FRI-SAT-SUN    January 14-16, 2000   vol. 11, no. 10   SECTION THREE

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MOVIES & MORALS continued




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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant


    Stages of Papal Trip to Places of Revelation

        VATICAN CITY, JAN 13 (ZENIT).- The papal visit to the Holy Land from March 20-26 only reflects a part of the goal John Paul II set for himself last June 29. In his letter of that date, he said that he wished to visit all the places of revelation, from Abraham to St. Paul.

        The letter provides for very important stages. The one most closely followed by the press over the last few months has been the visit to Ur of the Chaldeans, birthplace of Abraham, considered Father of the faith by the three great monotheistic religions. However, the Pope's trip to Iraq to fulfill this leg of the journey is on indefinite hold, after a press statement last December, in which Baghdad authorities stated that they cannot guarantee the necessary security because of the U.N. prohibition on flights.

        Another place the Pope hopes to visit is Sinai, the area identified by the Bible where Moses received the Ten Commandments during the exodus from Egypt to Canaan, which today is known as Jebel Musa. On January 12 the Turin newspaper "La Stampa," revealed that at present dates are being considered for this trip, which could take place at the end of February. In undertaking this pilgrimage, John Paul II would make a stop in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, but, for the time being, the Vatican has not confirmed this stage of the pilgrimage.

        Vatican diplomats are also doing everything possible to enable the Holy Father to visit Damascus and Athens -- the two places that in a sense sum up the life of the Apostle to the Gentiles.

        The Pontiff's visit to the Syrian capital was facilitated by an official invitation from Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius IV Hazim. The dialogue currently taking place between Syria and Israel could smooth the obstacles that have prevailed in among Syrian politicians.

        Finally, the Greek situation is even more complicated. The Orthodox Church in that country has been hostile to the Pope's plan to visit Athens, though political authorities are open to the visit. Nonetheless Athens' Archbishop Christodoulos Paraskevaidis recently asked in a press statement why the Pope's desire could not be fulfilled. The Archbishop said: "His pilgrimage to the Areopagus of Pynka does not depend on us, but on his will. No one can close the borders and much less our Church to him." ZE00011308

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      Israel warming up to Papal Visit in March

          Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak expressed great delight in the fact the Holy Father will be coming to Jerusalem in March. He cited the visit as a vital link in bringing the Jews and Christians closer, but expressed regret the Pope couldn't spend more time there. The Pope will give a talk at the Mount of Beatitudes. continued inside.


    John Paul II Will Speak about the Beatitudes of 2000 to Thousands of Youths

        JERUSALEM, JAN 13 (ZENIT).- John Paul II's visit to the Middle East will give decisive impetus to the peace negotiations. This opinion was expressed today both by the Israeli government as well as influential sectors of the Jewish religious community.

    Barak's Reaction

        Prime Minister Ehud Barak gave a press statement expressing that John Paul II's pilgrimage to the Holy Land this coming March is "very important."

        After congratulating all those who contributed to make this papal dream a reality, the Israeli Prime Minister said that he attributes "great importance to this visit both because it will forge closer relations between the Jewish people and the world's Christian population as well as have positive repercussions on the peace process."

        Barak acknowledged "the Pope's role in the struggle against anti-Semitism and racism," and is "convinced that the meetings he will have with leaders of the Israeli government and Rabbis will enable them to reinforce cooperation in this struggle."

        Barak did regret that the Pope would only be visiting two specifically Jewish sites, the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. "The government of Israel is convinced that the Pope, too, regrets that due to circumstances beyond control, he will be unable to dedicate more of his time to study in depth the resurrection and renewal of the Jewish people in the land of their forefathers," read Barak's statement.

        Rabbi David Rosen, Israel's representative in the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, said the Pope's visit will mark "the climax" of reconciliation between Catholics and the Jewish people.

        In statements published today by the Italian newspaper "Avvenire," Rosen expressed that the Holy Father has succeeded in this objective thanks to his work carried out "with courage that now sees his crowning." In addition to fostering dialogue between Jews and Christians, this trip constitutes "recognition of the Jewish people in their own Land," Rabbi Rosen said.

