FRI-SAT-SUN    January 7-9, 2000   vol. 11, no. 5   SECTION THREE

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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS

with a Catholic slant

POPE ORDAINS 12 AS VATICAN CELEBRATES EPIPHANY

    VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II ordained 12 new today, in St. Peter's Basilica.

    The Pontiff also sent his Christmas greetings to the Eastern Christian churches that celebrate the feast on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany. That feast, commemorating the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem, is a holy day in Italy, and Vatican offices were closed.

    Pope John Paul II appeared at the window of his apartment at noon to pray the Angelus with pilgrims who had assembled in St. Peter's Square below. He used the occasion to send his greetings to the Orthodox churches, calling them "brothers in the faith." The Holy Father specifically named the patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Moscow, and Romania, and apologized for not naming every Eastern Church. And he praised the beauty of the Byzantine liturgy, saying that it "enriches the Church of Christ."

    In the morning, the Pope ordained 12 bishops, in keeping with a Vatican tradition of episcopal ordinations on the Epiphany. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the 12 new bishops were formally introduced to the media by Cardinal Lucas Moreiva Neves, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Four of the new bishops will serve as papal representatives in the Vatican diplomatic corps; seven will have diocesan assignments; and one will continue at his current post in the Vatican. They are:

  • - Bishop Jozef Wesolowski, a Polish native, who will be the papal nuncio in Bolivia;
  • - Bishop George Panikulam, an Indian, who will be nuncio in Honduras;
  • - Bishop Giacomo Ottonello, an Italian, who will be nuncio in Panama;
  • - Bishop Alberto Bottari de Castello, also Italian, who will be nuncio to the African nations of Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone;
  • - Bishop Ivo Baldi of Huaraz, Peru;
  • - Bishop Gabriel Mbilingi, coadjutor bishop of Lwena, Angola;
  • - Bishop David Laurin Ricken, coadjutor bishop of Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the US;
  • - Bishop Anton Cosa, apostolic administrator of Moldavia, Romania;
  • - Bishop Andra Veres, auxiliary bishop of Eger, Hungary;
  • - Bishop Peter Erdo, auxiliary bishop of Szekesfehervar, Hungary;
  • - Bishop Giuseppe Pasotto, apostolic administrator of the Caucasus; and
  • - Bishop Franco Croci, secretary of the prefecture of economic affairs for the Holy See.

        After the three-hour ceremony, the Pope left the altar with the help of the rolling platform which he had unveiled on December 29; it is a wheeled vehicle which allows him to stand and lean on its bars, so that he can salute the crowd as he walks. The Pope's infirmity was clear at the climactic point of the ritual, when-- as he imposed his hands on the heads of the men to be ordained-- his left hand shook noticeably. Pope John Paul has now ordained 290 men to the episcopate.


    EPIPHANY AT THE VATICAN

    John Paul II Refers to Christmas of Orthodox Christians

        VATICAN CITY, JAN 6 (ZENIT).- Thursday morning, on the feast of the Epiphany, St. Peter's Square witnessed a unique spectacle. 40,000 people came together to hear the Holy Father speak at noon, while the 700 members of a folkloric ensemble graced the Square with their music and traditional costumes. Needless to say, the happiest of all were Roman children, who receive their Christmas gifts from the Three Kings on this date.

        When John Paul II saw the celebrations he said that "these initiatives remind everyone of the value of pilgrimage, as a sign of conversion and a constitutive element of the Jubilee."

        During his address, the Holy Father remembered the Orthodox Christians very especially, as well as Catholics of the Eastern Rite, who are celebrating Christmas at this time. The Pope mentioned the Sees of the important patriarchies that have been so influential in the history of Christianity: Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Moscow. John Paul II is the first Roman Pontiff to have visited a primarily Orthodox country, which he did in Georgia and Romania. "I would like to name them one by one, expressing the fervent wish that the light of Christ, whose birth they are celebrating at this time, will give them an abundance all that can reinforce the proclamation of the only Gospel of salvation."

