THURSDAY    January 20, 2000   vol. 11, no. 14   SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
WORLD NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:
  • Will Pope John Paul II reveal the Third Secret of Fatima this year?
  • Pope urges audience to pray and be apostles for unity
  • Will the real Mt. Sinai please stand up?
  • Special two-week Jubilee pilgrimage for world politicians to tweak their consciences
  • Tourists of all faiths evacuating Indonesian isle
  • Crusade to make St. John of Avila a Doctor of the Church
  • Vatican to participate big time in World Expo 2000
  • Up-to-date Shiplogs for DailyCATHOLIC visitors

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant


        ROME, JAN 19 (ZENIT).- Bishop Francesco Loris Capovilla, former personal secretary of John XXIII, denied the statements of French Mariologist René Laurentin, according to whom "the third secret of Fatima could have been revealed in 1960 during the period of preparation of Vatican Council II."

        Fr. Laurentin's statements were published in a book written by Italian journalist Giuseppe De Carli, entitled "Breviary of the New Millennium" (San Paolo).

        "Laurentin is referring to rumors that were circulating at that time, but there is no indication that allows one to think that the Pope hoped to reveal the secret in 1960," Bishop Capovilla said.

        According to a Roman newspaper, John Paul II is considering revealing this secret when he travels to Fatima later this year to beatify the two shepherds who were favored with apparitions of Mary in that Portuguese town. This rumor has yet to be confirmed. ZE00011910

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        VATICAN ( -- In his regular weekly public audience for Wednesday, January 19, Pope John Paul II spoke about the previous day's ecumenical celebration at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

        The Holy Father told his audience in the Vatican's Paul VI auditorium that prayers for Christian unity would be particularly needed during this Jubilee year. (Yesterday marked the opening of the annual week of prayer for Christian unity.) The Pontiff asked all Christians-- but especially young people-- to be "apostles of dialogue, listening, and pardon." He asked those who suffer from illness or other pain to offer up their suffering for that intention. And he urged newly married couples to be "builders of communion within their own families," offering an example of unity to the world.

        Pope John Paul also announced that he would a new series of catechetical talks, on the subject of the Holy Trinity. He expects to develop that theme during his Wednesday audiences throughout the Holy Year.

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    Archeologist Emmanuel Anati Claims to Have Identified Mount Sinai

        ROME, JAN 19 (ZENIT).- An Israeli archeologist claims to have discovered the location of Mount Sinai. He states that Mount Har Karkon, in the Israeli Negeb desert, was the location of the giving of the Ten Commandments, not the Egyptian mountain usually accepted as the site, and which the Holy Father will visit this February.

        Emmanuel Anati's first contact with Mount Har Karkon was as a young, 24-year old archeologist. His attention was riveted by a protrusion in the middle of the desert, which he felt was the silent witness of a stirring history. Mount Har Karkon, in the Negeb desert, in Israeli territory, kept a well-guarded secret: "There were unusual paintings. Pictures of mountain goats and men at prayer. They did not adore an image of the moon or the sun, but a sign without a picture: a simple line, an entity not represented; this was the first thing that impressed me," Anati said.

        At the time, the young researcher did not know that many years later, in 1980 to be precise, he would return as head of an Italian archeological mission and that this mountain would mark his professional life. On January 24, Anati will present his latest book, published by Bayard and entitled "The Mysteries of Mount Sinai," in which he recounts the reasons that have brought him to the conviction that Har Karkon is the real Sinai of which the Bible speaks.

        The author says that Sinai is not north of the Red Sea, as Western knights assumed during the Byzantine period. However, he admits that decades of work will be necessary to prove that statement. Nonetheless, there are findings that are favorable to its being the place of the Commandments. "In the first place, we found the altar and 12 boundary posts at the foot of the mount. Those 12 pillars are mentioned in the pages of the Bible [Ex 24:4]. Then, some 60 meters away, the remains of a Bronze Age camp. This is also mentioned in the Old Testament."

        But this is not all. The archeologist continued with a story reminiscent of the adventures of Indiana Jones. "We also identified that small cave on the side of the mountain where, according to Sacred History, Moses had to hide his face so as not to see God. Having arrived at this point, the coincidences were impressive," explained Anati. "But last year our mission came upon the last discovery that for me is decisive. In parallel work, we excavated a protruding burial mound. We thought we would find the tomb of a famous personage. Instead, it was a commemorative burial mound. In the center, it had an altar, and underneath, the vestiges of a fire. On the altar there was a white stone in the shape of a half moon, about two feet long and weighing almost a hundred pounds: the symbol of the moon god. It was a revelation -- in Mesopotamian culture, the moon god is called Sin. Sinai, therefore, is an attributive form equivalent to 'of Sin.' The Mesopotamian peoples, whom we date at the beginning of the third millennium before Christ, had dedicated Har Karkon to the god Sin. This also explains the mountain goats on the stone paintings: the mountain goat is the sacred animal associated with Sin. Therefore, this mount was the authentic Sinai, a mountain already sacred 1,000 years before Moses."

        Today, Anati's work is an enigma to study, to debate, and to prove. Decades will go by until the information is consolidated, but the hypothesis has certainly whetted researchers' curiosity. ZE00011902

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    1,000 to Participate in First Jubilee of Governors and Parliamentarians

        ROME, JAN 19 (ZENIT).- Politicians have not been forgotten in the plans for the Jubilee. The Vatican understands that the men and women who decide policy have a unique opportunity to improve life for all citizens. To celebrate the first Jubilee of Governors and Parliamentarians, to be held November 5, the Jubilee Committee has planned a special pilgrimage of preparation.

