FRI-SAT-SUN     February 4-6, 2000    vol. 11, no. 25    SECTION ONE

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorial - something rotten not only in Denmark, but Kansas City as well!
  • Sr. Lucy's GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER column on student survival is anchored on returning to prayer
  • APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH: Book of the Apocalypse/Revelation
  • COLLEGE OF CARDINALS collection: Cardinal Thomas Stafford Williams of New Zealand
  • Monthly Message for January 25th from Medjugorje

  • Year of the Dragon is open season for Catholic Bashing as a sinister stench seeps out of Kansas City

       In this weekend's editorial we rebut the ridiculous survey results claimed by the Kansas City Star in which this major publication impugned priests as having four times as many AIDS related cases than the entire population. Those are scary claims and through research we show it is all a smokescreen masqueraded in the fog of assumption with the intent of demonizing the Church and her ministers and destroying confidence in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which remains the only target that has a bullseye on it for anyone to take potshots at without consequence. For today's editorial Everything is not up-to-date in Kansas City!, see CATHOLIC PewPOINT

    Not everything is up-to-date in Kansas City!

    Michael Cain, editor

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    To further education in both Catholic and public schools there is a simple answer: Don't just allow, but encourage students to pray!

       In her column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto brings us the words of Darrell Scott, father of Rachel Scott who was gunned down at Columbine High School in Denver last year. In addressing politicians and the civic authorities and others in assembly, he didn't point the finger at guns or even the murderers, but rather at the concept that we have lost our soul, that we have turned away from God and the only way to resolve it is to turn back to Him and to return prayer to the schools. Sister shows through his words that the only way for America to survive is not through gun laws and further restrictions, but freedom - freedom to pray to the One Who can and will make a difference For her column, A father with wisdom, see GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

        On Thursday, May 27, 1999, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. The following is part of his speech. It is tremendous food for thought.
      "We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

          "The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

          "In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore, I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder, I would be their strongest opponent. I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy - it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.

          "I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today.

        Your laws ignore our deepest needs.
        Your words are empty air.
        You've stripped away our heritage
        You've outlawed simple prayer.

        Now gunshots fill our classrooms
        And precious children die.
        You seek for answers everywhere
        And ask the question "Why?"

        You regulate restrictive laws
        Through legislative creed
        And yet you fail to understand,
        That God is what we need!

      "...We have refused to honor God, and in doing so, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs, politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.

          "We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key.

          There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched!

          "... We ... need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!

          "As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School - prayer was brought back to our schools."

          "Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God - given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

        I thought this would be appropriate as we complete Catholic Schools Week for though the slain girl's father was talking about public schools, Catholic schools have the right and duty to pray and sadly, many are kowtowing to secular and government funding pressures and even cutting back on that. We can't afford to let that happen. Pray all the harder that students in both Catholic and public schools will be allowed to pray! It's what God wants!

        God bless you, dear reader!

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    Appreciation of the Book of Apocalypse/Revelation

        Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. We complete the Books of the New Testament today with the introduction to Peter's Second Epistle. For the ninety-eight installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 103:

          The Apocalypse is a revelation of things that were, are, and will be. We are actually witnessing some of the events foretold in this book, but many still lie in the future. It is Christ who commands John to write to the seven churches, opens the seven seals, reveals the sufferings of the saints, opens the little book, overcomes the beast, reigns during the period of the first resurrection, judges the dead, both great and small, according to their works at His Second Coming, rules over all things from the beginning, presides over all the changing scenes of earth's history, and is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

          The book presents Christ as the Coming One; it reveals the dealings of Him Who came, and Who is to come. It opens with the solemn hope that the Coming One will come soon, and closes with the impressive prediction that the Coming One will come quickly.

          The book is one of hope, but also one of warning; its aim is to assure the Church of the advent of her Lord in victory. The precise time of this victory lies hidden with God, but it is certain, although the crown will not be won without a struggle. Heaven will be stormed and carried away through suffering and conflict. And all who keep the words of this book will take part in the conflict and share in the victory.

          The conflict is presented under the form of symbols. It is not easy to give a full interpretation of all the types, but the general symbols are not difficult to understand. Jerusalem stands as the type of the good cause, and this is the Church of Christ. Babylon appears as the type of the evil cause, and this is the world power. The heavenly Jerusalem has the assistance of divine power. The earthly Babylon has the help of evil powers, the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. The scense in the great conflict arrange themselves around these types of good and of evil. The numbers, the seals, the trumpets and the bowls are phases in the development and consummation of the conflict.

          John has arranged the scenes in a sevenfold structure; even in the subordinate visions he keeps to this arrangement. Commentators, however, are not agreed in marking off the limits of each structure.

          The book was written in Greek by St. John the Evangelist, on the island of Patmos, about the year 96 A.D.

      Monday: Divine Tradition part one

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    Down under the Archbishop of Wellington Cardinal Thomas Stafford has the souls of New Zealanders as his main concern

        We continue with this special series introducing you to the Princes of the Church. Our one-hundred-fifty-fourth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is nearly 70 year-old Cardinal Thomas Stafford Williams, the Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand for the past twenty years. He was elevated to the cardinalate during the Consistory of February 2, 1983 by Pope John Paul II. For more on Cardinal Williams, see COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION

    154.   Cardinal Thomas Stafford Williams
          New Zealand's only cardinal is Cardinal Thomas Stafford Williams who was born in Wellington, New Zealand on March 20, 1930. A fervent Catholic in his youth, he was president of the CYO Organization in New Zealand. His zeal led him to enroll in Holy Cross Seminary in his native country and from there to Rome where he received his degree in Theology from the Urban Pontifical College of Propaganda Fide. While in Rome he was ordained a priest by Pope John XXIII. From there he was sent to Ireland where he achieved his degree in Social Sciences. Returning to New Zealand he was assigned to various pastoral duties including missionary work in Western Samoa where he was Secretary of the Catholic Enquiry Center until 1976 when a dispute prevented him from remaining in Samoa-Apia. This resulted in the latter becoming an independent see in 1982 through the urging of Archbishop Williams.

          On December 20, 1979 Pope John Paul II decreed that he be ordained and installed Archbishop of Wellington, the see of his birth. Four years later he was named by the Holy Father to the cardinalate during his Consistory of February 2, 1983. He received the titular church of Jesus the Divine Teacher at Pineda Sacchetti. In 1995 he was also named Military Ordinary for all of New Zealand. In addition to his duties as Archbishop of New Zealand's capital, he also serves curial membership in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Since he will turn seventy in two months he is expected to finish out his episcopate as Archbishop of Wellington at least for the next five years and then retire where he currently resides at the Archbishop's House, P.0. 1937, Wellington 5015, New Zealand.

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    January 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    NOTE: We respectfully recognize and accept the final authority regarding apparitions, locutions and prophecies presently being reported around the world rests with the Holy See of Rome and the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church to whose judjment we humbly and obediently submit.

      "Dear children! I call you, little children, to pray without ceasing. If you pray, you are closer to God and He will lead you on the way of peace and salvation. That is why I call you today to give peace to others. Only in God is there true peace. Open your hearts and become those who give a gift of peace and others will discover peace in you and through you and in this way you will witness God's peace and love which He gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call."

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    Where there's a will, there's a way to educate goodness!

        They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Archbishop 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".

    "Knowledge is in the mind, character is in the will. To pour knowledge into the mind of a child, without disciplining his will to goodness, is like putting a rifle into the hands of a child. Without education of sthe mind a child could be a stupid devil. With education of the mind, but without love of goodness, a child could grow up to be a clever devil."

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    February 4-6, 2000     volume 11, no. 25
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