TUESDAY    January 18, 2000   vol. 11, no. 12   SECTION TWO

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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

John Paul II Could Create 18 Cardinals this Year

    VATICAN CITY, JAN 17 (ZENIT).- The rumor running through Vatican corridors and the Italian press is that 20 new Cardinals will be created for the Jubilee. This rumor is based on plain mathematical reasoning. By June, there will be 18 vacant places among the Cardinal electors, since only those under 80 are permitted to vote for a new Pope.

    This consistory would be the eighth of this pontificate. On two occasions, John Paul II has appointed more than the 120 Cardinals who can participate in a conclave, according to a regulation established by Paul VI. It should be noted that the Pope can also create an indefinite number of Cardinals older than 80. These appointments highlight the example of men who have witnessed to the faith in the Church's service (martyrs in life, theologians, men of government, etc.)

    Many of the appointments will be predictable. There is still speculation as to whether the Pope will reveal the names of the two Cardinals created "in pectore" at the last consitory. Many believe that one of them is Archbishop Giovanni Battista Re, Substitute at the Secretariat of State for Internal Affairs and close collaborator of the Pope, while the other is suspected to be a Chinese Bishop of the underground Church faithful to Rome.

    As regards candidates from the Roman Curia, in all probability the following will receive the honor of the title Cardinal: Portuguese Archbishop Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Polish Archbishop Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Italian Archbishop Mario Francesco Pompedda, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Others who have a good chance of being created Cardinals are Vietnamese Archbishop François Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Argentine Archbishop Jorge Mejia, the Church's Librarian; Spanish Archbishop Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts; and Italian Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan.

    In addition, there are 15 Sees that traditionally have a Cardinal as their Archbishop that do not presently have a Cardinal. In Europe, this is the case of Archbishop Louis-Marie Billé of Lyon, president of the French Episcopal Conference; of Archbishop Seán Brady of Armagh, Primate of Ireland; of Archbishop José da Cruz Policarpo, Patriarch of Lisbon; of Archbishop Ovidio Poletto of Turin; of Archbishop Josip Bozanic of Zagreb; and of the future Archbishop of Westminster, who will replace deceased Cardinal Basil Hume. It is possible that among the new Cardinals the Bishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain will be included.

    In America, one of the traditional Sees headed by a Cardinal is New York, and Cardinal John O'Connor turned 80 on January 15. Cardinal James Hickey of Washington will turn 80 on October 11.

    In Latin America, it should be kept in mind that Sao Paulo, see of Archbishop Cláudio Hummes, does not have a Cardinal, as is the case with Archbishop Geraldo Agnelo of Bahia, Brazil, and Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Archbishop Francisco Javier Errázuriz of Santiago, Chile; and Archbishop Pedro Rubiano of Bogota. This list could include Archbishop Ignacio Velasco of Caracas, Venezuela, and Archbishop Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru.

    In Asia, the Pope would almost certainly name Archbishop Ivan Dias of Bombay Cardinal. In Africa, there is talk of Archbishop Rafael Ndingi Mwana'a of Nairobi, Kenya, and Archbishop Bernard Agré of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

    As can readily be seen, the candidates surpass the 18 available places and it is possible that some of the traditional candidates will not be included in the list. The when and whom are questions that are entirely the prerogative of the Pope. In the meantime, "Vaticanists" as they are known in Rome, have plenty to talk about in their free time. ZE00011707

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    NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - Cardinal John O'Connor of New York celebrated his 80th birthday this weekend as speculation rose that Pope John Paul II could name a successor to head the archdiocese as early as this week.

    Thousands of well-wishers sang "Happy Birthday" to the cardinal as he celebrated Mass on Sunday, after which he jokingly asked, "Well, this is wonderful, but does anybody have a job for me?" Cardinal O'Connor had submitted his resignation to the Holy Father in 1995 upon reaching the canonical retirement age of 75, but it has not yet been accepted.