        Fr. Giovanno Battistelli, Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land, disclosed that John Paul II will hold a meeting with youth in the Mount of the Beatitudes, during which he will speak about the beatitudes of the third millennium. The Custodian's only fear is that "the local authorities' legitimately imposed restrictions for security reasons may impede a warm welcome of the Pope by the people and disappoint many people's expectations." ZE00011306

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    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. among those submitted to Pope for honor as Martyr for Witness of Faith

        The US Conference of Bishops submitted to the Holy Father nearly 30 names of Catholic and non-Catholic martyrs as witnesses of faith including among the list - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the black Baptist minister who led the civil rights movement in the sixties. These suggestions are to honor them as "witnesses of faith" not canonization as is the case with many martyrs who died for the Faith. continued inside.


        BOSTON ( - The US bishops' conference included the Rev. Martin Luther King on a list forwarded to the Vatican of potential 20th century martyrs, according to a report in The Boston Globe newspaper today.

        The list of martyrs is being gathered by a Vatican commission set up for a special ceremony to be led by Pope John Paul II later this year, and the Holy Father specifically recommended inclusion of non-Catholic Christian martyrs. The process is separate from the more rigorous cause for canonization.

        The US bishops included King, a Baptist minister who led the civil rights movement during the 1960s and was assassinated, may be a controversial choice because he was not killed as a missionary or preacher, but as the leader of a social movement. There have also been questions regarding unethical or immoral behavior during his life.

        Bishop Tod Brown of Orange, California, who led the bishops' nominating committee which forwarded 25 to 30 names to the Vatican, told the Globe that King was "a prophet in terms of civil rights. ... His whole rationale had a strong spiritual basis." Other nominees reportedly included four religious women murdered in El Salvador in 1980.

        Paul Henderson of the bishops' conferences' Jubilee Year office said the names of the nominees have not been officially released because some people may be hurt or disappointed if someone was not chosen.

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      China's threats of religious persecution could come back to haunt them

         The many years of lies and threats are catching up with Red China and it could cost them if they don't back off. This comes from Republican U.S. Congressman Matthew Selmon from Arizona who met with China's leader Jiang Zemin yesterday and warned the President that continued abuse of human and religious rites could prohibit free trade with western nations, specifically the U.S. continued inside.


        BEIJING ( - A delegation of US Congressmen met with Chinese Communist President Jiang Zemin today and told him that China's entry into the World Trade Organization could hinge on the country's treatment of religious groups.

        Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Arizona, said the bipartisan delegation discussed the crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritualist movement, the state-orchestrated ordination of five Catholic bishops in defiance of the Pope's authority, and the lack of movement in dialogue with the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama.

        Salmon said he supports free trade with China, but said the Communist government's human rights record could affect how Congress votes on granting permanent normal trade relations (NTR) to the country, creating a barrier to China's entry into the WTO. "If members of Congress believe that the human rights situation in China is getting worse instead of better and religious freedom is less instead of more, then it could impact NTR votes," he said.

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    Vatican Agency "Fides" Denounces Washington's Contradictions

        VATICAN CITY, JAN 13 (ZENIT).- The Gospel phrase "don't let your right hand know what your left is doing," aptly describes U.S. policy in Africa, according to the Holy See's missionary agency "Fides."

        "Fides" published its rebuttal following an announcement Vice-President Al Gore that he is committed to give additional funds for the struggle against AIDS.

        Gore said at the United Nations that, beyond the $225 million allocated to fight this illness that undermines the future of Africa, he will request an additional $100 million from Congress to assist those countries lacerated by this virus. During the current year 2000, the United States will invest over $800 million to combat this virus. This is a major decision, given the fact that in 1998 Washington drastically cut funds for humanitarian aid.

        However, according to recent research by the organization "Demilitarization for Democracy," the Clinton Administration has allocated $21.3 billion for armaments, of which $8.3 billion have been allocated to non-democratic regimes.

        "Fides" reports that last November the African Center for Strategic Studies was founded in Dakar, Senegal. This is the name of a combat school, created by the U.S. Defense Department. The center is open to high-level military officers and African civilian leaders. Courses will be taught by retired U.S. officers, who in the past participated in similar undertakings in Latin America, which gave birth to a controversial generation of military leaders.

