FRI-SAT-SUN    January 21-23, 2000   vol. 11, no. 15   SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • MOVIES & MORALS continued
    WORLD NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:
  • Vatican makes Egypt trip official
  • All of Egypt anxiously awaiting the Pope
  • Vatican under attack in UN by pro-aborts
  • Special Vatican envoy to honor Peruvian See
  • St. Therese's relics heading for prison
  • Insurrection and scheming in Chiapas
  • Pope to observe World Communication Day on Monday
  • Bishop of Arlington, Virginia rallying flock for March for Life in D.C.

  • MOVIES & MORALS continued

      (Paramount)$6.8 million last week/   $63.4 million in four weeks:
          Because of occasional gory violence, and implied affair, discreet homosexual innuendo, fleeting full nudity and a few instances of rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "The Talented Mr. Ripley" is a disquieting melodrama set in 1958 Italy where, after befriending a rich expatriate couple (played by Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow), an impoverished young American assumes his identity and stops at nothing to keep the risky charade going. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith's 1955 novel, a chilling cautionary tale of materialism expanding to grotesque evil unfolds replete with seductive visuals and sleek performances -- but an ambiguous ending.

  • 8.   SUPERNOVA
      (MGM-UA)$6.7 million in first week:
          Because of intermittent sci-fi violence and a few sexual encounters with nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 - parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. In "Supernova", a 22nd-century medical rescue spaceship receives a strange distress call that launches the vessel on an adventure linking them with an alien artifact able to make humans stronger and younger, but with some harrowing side effects. With its unbelievable plot development and cardboard acting, this film is one to skip for all but die-hard sci-fi fans.

  • 9.   TOY STORY 2
      (Walt Disney)$6.6 million last week/   $227.6 million in nine weeks:
          The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. In "Toy Story 2" the animated adventures of toys that come to life when humans aren't around continues as cowboy Woody voiced by Tom Hanks is stolen by a greedy toy collector, sending Woody's toy buddies, led by Buzz Lightyear, the voice of Tim Allen, on a breathless rescue mission. Featuring even better animation, the briskly paced cartoon sequel is slightly less original, but zippy action scenes and gentle humor should amuse small fry and grown-ups alike.

      (Warner Brothers)$5.5 million last week/   $66.9 million in three weeks:
          Because of much stylized violence, brutality, sexual situations, locker-room frontal nudity, drug abuse, recurring rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV - adults, with reservations.. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Any Given Sunday" is a frenetically jumbled look at a professional football team trying to make the play-offs under veteran coach Al Pacino who puts his career on the line by starting an ailing but reliable old-timer as quarterback rather then the hotshot young maverick favored by the club's devious owner (played by Cameron Diaz). The strictly formula sports story follows the underdogs to the big game in a jazzed-up narrative with jarring scenes of physical and verbal violence on and off the field, in locker rooms, bedrooms and corporate suites, while the coach philosophizes, cajoles, screams and whispers about team unity and the game's dignity.
      While the reviews by the NCCB are very good and provide the ratings, we have discovered another site which will give you a much more detailed survey of what to watch out for. Just click on Christian Analysis of Culture Alert.

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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

    Visit to Mount Sinai of Great Importance for Country's Stability

       VATICAN CITY, JAN 20 (ZENIT).- This morning the Vatican Press Office published the program of John Paul II's pilgrimage to Mount Sinai from February 24-26, in the context of his Jubilee pilgrimage "to places connected with the history of salvation."

       After postponing the stage of Ur of the Chaldeans in Iraq, Abraham's birthplace, at the express request of the Baghdad regime, the itinerary of this pontifical pilgrimage will begin in the Sinai, where Moses was revealed the name of God and given the Tablets of the Law.

       On February 26, the Pope will visit the Orthodox Monastery of Saint Catherine, which is in the Sinai region, at the foot of Mount Horeb. While there, he will preside over the celebration of the Word in the garden of olives, the very place where tradition locates the burning bush that served the Lord to reveal himself to Moses: "I am Who am." This celebration is of great ecumenical importance, as the Monastery is home to a community of Greek Orthodox monks, who are very enthusiastic about the Pope's arrival.

       Before reaching Sinai, the Holy Father will visit Cairo on February 24 in the afternoon. The present moment has significant connotations for this papal visit. At present in the area of the Upper Nile, groups of Muslim fundamentalists are carrying out a harsh repression of the Coptic Christian minority. As is the case in other Arab countries, Egypt is under a fundamentalist threat: the deteriorating economic situation has caused the spread of ideas contrary to the Westernization of the country and the secularism of the State. Violent groups have generalized their attacks against members of the foreign community, Western economic interests, tourists and even personalities of Egyptian public life, which has caused the government to react with massive arrests, executions of fundamentalist leaders and military occupation of the areas dominated by them.

       In the midst of this unhappy panorama, there are two positive signs in the area of foreign relations. The first and most important is the role of Egyptian diplomacy in the peace process between Israel and Palestine, which has returned Egypt to leadership of the Arab world.

