pope also addressed warm words of greeting to Pope Shenouda of the Coptic Orthodox Church. He recalled how Egyptian Christianity, founded by the evangelist St. Mark, has given the Church such great teachers and scholars as Sts. Clement and Catherine of Alexandria, and the Desert Fathers who introduced the monastic tradition.

        After the welcoming ceremony at the airport, the Pope traveled by car to the residence of the papal nuncio in downtown Cairo. The motorcade was carefully guarded, with scores of Egyptian police officers stationed along the route, demonstrating the regime's careful effort to provide security for the papal trip.

        The Pope's arrival in Egypt was televised across the country by the government-controlled networks. Press officers in the Egyptian government indicate that all of the Pope's public appearances will receive such coverage.

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      Cardinal Maida lashes out at group who besmirched Bush by labeling him anti-Catholic during the Michigan Primary

         In the aftermath of the Michigan Primary, Catholics in the area are relieved to hear from Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit that though the Church remains active in the political arena without being partisan, he noted that a small group of dissidents called Catholic Voters Alert were responsible for numerous phone calls to Catholics a few days before the Primary which had a negative effect against Governor George W. Bush and for which the Cardinal has apologized and stated that interference by this group, which he harshly criticized, is working totally independently and in no way in concert with Holy Mother Church. continued inside.


        DETROIT ( - Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit on Tuesday said he was dismayed to find the Catholic faith being used in the Republican presidential primary to attack some candidates and endorse others.

        "The bishops of the United States are clear on this," Cardinal Maida said. "The challenge for our Church is to be principled without being ideological, to be political without being partisan, to be civil without being soft, to be involved without being used," he said. "It's regrettable when people go over the line."

        At issue were telephone calls made on behalf of candidates George W. Bush and John McCain that said one or the other was anti-Catholic or supported Catholic aims. A group calling itself the Catholic Voters Alert made anonymous phone calls in the closing days of the Michigan Primary, accusing Bush of religious bigotry because of his appearance in South Carolina at Bob Jones University whose leaders have expressed anti-Catholic bias. Bush's brother, Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, is himself a Catholic convert.

        Archdiocesan communications director Ned McGrath said that none of these efforts, including the Catholic Voters Alert, are affiliated with, or endorsed by, the Archdiocese of Detroit. "The reality is the word 'Catholic' isn't copyrighted. It can be used and misused," he said.

        "In the Detroit Archdiocese, we go to great lengths to encourage political involvement and responsibility," Cardinal Maida said. "It's not our approach to label candidates as 'pro' this or 'anti' that. I urge my fellow citizens to see beyond party politics and to analyze campaign rhetoric critically -- especially when it's delivered at the 11th hour. Political leaders should be chosen according to their performance and their principles, not simply party affiliation or mere self-interest."

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      Bishop Angell busy calling on the angels and Catholics to protest possibility of same-sex unions in Vermont

        Another political issue has citizens of Vermont in a quandary and only the Catholic Bishop of Burlington, Bishop Kenneth A. Angell has taken a firm stance against a bill that would give full approval to same sex-marriages. In turn, other religious leaders, particularly Episcopal and Methodist ones have come out in favor of the measure. With emotions running high and words flying about, it is easy for some to get lost in the rhetoric, but Bishop Angell has stayed above the name calling in rallying many on behalf of the sacredness of marriage as God intended and gaining momentum for a peaceful protest on the steps of the Capital in Montpelier. continued inside.


    Group of 17 Religious Leaders Challenges Catholic Bishop's Condemnation of Measure

        WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB 24 (ZENIT).- The Catholic Bishop of Burlington, Vermont, issued a pastoral letter earlier this week condemning attempts to legitimize homosexual "marriage" or "domestic partnership." Now a coalition of 17 religious leaders, led by Episcopal and Methodist bishops, has come out in favor of the legislation.

        The liberal religious leaders claimed that the institution of marriage "can only be strengthened by extending our understanding of marriage to include the faithful committed relationships of same gender couples," according to "CultureNotes."

        In his pastoral letter, Catholic Bishop Kenneth A. Angell wrote: "Today in Vermont, the sacredness of marriage and the family as ordered by God is in jeopardy, and we are called to defend it with courage and conviction." Bishop Angell also voiced his opposition to domestic partner legislation, stating that "one can love and respect others without accepting all their actions and without wanting the government to provide special incentives for their lifestyle."

        The Bishop called upon Catholics as well as "all our friends of every faith" to join him on the steps of the Capitol in Montpelier, to demonstrate "our opposition to same-sex marriage, our opposition to domestic partnerships, and our unyielding support of traditional marriage between a man and a woman." ZE00022421

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        SYDNEY ( - The leaders of Sydney's Catholic and Anglican churches this week condemned the city's annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, calling it "gross exhibitionism."

        Cardinal Edward Clancy wrote in article in the weekly archdiocesan newspaper on Sunday that the March 4 festival should be boycotted by Catholics. "The Church ... teaches that homosexual practices are contrary to the moral law," he wrote. "Homosexual people are required to exercise self-discipline and to avoid such conduct." He added, "The annual Gay Mardi Gras is an exercise in gross exhibitionism that promotes a homosexual lifestyle and does not merit our presence or our support."

        The event, which started as a protest march in 1977, has grown to become a major tourism boost as it attracts nearly 500,000 people annually and injects US$61 million into the region's economy.

