WEDNESDAY     February 9, 2000    vol. 11, no. 28    SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Vatican prepares for World Weekend for the Sick
  • Holy See appoints diplomat to Arab League
  • Vatican banker warns to take stock in what you invest in the Stock Market
  • Weeping Statue of Civitavecchia defended by bishop against fraud charges
  • Section 28 to be retained in United Kingdom
  • Rabbi feels its a snub if Pope doesn't come to him
  • Rosaries under attack in Massachusetts State Prison and it's not the prisoners this time
  • Ten Commandments okayed for Indiana government offices
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant continued


        VATICAN ( -- A Jubilee day for the sick will be held on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

        Organizers in Rome are expecting 20,000 participants for the occasion, with many of them coming to the Vatican in wheelchairs or even on stretchers. The observance is being coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Health Care.

        The Jubilee for the sick should emphasize "the fundamental importance of illness and personal suffering," says Archbishop Javier Lozano Barragan, the president of the Pontifical Council. He explains: "The sufferings of the world, united with those of Christ, are a positive and primary source of the pardon and indulgence which come with this Holy Year."

        If the weather permits, Pope John Paul II will celebrate Mass in St. Peter's Square on February 11, and 200 people will receive the Sacrament of the Sick during the ceremony. The service will point to a special moment during which Christians everywhere are asked to pray for the sick, Archbishop Lozano Barragan said. In the afternoon there will be a candlelight procession ending with a display of lights over St. Peter's basilica.

        On the following day-- Saturday, February 12-- the pilgrims who have gathered in Rome for the Jubilee may attend the Way of the Cross at the Roman Coliseum. They may also visit the different basilicas of the Eternal City, entering through the Holy Doors to obtain the special indulgence granted for the Holy Year. In the evening, they will gather at the Vatican, in the Paul VI auditorium, for a festive evening of song, prayer, and testimony on the theme "Joy and Hope." The evening's program will be broadcast to crowds at a series of Marian pilgrimage sites: Lourdes in France; Czestochowa in Poland; Yamassoukro in Ivory Coast; Gaudalupe in Mexico; Sidney, Australia; and the Immaculate Conception shrine in Washington, DC.

        Prior to the Jubilee for the sick, the Vatican is offering two days of conferences on the meaning of personal suffering. The conferences-- also held in the Paul VI auditorium-- have brought together doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health-care workers to reflect on the moral implications of their pain born by the people for whom they care.

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    John Paul II Names Delegate to Arab League

        VATICAN CITY, FEB 8 (ZENIT).- John Paul II has named Archbishop Paolo Giglio, current Apostolic Nuncio in Egypt, delegate of the Holy See to the Arab League.

        The Arab League is a political-economic-military alliance founded in Cairo in 1945, with the objective of promoting mutual cooperation, forming common political consensus, and strengthening the role of the Arab world in international relations. It has twenty-two member states: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Tunis, Kuwait, Algeria, Qatar, Bahrein, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Somalia, Djibouti, and Comores, as well as the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

        The principal organ of the League is its Council, whose decisions are binding only for member States voting in favor of a particular measure. With headquarters in Cairo, it comprises three other organizations: the Common Defense Council, the Permanent Military Commission, and the Economic Council.

        In 1978, when Egypt drew closer to Israel (conceived by the League members to be the principal declared enemy), a crisis ensued. The North African country was expelled, and the central administration was transferred to Tunis. This separation lasted until 1987, when Arab leaders decided to reestablish diplomatic relations with Egypt: it was definitively readmitted in 1989, and once again is home to the League's headquarters.

        During the nineties the League became one of the principal forces to urge peace negotiations in the Middle East, thus strengthening its role as representative of the Arab world to national and international organisms. Its defense of the sovereignty of Kuwait when attacked by Iraq -- triggering the Gulf War -- and its support of the international coalition commanded by the United States were also decisive.

        The nomination of the first delegate of the Holy See, who will sit among the representatives of the 22 Arab countries united in the League, is an important event in the history of relations between the Church of Rome and the Arabian world with its more than 300 million inhabitants, on the eve of the Pope's apostolic visit to Egypt. ZE00020804

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      Vatican banker warns faithful about blowing it all on stock market

         Before you invest in that hottest stock you just heard about, heed what the Holy See says about not getting in over your head and investing only what you can afford to lose. Though it's a gamble, it's best to view the stock market as a wise, long-term investment and not a get-rich-quick opportunity. These words come from the Pope's banker himself. continued inside.