       Within this context, the meeting of the Pope with the Grand Sheik Mohammed Sayed Tantawi of Al Azhar acquires great significance. The Sheik is the most important Sunni personality and one of the most prestigious custodians of Islamic thought. Other important moments in the papal visit to Cairo include a private meeting with President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, and a visit with Shenouda III, leader of the Coptic Orthodox.

       On February 25, the Pope will celebrate Mass in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Egypt and participate in an ecumenical meeting in the inter-ritual Major Seminary of St. Leo the Great.

       Of the 66 million inhabitants of Egypt, about 1% are Catholics and 4.8% Orthodox. The overwhelming majority are Muslims.

       The Pope's pilgrimage to Sinai will continue with the stage in the Holy Land, which will take place at the end of March. At that time, the Holy Father will visit Mount Nebo in Jordan from where Moses glimpsed the Promised Land before his death. ZE00012004

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      Egyptian people looking eagerly to Papal visit

        Even though there are only 200,000 Catholics out of sixty million Egyptians they are ecstatic the Pope is coming to their land. Surprisingly, so are their Muslim countrymen who are planning to welcome the Roman Pontiff with great cooperation from those of the Islam faith. continued inside.


        CAIRO ( - The news that Pope John Paul II will visit Egypt next month has been received with enthusiasm by Egyptian Catholics and Muslims, according to Father Boulos Garas, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Egypt

        Father Garas, who also teaches at St. Leo the Great major seminary at Maadi, said: "Catholics, a tiny minority of 200,000 among 60 million Egyptians, are overjoyed. Several of those I have spoken with could hardly hold back the tears. And many want to come from Upper Egypt, a thousand miles away, ready to undertake a 12-hour train journey to witness this great event."

        The priest also said the authorities at Al Azhar University, an influential center for Islamic intellectuals, "welcome the Pope's visit, showing great Islamic tolerance." The question of tolerance is high on the agenda for the Cairo authorities after the bloody clashes between Christians and Muslims in which 20 Coptic Christians were killed at el-Kosheh earlier this month.

        This will be Pope's first visit to Egypt. "It is a pity he cannot stay longer," said Father Ibrahim Isak Sedrach, the rector of St. Leo the Great seminary. This is an historic event: a Muslim country where Christians are mostly Orthodox, will welcome a Catholic Pope. For our youngsters it will be a joy and an encouragement."

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      Culture of death advocates trying to put squeeze on Vatican's status in the UN

         The pro-aborts are showing their true colors by trying to drum the Vatican out of the UN's status of Permanent Observer to a non-government organization (NGO) which would place the Holy See, head of over one billion people globally in the same stratosphere as the heretical upstart Frances Kissling's "catholics for a free choice." Please, give us a break! Pressuring the Vatican like that should have every loyal Catholic in the world incensed at this brash measure. continued inside.


        NEW YORK ( - A campaign by a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) associated with the United Nations to demote the Vatican at the international body has grown to 400 members, according to the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-fam) today.

        The campaign, led by Frances Kissling of the US-based pro-abortion Catholics for a Free Choice, seeks to have the Holy See's status at the UN downgraded from Permanent Observer to NGO, even though the Vatican is a recognized sovereign nation. Last year, Kissling asked "why ... an entity that is in essence 100 square acres of office space and tourist attractions ... with a citizenry that excludes women and children have a place at the table where governments set policies affecting the very survival of women and children."

        The "See Change" campaign, which includes the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the world's largest abortion provider, has singled out the Vatican for its ability to form coalitions of mainly Catholic and Muslim countries that block efforts to promote abortion, contraception, and population control or to redefine sexuality, morality, and the family in UN documents and conferences.

        Other members of the campaign, which has set up a web site and has taken out ads in The New York Times, include the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, Equality Now, Marie Stopes International, the National Abortion Federation, the Feminist Majority, the Sierra Club, Population Concern, Center for Research on Population and Security, the American Humanist Association, and Atheists United.

        C-fam observed, "Since the UN works by consensus, any small group of states can theoretically stop any piece of language they find objectionable. Since most states rely on foreign aid, the pressure to bend to the will of the Clinton Administration and the increasingly radical European Union is intense. The Holy See does not receive any foreign aid, so it cannot be pressured in the traditional ways."

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        LIMA, JAN 20 (ZENIT).- At the initiative of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, on January 30, there will be a solemn celebration in the Cathedral of Lima of the first centenary of the establishment of apostolic prefectures in the Peruvian Amazon region.

        After the celebration in Lima, the commemoration will continue in the Amazon region itself. The Holy Father will send Archbishop Marcello Zago, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as his special envoy. Archbishop Zago will be in Peru from January 29 until February 7.