        Anglican Archbishop Harry Goodhew expressed his agreement with Cardinal Clancy on Thursday. Cardinal Clancy is quite correct when he calls the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras an exercise in gross exhibitionism," he said. "In highly erotic display it promotes a homosexual lifestyle and is certainly not deserving of the presence or support of citizens of this city."

        He called on Christians, politicians, and community leaders who support the Mardi Gras to reflect on the values and lifestyle they were endorsing to Australian children.

        The president of Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, David McLachlan, condemned the church leaders for being out of touch with community values on sexuality. "I was raised as a Catholic and it's sad to see how out of touch these church leaders are in helping people deal with the development of one's sexuality," McLachlan said.

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      Cardinal out to cut Carnival cavorting with special 4 day retreat in reparation for sins of the flesh

         While we're on the subject of Mardi Gras, in Brazil where the Carnival celebrations are legendary as to their sinful ways, Cardinal Eugenio de Araujo Sales, Archbishop of Rio de Janiero since 1971, is trying to provide an alternative for his flock by providing a four-day retreat for Catholics, and other faiths as well, to be held in the Sports Palace. All are being called upon to pray and keep Eucharistic Adoration to repair offenses committed during the Mardi Gras. His idea is so good it should be implemented in every city a Mardi Gras is staged. continued inside.


        RIO DE JANEIRO, 24 (NE) As an answer to excesses and dissoluteness encouraged by Rio de Janeiro's infamous carnival, the Archdiocese of Rio has organized several activities for Brazilian Catholics to attend during that event. Among them, the archdiocese has organized a spiritual retreat to last four days. As it was informed, any faithful may attend the activities and celebrations of the retreat, to be held in a local stadium with capacity for 25.000 people.

        From 8 in the morning to six in the afternoon, several priests will be offering confessions. A full program of conferences, celebrations and moments of prayer will also take place. Meditation will reflect about the theme "Celebrate Christ". The Archdiocese is encouraging as well other spiritual retreats among local parishes and ecclesial associations.

        Cardinal Eugenio de Araujo Sales, Archbishop of Rio, called faithful in the Brazilian archdiocese to hold celebrations to repair for offenses committed against God during the carnival. The Cardinal specially asked Catholics to organize rosaries, meditations and moments of Eucharist adoration.

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        WASHINGTON, DC ( - Pro-abortion Democratic Senators on Wednesday criticized a proposed bill that would extend legal protection to unborn children who are the victims of violent crimes.

        In Senate hearings, critics said the bill is an election-year attempt to infringe on the rights granted by the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion on demand and stripped the unborn child of rights. But supporters said the measure would bring the federal government in line with states and unify conflicting laws. Twenty-four states already have laws protecting unborn children from violent crimes and would allow prosecutors to bring murder charges in cases of violence where a baby dies, even if his mother survives.

        The bill, which passed the House in September, would not apply to abortions performed with the mother's consent.

        Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, denied any intent to make the legislation about abortion, but acknowledged that it was a hot-button issue. "The only opposition that I can suppose is that some in the pro-choice movement believe that our bill draws attention to the effort to dehumanize, desensitize, and depersonalize the unborn child," he said.

        Eleanor D. Acheson, an assistant attorney general, said the Justice Department would recommend President Clinton veto the legislation if it reaches his desk. She said its "identification of a fetus as a separate and distinct victim of crime is unprecedented as a matter of federal statute."

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      Clinton administration trying scare tactics to influence abortion issue

         Adding fuel to the above article on rights of the unborn are the alarm bells sounding by the US Commerce Department, squarely influenced by the Clinton administration, that the nation's population could balloon from 275 million to a half billion by the end of the century, not that many will still be alive then - especially if the pro-aborts win out! The Population Research Institute and various pro-life organizations have objected to the report as being politically driven to support the pro-abort argument. continued inside


        WASHINGTON, DC ( - The US Commerce Department warned in January that the country's population is expected to balloon from 275 million to half a billion by the end of the century, but the Population Research Institute (PRI), in a new report, disputes the reasoning and finds politics at the root of the claim.

        PRI points out that immediately after President Bill Clinton pledged millions for population control in the US on January 8, the Commerce Department issued its warnings of overpopulation, claiming the US would have 571 million people by 2100. Among the warnings was that a majority would come from immigrants and their children.

        The warnings also came as candidates in the US presidential race warned of the consequences of increasing population, including more "suburban sprawl," transportation problems, pollution, and urban crowding.

        PRI counters in its new report that any population outlook of more than a few years is questionable. "How can one predict the fertility behavior of people who haven't even been born yet? Who knows what the birth rate will be in 2060, or how many immigrants will arrive in the US in 2080?" the group said.

        The pro-family group counters with US Census Bureau projections and UN Population Division figures that predict a declining US population over the next century. Other critics of the overpopulation scare say economic predictions show there are too few workers for open jobs now, a situation that will worsen in the coming decade, possibly causing a rise in inflation as wage pressures push up costs.

        "Family planning promoters have always played fast and loose with the numbers," says PRI. "In 1974 they projected that the world would have a population of 6.5 billion by this year, a round 500 million too high. They projected that the world's population would reach 12 billion by 2075, almost 5 billion higher than what the UNPD now expects."

        PRI concludes, asking: "Did the Commerce Department attempt to use the specter of overpopulation ... to frighten Americans into supporting the President's proposed increase in domestic family planning spending?"

      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 25-27, 2000     volume 11, no. 40
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