        Registration in this military institution is handled through U.S. Embassies in the African countries. The only countries excluded are those sanctioned by a U.N. embargo or those suspected of funding terrorism. These limitations do not affect leaders of regimes at war or representatives of dictatorships.

        According to the organization "Demilitarization for Democracy," 43 African countries, 26 with non-democratic governments, have U.S. military advisers. In 1997, nine of the eleven countries involved in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo received arms and instructors from the United States. ZE00011301

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    Dynamic Missionary Group Works in Africa

        EL OBEID, SUDAN, JAN 13 (ZENIT-FIDES).- 500 Sudanese children of the Dinka tribe have been freed from slavery by the Apostles of Jesus. The children are now attending schools in Turolet and Abyei, in the diocese of El Obeid. The Apostles of Jesus is one of the most dynamic missionary groups in Africa, and is working to establish 9 missions among the Nubian people of Gidel and Kauda and an additional 9 missions in the diocese of Rumbek in southern Sudan.

        "Each one of our communities participates in the people's life through prayer, work, and simplicity of living. A community cannot evangelize without regular and total contact with the people," Fr. Sylvester Rwomukubwe, the Superior General of this religious institute, said.

        Sudan is governed by a military dictatorship of fundamentalist Islamic orientation. In 1982, when the Khartoum regime enforced the "sharia" or Islamic law, animists and Christians in the south rebelled. Among these southern populations there are unscrupulous traders who buy boys and girls from the military and sell them as slaves to northern families or other Islamic countries.

        The Apostles of Jesus have their mother house in Nairobi, Kenya, and number 347 -- 257 priests, 2 deacons, 73 seminarians, and 5 temporary brothers. In training are 15 novices, 51 postulants, and 680 aspirants. They are organized in 81 communities: 38 in Kenya, 20 in Uganda, 10 in Tanzania, 2 in Ethiopia, and 9 in Sudan. In 1999 alone, 23 young men were ordained priests in the community of the Apostles of Jesus. Now they hope to open a community in South Africa and another in the United States. ZE00011302

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        ROME, JAN 13 (ZENIT).- In addition to the eight locations named in the Bull opening the Jubilee for receiving the indulgence (St. Peter's, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, St. Lawrence, Holy Cross of Jerusalem, Shrine of Divine Love, and the Catacombs), various other sites have been designated. Perhaps the most surprising is the chapel in Rome's Fiumicino airport. Fr, Alberto Papi, deputy chaplain at the airport, says that it takes about an hour to gain the indulgence and it can often be done during layovers between flights.

        On October 29, the Athlete's Jubilee, Rome's Olympic stadium will provide the Jubilee indulgence, and for World Youth Day (August 19-20), the locations of the Masses will also provide indulgences. To receive any indulgence, a Catholic must be free of all voluntary ties to sins, even venial, must complete the specified act, must receive Communion and go to Confession (these can be done within a week before or after the act), and pray for the Pope's intentions. For the visiting of a church or location to count, the pilgrim must take part in a religious ceremony there or spend a designated time in prayer. ZE00011320

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      Special Jubilee Guidebook for Youth prepared by US Bishops

          A resource guide has been published which will provide information, inspiration and education for youths during this Jubilee Year, including prayers, programs and a calendar of Youth activities sponsored by the Vatican. The guide covers the entire year and is available in both English and Spanish. continued inside.


        WASHINGTON, D.C., 13 (NE) The US bishop's Secretariat of Family, Laity, Women and Youth has prepared and published "The Youth and Young Adult Jubilee Guidebook" as a "resource to help young people to prepare themselves and celebrate the Holy Year of the 2000." This publication "has been made to gather applicable material and publish them to aid young people and those who guide them." The "Guide", published in Spanish and English, includes an overview of the Jubilee year, six group sessions for youth and other six for young adults, with texts, prayers, activities and questions for group discussions.

        It also includes other resources that help to reflect, pray and celebrate the faith during the Church celebration of the Holy Year. This includes the Pope's prayer for the Jubilee, the Jubilee Hymn and a list of celebrations for young people in Rome during the year 2000.

         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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    January 14, 2000     volume 11, no. 10
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