        The evangelization of Peru began at the time of Pizarro's conquest of the Incas in 1532. Missionary activity was very intense, especially during the 16th and 17th centuries. Later, the establishment of the missionary prefectures gave decisive impetus to the work of spiritual and human development promoted by the Church. ZE00012009

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        MANILA ( - At the end of January the relics of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus may be exposed in death row in the Philippines' national prison in Manila.

        Bishop Ramon Arguelles, Military Ordinary of the Philippines, said the relics will reach Manila on January 30 and be taken to visit the prison the next day. "Somebody asked me if the relics could be brought to the prison and the first thing I asked: are you going to allow us to enter death row?" said Bishop Arguelles. "I asked that because St. Therese surely loved as Christ loves those whom we call sometimes hardened criminals. They are not hopeless. If we see them in the eyes of the saints and in the eyes of God, they are objects of our loving attention and we must sacrifice for them, like St. Therese and obtain from God their conversion."

        Bishop Arguelles has been working for years to bring St. Therese's relics to the Philippines. "In 1994, several people, devotees of St. Therese, asked me to help them in bringing the relics of the saint to the country. My first reaction was that I would try." The bishop noted that the saint's "first spiritual child" was a man condemned to be executed for murdering three women in 1888. "Therese prayed for him, offered Masses, and made sacrifices and the next news she had was that, shortly before he was executed, the man approached the priest and embraced the Crucifix and for the saint this was a response from God, her prayers were answered," the bishop said.

        The bishop insists the relics should be shown to those awaiting execution, although the prison authorities, for security reasons, have not yet given official permission.

        Father Robert Olaguer, chaplain of the national prison, said the relics will be exposed for all the inmates of death row to see during a Mass celebrated behind bars. In the Philippines, the death penalty was abolished in 1987 and replaced with life imprisonment by former President Corazon Aquino, but when former President Fidel Ramos was elected in 1992 the situation was reversed. In 1994 the death penalty was re-introduced and a 1996 law decreed execution by means of lethal injection.

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        SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, MEXICO, JAN 20 (ZENIT).- Radical groups associated with "indigenous theology" are trying to influence the episcopal succession in the diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas, according to one of the anti-sect experts of the Archdiocese of Mexico. Fr. Flaviano Amatulli Valente, who is also founder of the Apostles of the Word, has urged the Holy See to intervene in order to prevent "a true schism in the Catholic Church in Mexico."

        Fr. Amatulli noted that territory of this diocese is already less than 50% Catholic. This number is consonant with other areas where "Liberation Theology" has been applied, according to the priest. The theologian rejected the idea that outgoing Bishop Samuel Ruiz could be compared to Bishops Óscar Romero and Helder Cámara. "Those were 'prophets' that did not give in to the temptation to become 'kings.' This didn't occur with Bishop Samuel, who pushed or accepted a line of pastoral care that is very disputed within the Catholic Church, eliminating any type of opposition." ZE00012023

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      Pope will give message to the Media on Monday

         In honor of the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales the esteemed bishop, Doctor of the Church and Patron Saint of Journalists, the Holy Father will give a special message for World Communication Day observed this coming Monday with many of the fifth estate and the entertainment industry present in Rome. continued inside.


        VATICAN CITY, 20 (NE) Pope John Paul's Message for the 34th World Communications Day will be presented in the Holy See Press Office on Monday, January 24, at 11:30 a.m local time. The presentation of the Pope's message will be in charge of Archbishop John Foley and Bishop Pierfranco Pastore, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

        The theme of the message is: "Announcing Christ in the Media at the Dawn of the New Millennium." The jubilee celebrations for journalists and for those involved in the entertainment industry will also be presented that day during the press conference.

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        ARLINGTON, VA, 20 (NE) Archbishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington renewed his call for faithful to "publicly witness to the horror of abortion and its impact on society" and "to celebrate the joy of the jubilee year as a pilgrim Church". In a recent article, the Prelate invited Catholics in the diocese to participate in the pro-life activities to be held January 22, 23, and 24.

        January 22 is the 27th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision allowing the taking of the life of an unborn baby. On that day, Bishop Loverde will celebrate Mass and afterwards will preside the prayer of the rosary at a nearby abortion facility. "Let us petition our Blessed Lady, the Immaculate Conception, the patroness of the United States, to intercede for us so that this slaughter of the innocent may be ended", wrote the Prelate.

        Bishop Loverde also announced that St. Mary's Church in Alexandria will be the goal of a pilgrimage on January 23, "as we continue the celebration of the jubilee year at the oldest church in our diocese". Finally, on January 24, he invited faithful to "join me in a national display of witness at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. I applaud the participation of this diocese in this march over the years. I am honored to join you as we unite with peoples from across the land in a public witness for life."

        "May we pray that the tens of thousands attending this march representing the millions of people throughout the land make an impact on public opinion and the legislative process in order to recognize the horror that abortion inflicts upon us". "Mother Teresa told us, 'the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion.' Let us continue the process of bringing peace to our nation by our public witness at the March for Life. After all, '…we are the people of life and for life, and this is how we present ourselves to everyone'."

      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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