    Only Money that One Can Afford to Lose May be Invested

        ROME, FEB 8 (ZENIT). Only the money that one can afford to lose should be invested in the stock market. This is the advice that the Pope's banker, Angelo Caloia, President of the Vatican Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly (but mistakenly) known as the Vatican Bank, gave in an interview to the Italian Catholic magazine "Famiglia Cristiana" [Christian Family].

        Sooner or later, warned Caloia, the day will come when stock market abuses will come back to haunt us. He criticizes "hyperliberal economists" that are always promising "fat returns".

        Among the tips he offered to families was a recipe, "eternal and immutable", that "no one should offer more if there is a greater risk at stake; when one wants to make too much, the possibility of loosing that capital also exists".

        Nevertheless, Caloia explains that his statement is not a condemnation of the stock market, and not even a lack of faith in it. "What frightens me is an environment where it is very often forgotten that true progress is born from inquiry, tenacity, entrepreneurial sacrifice, and not from the exchange of collector cards."

        "We must be attentive so as not to run after fashions, the primacy of technology", he warns. "It is necessary to alert people about the dangers of the stock market, where there is an unacceptable separation between a company's market value and its real worth."

        Currently the "Vatican Bank" handles some 40 thousand bank accounts in various world currencies. International experts guide the economic patrimony of dioceses, missions, and religious congregations spread throughout the world. About 70% of the investment is made in Europe and the rest is spread throughout the world.

        Securities are the main investment, although there is also investment in stocks. In any case, medium and long term investments are made in organizations that have a tie to the real economy. Speculation is completely excluded. Recently the Institute has obtained good results by anticipating the growth of interest rates.

        Angelo Caloia says that the Institute's job is to "increase" the resources the Church has in order to better serve "those who suffer the limits in the advance of religion in the world, with simplicity and a with a spirit of service, without bureaucratic sluggishness and without money games." ZE00020805

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      Civitavecchia Bishop defends Weeping Statue phenomenon

         This time it wasn't the drops of blood seaping from the famous weeping statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Civitavecchia outside of Rome, but the blood boiling up in Bishop Girolamo Grillo's veins who was incensed by a scathing article in the London Times that called the famous weeping statue a hoax, concocting ways people were tricked. Having seen firsthand the events and seen the fruits, the Bishop of Civitavecchia refuted those false claims. He asserted that you do not have to believe it, but berated the Times for trying to defame it. continued inside.


        ROME, FEB 8 (ZENIT).- The Bishop of the Italian city of Civitavecchia, where a few years ago a statue of the Blessed Virgin shed tears of blood, an as yet unexplained phenomenon, took issue with a recent article in "The Times" of London. The article was an explanation of the various tricks that could be used to produce such a phenomenon. It also provided a map of reported sitings of such events, including Civitavecchia.

        "I find it difficult to talk about fraud when there were 60 witnesses, among whom I find myself," stated Bishop Girolamo Grillo. "For me it is enough to see what has happened to the little church that shelters the statue: it has become a place of prayer, of conversion for many, many people from all over the world. Everyone is free to believe or not." ZE00020809

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      Victory for Cardinal Winning's cause by House of Lords as Section 28 will be retained

         All the weeks of campaigning against repealing Section 28 by Scotland's Cardinal Thomas Winning paid off yesterday when the House of Lords voted to maintain Section 28 which prohibits promoting the gay agenda in schools. It was a bitterly fought battle with Winning being called many names but as the days counted down more realized the wisdom of his words and the governing body within Britain's House of Lords narrowly passed the measure to retain Section 28 much to the chagrin of Tony Blair's liberal Local Government. continued inside.


        LONDON ( - Britain's House of Lords last night voted to retain Section 28, the so-called "anti-gay" law which forbids the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

        The Tony Blair's government will be unable to overturn the decision as the move began in the House of Lords. Instead, they have announced plans to hold fresh talks with Church leaders as a removal of the Section was part of the Labour Party's election manifesto.

        Local Government Minister Hilary Armstrong told the BBC that the government was "very disappointed" at the Lords' decision but she added: "The government remains committed to the repeal of Section 28, which has caused confusion in schools and local councils, and has been a barrier to building a supportive and tolerant society."

        During the six-hour debate, Baroness Young, who led the campaign to keep the legislation, said: "The center of this debate is children, children in schools, children who in my opinion ought not to be treated as if they were adults and in a position to make an informed choice about alternative lifestyles, about which they cannot possibly have the experience to judge."

        Lord Alli, the homosexual Labour peer, compared the "hate" engendered by Section 28 with last year's nail bomb attacks in black and Asian areas of London and a homosexual pub in Soho. "This is indeed a debate about morality. For me it is about the morality of hate. I believe that that hate exists because we teach our children to hate," he said.

