TUESDAY     February 29, 2000    vol. 11, no. 42    SECTION THREE

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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant continued:
  • Special Judeo-Christian Conference set at Vatican in mid-march to prepare for Pope's pilgrimage to Holy Land
  • Denver's Archbishop Chaput firm on opposition to gay-agenda but deplores hate crimes
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  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant continued:

    Three Meetings to Study Faith and Culture of Hebrew People

        ROME, FEB 27 (ZENIT).- Beginning March 15, the St. Andrew Association of the Quirinale for the Roman Jubilee and the Pontifical Gregorian University are offering three conferences in connection with the Pope's forthcoming trip to the Holy Land. The events are intended to learn more about the Jewish culture and religion, and to discover the common roots of Christians and their elder brothers.

        The initiative of these two institutions is added to the collaboration of the Israeli Embassies in the Vatican and Italy, and the Jewish community in Rome, the principal objective being to provide quality dialogue and collaboration between the believers in the one God, Father of humanity.

        The first event is an exhibition entitled, "From the Temple of Jerusalem to the Synagogue: Pilgrimage Celebrations and the Western Wall," which will begin in March 15 at 6 p.m. in the portico of the Pontifical Gregorian University; it will remain open until April 12, 2000. The exhibition includes a series of precious objects, on loan from the Jewish Community in Rome, and 25 photographs of Jerusalem's Western Wall. The objects, which belong to Five Schools, and the old "ghetto" synagogues of Rome, are still used on great feasts, such as Succoth (Feast of Tents), Pesach (Easter) and Shavuoth (Celebration of the Law) observed in the Diaspora; they substitute pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem. The pictures are the photographic work of Michal Ronnen Safdie who for years has photographed the areas surrounding the Western Wall, what remains of the support structure that encircled the Second Temple. The photography succeeds in capturing the different facets of life in Israel and Jerusalem.

        The second event is a concert with first class Israeli musicians: Mira Zakai, mezzo soprano; Jonathan Zak, piano; and Gilad Hildesheim, violin. They will play a rich selection of music with texts from the Biblical and Jewish tradition. The concert will be held on Wednesday, March 15, at 8:30 p.m. in the "Caravita" Oratory.

        Finally, a conference is scheduled on "Thirty-five Years of Excavations in Jerusalem," which will be led by Professor of Archeology Dan Bahat, of the Bar-Ilan University in Israel. This event will take place in the main auditorium of the Pontifical Gregorian University on March 20 at 5 p.m. Professor Bahat was superintendent of Jerusalem until 1990, and has directed numerous excavations, including Masada and the Palace of the Herods in Jerusalem.

        This triple cultural proposal, just two weeks before the Pope's trip to the Holy Land is "an occasion to discover, behind the metaphors surrounding the pilgrimage and the Holy City, the universal invitation to a common road to peace and fraternity among all peoples," the organizers said. ZE00022701

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      Archbishop Charles Chaput joins Cardinal Thomas Winning in standing strong against same-sex unions

         Denver's Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap stated in Sunday's edition of the Rocky Mountain News that he strongly opposes same-sex marriages and any legislation tied in to promoting the homosexual agenda. In the same article, the Denver archbishop made clear his position on hate-crime laws, stating that "hatred aggravates the evil of crime." To some his words might seem contradictory, but in essence and spirit, just as Scotland Cardinal Thomas Winning has stressed, is upholding the fundamentals of God's law and the rights of all of His children to be free from violence because of a person's behavior or lifestyle. continued inside.


        DENVER (CWNews.com) - The archbishop of Denver said in a column in Sunday's Rocky Mountain News newspaper that Colorado's Catholics support new hate-crime legislation and a proposal to ban same-sex marriages.

        Archbishop Charles Chaput said the reason for supporting the hate-crime measure was because "hatred aggravates the evil of a crime." He added, "A moral difference exists between attacking persons for their money, and attacking them because they're Asian, or Jewish, or homosexual .... Whatever the content of a person's behavior, he or she never loses the right to be free from violence motivated by hatred. The law can legitimately seek to ensure that."

        The archbishop then went on to say that the law should protect the status of marriage and family in society, and could legitimately exclude other types of relationships from sharing in that status. "Marriage, as we traditionally understand it, is the foundation stone of our culture," he wrote. "It's the fundamental community which gives life to the rest of society."

        "The unique legal status of marriage exists largely to protect the children who depend on marriage to thrive," he said, adding that the nature of marriage itself, regardless of the intent of individual married couples, is "fundamentally ordered to the bearing and rearing of the next generation."

        Citing the evidence of recent history, Archbishop Chaput said that when traditional marriages dissolve, children suffer, and said the well-being and success of children depends on intact, two-parent families. He added that this doesn't mean that blended or single-parent families are doomed to fail. "Our public response should focus on easing those pressures and reinforcing our support for marriage, not redefining it or establishing parallel structures which erode marriage by sapping its special status," he said.

        "It will do little good to pay pious lip service to marriage if we then create alternative arrangements with similar legal privileges," he added. "Doing so might keep 'marriage' in our cultural vocabulary, but it would effectively diminish its importance -- maybe not intentionally; maybe not immediately ... but irreversibly."

         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 29, 2000     volume 11, no. 42
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