    However, with the cardinal still recovering from surgery last August to remove a brain tumor, a replacement to lead the 2.4 million-member archdiocese is expected soon. "At this time, when your illness makes new demands upon your spiritual and physical resources, I pray that you will press forward, with faith and hope," the Pope said in a letter read during Mass.

    Customarily, the Vatican announces new appointments for US dioceses on Tuesdays which means a successor could be appointed as early as this week, although New York archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said the announcement may not be made that soon.

    One factor that may influence the timing is that the Holy Father is expected to soon call for a consistory that would name up to 15 new cardinals, filling vacant voting spots for a papal election. New York is one of eight archdioceses in the US whose archbishop is customarily named as a cardinal.

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Receives Finnish Ecumenical Delegation

    VATICAN CITY, Jan 17 (ZENIT).- Monday morning, on the eve of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which the Pope inaugurates Tuesday morning with the opening of the Holy Door of the Roman Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, John Paul II received an ecumenical delegation of Christian Churches of Finland in the Vatican.

    When greeting the delegation, the Pope said it was a "particularly significant" visit, as it is taking place precisely in the year of the Great Jubilee in which Christians want to celebrate the second millennium of the Savior's birth more united.

    "Your visit is based on the promising initiatives that have brought Orthodox, Lutheran and Catholic Christians closer in recent times. It encourages me to pursue the path towards unity which the Successor of the Apostle Peter must be the first to take," stated the Holy Father.

    The Pontiff then referred to what will be the second largest ecumenical meeting in history, after the opening of Ecumenical Vatican Council II, that is, tomorrow's opening of the Holy Door of St. Paul's Basilica. On this occasion the Pope will push open the Door with the help of two representatives from other Christian Churches. "As we pass through the Holy Door, may we take another step closer to the unity in Christ which Peter and Paul proclaimed, and which the Lord himself so clearly wills," the Pope said.

    Finally, the Holy Father expressed his gratitude to the members of the Finnish Christian delegation for their support of the dialogue among Christians.

    Lutheran Bishop Ikka Kantola of Turku, one of the Pope's guests, commented after the meeting, "We need patience, and we must continue to carry forward an increasingly profound dialogue; we need to get to know each another better and better. We Christians must not forget that we have a mission to fulfill in the world; only if we are united will we be able to fulfill it in a credible and effective way." ZE00011703

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Appeals for Greater Liberty for Church in Caribbean Island

    VATICAN CITY, JAN 17 (ZENIT).- This morning, two years after the Pope's historic visit to the Island, John Paul II received Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, in order to analyze Church-State relations in Cuba.

    The Cuban Foreign Minister, who also met Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, confirmed "the will of his government to foster mutual and harmonious collaboration," according to an official statement published by the Vatican Press Office.

    During several meetings in the past, the Pope and his collaborators "have requested greater religious liberty for believers in the Island," in keeping with the Holy Father's proposals during his visit to Cuba in January of 1998.

    The Vatican press statement reveals that the two parties were in agreement "when analyzing several topics of international politics as well as the need to promote greater solidarity in favor of the poorest countries."

    Hours before the meeting, Perez Roque said that he hoped to explain to the Pope the Cuban claim against the United States for repatriation of the boy Elian Gonzalez. The Vatican press statement, however, does not refer to the case.

    The Cuban Foreign Minister's visit to the Vatican is part of a tour of Europe, which will take him to Italy, San Marino, France, Denmark, and Russia. He will reiterate Havana's position on the case of ferryman Elian Gonzalez, who was rescued from the sea after the shipwreck in which his mother died, to the government of these countries. "I will speak to all about the experience Cuba is living through at present, and the inconceivable situation that a small boy should be kidnapped."

    As the Cuban Minister himself indicated, this is a unique opportunity to sensitize international public opinion to Cuba's claims against the United States. The 6-year old boy is living with relatives in Miami, who are trying to prevent his return to Cuba, while his father is calling for his return to the island, with the support of the Castro government. Thus a child has become the innocent object of exchange and negotiations between two countries. ZE00011705

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    JAKARTA (CWNews.com) - Muslim rioters went on a rampage in Indonesia today, burning down as many as a dozen churches on Lombok island, near the tourist destination of Bali.