        Referring to one of the Byzantine prayers most often repeated by the Orthodox faithful during these days, the Pope wished the Christians of the East a Merry Christmas: "Thinking of all the Churches of the Christian East, I send them my wishes for prosperity and joy. I do so by participating in spirit in the song of their liturgy and sharing in the many gifts the Lord has profusely given their traditions that enrich the Church of Christ." ZE00010605


      Despite nine candidates that begged off, Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church under heavy hand of Red China, plucks two others out of the crowd to ordain five in defiance of Holy See

         As we reported yesterday and the day before, on the same day that John Paul II ordained 12 new bishops, the Chinese Catholics' Patriotic Association held ordinations for five of their own bishops, not subject to the Holy Father. "Misna" reports that ''the Chinese government, which is once again forcing its desire for absolute control on to Catholics, is certainly behind the ordination decision.'' The move is sure to damage the advances that have been made recently in the work to establish diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Mainland China. continued inside.

    MASS EPISCOPAL ORDINATION BY CHINA'S CATHOLIC PATRIOTIC ASSOCIATION

    Coincides with John Paul II's Consecration of 12 New Bishops

        BEIJING, JAN 6 (ZENIT).- On the same day that John Paul II ordained 12 new bishops, the Chinese Catholics' Patriotic Association held ordinations for five of their own bishops, not subject to the Holy Father. "Misna" reports that ''the Chinese government, which is once again forcing its desire for absolute control on to Catholics, is certainly behind the ordination decision.'' The move is sure to damage the advances that have been made recently in the work to establish diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Mainland China.

        Nine other candidates for the episcopacy had been named for today's ordinations, but all of these declined, reporting reasons ranging from sickness to "problems" with the decision to ordain on that date. Since these nine refusals brought the initial number down to three, the Patriotic Association quickly sought out two more candidates to beef up the numbers. The new bishops will serve the Shanshi, Fujian, Baoding, and Nanjing provinces.

        On January 4, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Vatican's Press Office, criticized Beijing's decision, expressing "surprise" and "disappointment," and stating that "this gesture will raise obstacles that certainly hinder the process" of normalization of relations between the Vatican and China.

        Navarro-Valls added that the ordinations would increase the distance between the country's political leadership and the Patriotic Association. Over the past few years, many bishops and priests of the Association have worked to rebuild their relationship with the Universal Church in Rome. The letter sent by the Holy Father to all Chinese faithful for the Holy Year was very well received by the Chinese Church. Churchmen in Nantang told "Fides" that they were moved by the Pope's affection.

        A group of Patriotic priests criticized the Religious Affairs Bureau for proceeding with the ordination of new bishops without the Vatican's consent. This puts "the Chinese Church in a dangerous situation of schism," they said. The ordination of the new bishops proves that the Official Church is not free, according to a Beijing priest who continues to be faithful to the papacy and disapproves of today's ordinations.

        A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhu Bangzao, declined direct comment to the "Washington Post" on the ordinations but stated, ''We believe that no country, including the Vatican, can interfere in China's internal affairs, including through religious means,'' said a spokesman, Zhu Bangzao. ZE00010622


      Cardinal O'Connor doesn't mince words in chastising Irish priest for supporting abortion candidate Hillary Clinton

         He may have just returned to work Monday but the Archbishop of New York Cardinal John O'Connor is not shying away from his appointed goal of being a beacon for pro-life and he strongly questioned Father Sean McManus, head of the Irish Political Caucus for endorsing a known abortion promoter in Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate. The feisty Irish priest evidently didn't care what the good cardinal said for his only narrow-minded criteria is how the candidate stands on Ireland. We can assure you, Irish eyes are not smilin' on Fr. McManus. continued inside.

    CARDINAL O'CONNOR QUESTIONS PRIESTS' SUPPORT FOR CLINTON

        NEW YORK (CWNews.com/LSN.ca) - Cardinal John O'Connor of New York has questioned Father Sean McManus, head of the Irish National Caucus Political Action Committee, over his support for Hillary Clinton, who is pro-abortion, in her run for the US Senate.

        "I would be grateful to learn your reasoning for supporting a candidate who so openly opposes the fundamental Church teaching on human life," the cardinal wrote Father McManus in a letter dated August 17.

        The Associated Press reported that McManus wrote back to the cardinal that the Irish PAC "applies one and only one criterion in assessing political candidates: their position and record on Ireland." Clinton's Republican opponent in the race, New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani, is also pro-abortion.