        A spokesman for the Keep the Clause campaign in Scotland, which was instigated by Cardinal Thomas Winning, said: "Let this be a warning to those who would put the moral education of our children at risk."

        But there was dissent from Catholic peer Lord St John of Fawsley who criticized the stand taken by Cardinal Winning. "Cardinal Winning has spoken out in an unappetizing way, which I as a Catholic do not agree with," he said.

        The debate is likely to be reignited on Thursday when the House of Commons begins the debate on lowering the age of consent for homosexual sex from 18 to 16.

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      Israel Rabbi trying to call shots for upcoming papal visit

         If the Vatican was not aware of the sensitivities of various religious and political leaders in the mideast, they are now when one of Israel's leading rabbis is pulling rank, insisting the Pope come to him instead of meeting at a place both sides might agree to such as the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem but that's not good enough for the chief rabbi who is sounding more like the Russian Orthodox Patriarch in trying not to officially recognize the Vicar of Christ. The Vatican is making alternative plans to accommodate sensitive wishes. continued inside.


        JERUSALEM ( - Israel's leading Ashkenazi rabbi said on Monday that if Pope John Paul II wants to meet with him during a visit to the Holy Land next month, the pontiff will have to come to him.

        Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau rejected plans to have him and the chief Sephardic rabbi meet the Holy Father at the Western Wall at the Temple Mount as demeaning and said the Pope should come to one of their offices in Jerusalem. "He will come to meet us in a place convenient for him for reasons of health and for reasons of security," Lau told Israel's Channel Two TV.

        The plans had apparently been brought to Lau's attention by Chief Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi-Doron, who represents Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern descent. Ashkenazi Jews are of European descent.

        An official of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land said the program is not yet finalized, and the Holy See will take into account the sensitivities of the Jewish and Muslim leaders whom the Pope is to meet during his pilgrimage March 20-26.

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      It's not right that the most powerful weapon available is being taken away from Massachusetts State inmates

         No word yet from Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law, but before you gather Rosaries to send to prisoners as so many Catholics do, think about sending multicolored beads to Massachusetts State Prison for they are being confiscated by authorities because they are considered gang symbols. Maybe someone told the guards just what the Rosary is: the most powerful weapon we can use to fight satan, and maybe someone else told them they were members of Mary's army. Now that's a gang we can be proud of! continued inside.


        BOSTON ( - Inmates in Massachusetts' state prisons are not allowed to have rosaries because prison officials say they are used as gang symbols, prompting one inmate to file suit saying his First Amendment rights have been violated.

        Peter Kane said corrections officers confiscated his rosary in July 1997 after a surprise inspection of his cell. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear arguments in his lawsuit. In an affidavit, Peter Pepe Jr., superintendent of the prison in Shirley, said gangs were becoming "a major source of disruption to the safety, security, and internal order of Massachusetts prisons." Rosaries were among the items put on a list of restricted items. Department spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said Kane can have rosary beads -- as long as they are only one color. His were black and white.

        A lower court said the inmates' rights "may be curtailed in order to achieve legitimate correctional goals or to maintain prison security." Kane's attorney, John Reinstein of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the message officials are sending is: "If you want to pray, pray our way."

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      Hooray for Hoosier State in displaying Ten Commandments

         The Indiana House of Representatives passed a measure that allows the Ten Commandments to be displayed in government buildings as long as no historical explanation is posted with it. When it comes to the tablets given to Moses no historical explanation is necessary and it bodes well for the Hoosier state. continued inside.


        INDIANAPOLIS ( - Indiana's House of Representatives on Monday passed a bill to allow the Ten Commandments to be posted on government property if displayed without historical documents.

        The bill, passed 92-7, was sent to the Senate which has already approved a similar measure. Gov. Frank O'Bannon has said he will pass one of the bills if it is constitutional. O'Bannon has said he would sign such a bill if it was constitutional. Under the bill, the commandments could be posted in schools, courthouses or other government property if displayed with other documents of historical significance that have formed and influenced the US legal system.

        The public posting of the decalogue has become controversial in recent years as anti-religious activists challenge the constitutionality of the practice. Supporters of the 10 Commandments say a rash of violence and other evidence of a decline in morality can be traced to a lack of moral foundation provided by the religious documents.

        In 1980, the US Supreme Court ruled putting the commandments in schools violates First Amendment protections against a government's promoting religion. But new lawsuits are pending, including appeals of a federal judge's ruling to let the city of Elkhart keep a commandments monument on its City Hall lawn.

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    February 9, 2000     volume 11, no. 28
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