        The pilgrimage will begin on October 26 in Bethlehem. 1,000 politicians from all over the world will travel the length of the Mediterranean, in St. Paul's footsteps, until they arrive in Rome on November 5 for the Jubilee proper, which will be held in the Vatican.

        The program for this pilgrimage of men and women politicians was presented yesterday afternoon to the Diplomatic Corps accredited in the Vatican and the Italian State.

        Each stage of the journey will be linked to a burning issue of our day. In Bethlehem, the topic will be the family; in Jerusalem, justice, peace and disarmament; in Cyprus, cancellation of the foreign debt of the poorest countries; in Ephesus, the dignity of woman; in Athens, Malta, Syracuse, and Messina the debate will center on religious liberty, youth, and the role of communication.

        At least on this occasion, the politicians will not be the speakers. Instead, they will hear experts from the 3 great monotheist religions.

        In order to attend to the technical aspects of this pilgrimage, a mixed commission was created directed by Hassan Kouach, president of the Human Rights Commission of the Palestinian Parliament, and by Salah Tamir, vice-president of the Israeli Knesset.

        When addressing the meeting, Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini emphasized the pivotal character of questions linked to human rights, rejecting frequently heard accusations that in this area a Western view is likely to be imposed. "In principle, no one can deny that every man and woman has the right to life and physical, moral and cultural integrity, and has a right to his or her own dignity and self-expression, independently of religion, race, or country..."

        Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, expressed the hope that the pilgrimage's program would not be turned into an intellectual debate, but would leave adequate time for prayer and the spiritual dimension.

        Bishop Crescenzio Sepe secretary general of the Vatican Jubilee Committee, recalled that the Holy Year must be an opportunity to reflect on the direction of historical and social evolution and the way these can be improved and corrected. The Bishop also mentioned the surprising interest that the world of politics has shown in the Jubilee of Governors and Parliamentarians and hoped that this initiative would become a traditional event in future Holy Years. ZE00011905

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        MATARAM, Indonesia ( - Indonesian security forces evacuated nearly all tourists from the resort island of Lombok on Wednesday, as they entered a third day of riots and attacks on Christians.

        Many of the resorts and hotels on the island posted signs expressing support for Islam or declaring that they are Muslim-owned in an attempt to ward off attacks by extremist Muslims. No hotels have been directly attacked, but several bars and restaurants were burned in addition to dozens of churches and other buildings. The attacks began on Monday following a rally to protest Christian-Muslim violence in the eastern Maluku province that has left over 2,000 people dead in the past year.

        Hundreds of riot police and soldiers have been called into the region as nearly 3,000 Christians, most of them ethnic Chinese, sought refuge in police stations and military bases. Even so, crowds of men wearing white Muslim caps blocked access roads to Lombok's Lembar ferry terminal Wednesday. Some said they were checking cars for Christians.

        Interreligious violence began in the Malukus as the majority-Muslim country slid into its worst economic crisis in decades and political turmoil rose. Some extremist Muslim leaders have called for a holy war against Christians.

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        MADRID, (ZENIT) - The Spanish Episcopal Conference has petitioned the Holy See, requesting the Holy Father to declare St. John of Avila a doctor of the Universal Church. The Bishops highlight the figure of the saint as a model for the new evangelization in his work as catechist and pioneer in educational and cultural pastoral care, but also because of his concern for vocations, and his outstanding life of poverty and prayer. In his preaching and writings St. John of Avila stressed the sacramental dimension of Christianity, particularly the Eucharist.

        St. John of Avila was the founder of a University and numerous schools, as well as three centers for the continuing education of the clergy. In addition, he was the author of an original catechism in verse, which was so successful "that the Jesuits used it in their schools; it was used in the greater part of Spain, especially in America, and even in Africa," the Episcopal Conference emphasized. ZE00011407

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        HANOVER, (ZENIT) - The Vatican has prepared a pavilion for World Expo 2000, to be held in Hanover, Germany, from June 1 to October 31. Apostolic Nuncio Giovanni Lajolo was present for the ceremony.

        The central space of the Vatican pavilion, which is made of glass and wood, will be surrounded by a construction in the shape of a ring. In the main building there will be a single picture of the face of Christ; in the ring there will be sculptures from the Vatican Museums and photographic panels illustrating subjects of the social doctrine of the Church.

        Special emphasis will be placed on the topics of peace, children, women, the family, the dignity of suffering man. The pavilion has the same motto as the Jubilee: "Christ Yesterday, Today, and Forever," integrating with the main theme of Expo 2000: "Man, Nature, and Technology." After the Exposition closes, the pavilion will be used as a social center in Latvia.

        Archbishop Lajolo explained that the Vatican decided to take part in Expo 2000 because it "offers a world vision of the state of modern civilization and its prospects for the third millennium." Moreover, he added, "40 million visitors are expected."

        "To all those who come to this pavilion, the Holy See will speak in favor of man in his social reality, with its positive and negative aspects, and with his hopes, which must be inspired by values that do not deteriorate," the Apostolic Nuncio said.

        At the entrance of the ring-shaped section, there will be a sign in several languages summarizing the Vatican pavilion's message: "Man is the way of the Church; Christ is the way of man." ZE00011407

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    January 20, 2000     volume 11, no. 14
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