        The cardinal had received a complaint from Theresa French, chairman of a New York pro-life group, who said Father McManus should drop the title of "Father" when endorsing a candidate to avoid giving the impression that the Catholic Church supports the candidate.

        Father McManus was born in Ireland and his brother Patrick was an Irish Republican Army leader killed in 1958. "For the longest time, maybe throughout all of history, Irish people have been told: You can't do that for Irish justice because of your faith," he said. "This lady writes and tells me I can't endorse Hillary Clinton because of my faith. ... My endorsement has nothing to do with abortion."


      Democratic candidates fall all over themselves in trying to out abortion the other while Republican Steve Forbes calls for inspiration rather than division

          While campaign promoters for Al Gore and Bill Bradley, both avowed abortion promoters, tried to one-up the other side as to who was more pro-death, Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes played down the issue, calling for an understanding and respect in the right to be born. He said he wants to treat the issue with dignity that will inspire rather than divide and leave bitter feelings with the two sides of the abortion issue. continued inside.

    PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES VENT VIEWS ON ABORTION

        NEW MARKET, New Hampshire (CWNews.com) - Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley on Wednesday attempted to trump each other's claims as to which is more pro-abortion, while Republican candidate Steve Forbes reconciled his pro-life views with the conservative principle of smaller, less-intrusive government.

        Supporters of Gore and Bradley met at a rally before the Democratic debate Wednesday night with Bradley's supporters saying Gore had once been pro-life. "I have always been pro-choice and I always will," Bradley was quoted as saying. His supporters pointed out that Gore, as a Tennessee congressman 20 years ago, voted pro-life 84 percent of the time.

        Gore's campaign responded that his support for abortion is unwavering. "Al Gore has always been pro-choice throughout his career," spokesman Chris Lehane said. "And more than that, he stayed and fought against the Republican Congress to protect women in America -- whether it was on choice, equal pay, child care, and other family issues, while Senator Bradley declared the system broken and went home."

        Meanwhile, Forbes told a supporters at an event in Hillsboro, New Hampshire, that the way to change people's hearts on abortion is to treat the issue with dignity and compassion. Answering a question on how he, as a conservative, could support less intrusion into people's lives by government, but also be against abortion, he said: "Here we have profoundly different views on the meaning of freedom. To me, it's the freedom to be born. To you, it's the mother's right to choose."

        He added, "I acknowledge and respect our differences, but I believe that if we treat the issue with dignity and compassion it could be an issue that inspires, not divides, our country."


      Muslims want crusade against Christians in Indonesia as emotions fly in Jakarta and killings continue in Maluku

          A millennium ago the crusades began because of Muslim rebellion against Christendom. Sadly, a thousand years later little has changed as Muslims amassed in Jakarta demanding the annihilation of the minority Christian population in Maluku in the Spice Islands. Already with the blood of nearly a quarter of a million Catholics in East Timor on their hands, the infidels want more and their attitude is alarming and all the world should take note of these insurrections and do something to quell the killing there now before Maluku becomes another East Timor. continued inside.

    INDONESIAN MUSLIMS CALL FOR HOLY WAR AGAINST CHRISTIANS

        JAKARTA (CWNews.com) - Indonesian Muslims rallied in Jakarta today, demanding a holy war against Christians in the strife-ridden Maluku province, also known as the Spice Islands, where more than 500 people have been killed in sectarian violence in recent weeks.

        While government reports say about 1,000 people have been killed in fighting between minority Christians and majority Muslims in the past year in Maluku, a human rights groups said today more than 4,000 people had died on one island in the area just since August. Fighting between gangs representing the two religions have been fighting as tensions rise from the country's worst economic crisis in decades and political turmoil. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim majority country, although Christians are a sizeable minority in Maluku.

        About 5,000 protesters marched from a mosque in Jakarta today to the University of Indonesia campus, shouting "Jihad! Jihad!" (holy war). The protesters demanded the resignation of Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri, who has been assigned to stop the violence but who they said has done little. Before marching, the protesters gathered outside the mosque and killed a goat, then smeared its blood on a wooden cross amid loud calls of "Allahu Akbar" (God is great).

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    January 7-9, 2000     volume 11, no. 5
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