    A diocesan spokesman in the city of Mataram said only two churches are left standing "which means at least 12 or 13 churches there have been torched." Police said thousands of Muslims roamed the town during the day, burning churches and other buildings, after attending a rally earlier in the day.

    Some extremist Muslims in Indonesia have called for a holy war against Christians because of reporting by state media and other sources that Christians are slaughtering innocent Muslims in the Malukus province. Over the past year, more than 2,000 people of both religions have been killed in the region once called the Spice Islands as Christian and Muslim gangs have warred with one another.

    Indonesia is the most populous Muslim majority country in the world, although Christians are sizeable minority in the Spice Islands, former Dutch colonies.

    A resident in Mataram, told Reuters news agency rioters wielding machetes and Molotov cocktails shouted "Finish off the Christians, finish off the churches!" as they rampaged about 10 km (six miles) from the main tourist strip of Senggigi beach. The local hospital said eight people had been admitted with gunshot wounds, but no one had been reported killed.

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    NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - The Clinton administration may be pushing the United Nations to change the definition of prostitution, legalizing some type of the practice, according to a report by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-Fam) on Friday.

    The group said that the US Interagency Council on Women, headed by First Lady and US Senate candidate Hillary Clinton, proposed to a meeting in Vienna working on the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime that they make a distinction between "forced" and "voluntary" prostitution. The meetings were called to hammer out a protocol to address the burgeoning sexual trafficking of women and children.

    In local jurisdictions where the distinction has been made, such as Holland and parts of Bangladesh and Indonesia, the result has been legalized prostitution. C-Fam said the Clinton prostitution push has resulted in an unusual coalition of Christian conservatives, led by Bill Bennett and Charles Colson, and radical feminists, including Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood head Gloria Feldt, NOW president Patricia Ireland.

    "There is universal agreement that the trafficking of women and children for prostitution is a growing menace, for the people involved and for governments," said C-Fam. "Though most prevalent in the developing world, even in the United States women are lured into positions of sexual slavery from which they can rarely escape."

    C-Fam noted that most of those opposed to the current proposal are surprised to learn that parts of the UN have already approved "voluntary" prostitution. "Although the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) explicitly condemned prostitution, last year the CEDAW committee ordered China to legalize prostitution," the group said.

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    ROME (CWNews.com) - An Italian television company announced on Friday that it is planning a TV movie of the life of Pope John Paul II starring Ben Kingsley as the pontiff.

    Mediaset is reportedly in talks with the actor, who has starred in the Oscar-winning films "Ghandi" and "Schindler's List," as well as the British director of "Ghandi," Sir Richard Attenborough. The film would be part of a series of biographies of key figures of the 20th century, which has included Pope John XXIII, Stalin, Mussolini, and Bill Gates.

    Kingsley has worked with Mediaset in the past, starring as Moses in their Bible series. The company said the Vatican still had to give its approval to the project, but foresaw no complications.

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    VATICAN CITY, (ZENIT).- Beginning this past Sunday, Vatican TV began broadcasting a weekly report via internet. The newsmagazine "Octava Dies" is being published in conjunction with ForeignTV.com.

    To access the service, go to http://www.foreigntv.com/worldnews and select Vatican News. The program a summary of the important events that have taken place in the Vatican and the Church over the last 7 days. The news is up-dated every Wednesday, and is available in Windows Streaming Video format.

    According to CTV spokesman Lewis Goldberg, the purpose of the agreement with ForeignTV.com is to "carry the papal message to the largest audience possible." The Vatican news appears on the same page as the news of public television channels in countries like the Peoples Republic of China, Turkey, Lebanon, Algeria and Jordan. ZE00011606

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January 18, 2000     volume 11, no. 12
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