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Pope relaxing in Italian Alps for much-deserved summer rest as the Holy See goes on vacation mode
A day after the Holy Father arrived in the Aosta
Valley to enjoy his summer vacation until July 22, he headed out on a mountain excursion
under sunny and warmer days. This is the eighth time that the little mountain village of Combes,
nestled in the Italian Alps, welcomes the Pope. It was raining when the Holy Father landed around 11:30 a.m. on Monday in the airport of the city of Aosta, on an "Airvallee" flight. He
was greeted by regional authorities and many tourists and
pilgrims who had been waiting for him since early morning. The
Holy Father went by car to the village where his summer house is,
from which he can see Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe. continued inside.
US House of Representatives one Stark vote from unanimous support for Vatican as Congress overwhelmingly endorses Holy See's presence in UN
Leave it to a Democrat from California to prevent a totally unanimous vote of confidence for the Vatican's present status in the UN as a continuing Permanent Observer. Congressman Pete Stark was the lone dissenting voice in an overwhelming 417-1 tally for the Holy See. The Vatican responded gratefully, "This resolution has particular
significance, insofar as the American Congress not only expressed approval
for the presence and activity of the Holy See at the United Nations, but also
recognized it as a sovereign body, capable of acting in the international
domain, and even paid homage to its contribution toward peace and the
promotion of human rights." continued inside.
Attempted assassin of Pope in 1981 does a "180" after Holy Father had plead for his clemency; verbally attacks Pope and Rome
Sometimes words can be as lethal as bullets. That's what attempted assassin Mehment Ali Agca, who tried to kill the Pope on May 13, 1981 in St. Peter's Square, is using as ammunition now. From a courtroom in Istanbul, where he is
being prosecuted for a series of robberies in 1979, the former
gray wolf has begun to spread his latest poisonous and
sensationalist statements. In a hand-written letter disclosed by his lawyer, Agca wrote:
"Dear Brother Pope: Resign! Resign and return to Poland. You are
a good person, but you cannot sit at the head of the Vatican,that
rubbish dump of history and the headquarters of the devil. My
Catholic brothers, I love you, why do you not abandon a Vatican
that arranges the assassination of its own pope?" continued inside.
Blessed Juan Diego's canonization process clears all hurdles, all that's left is announcement of when
Blessed Juan Diego, to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in 1531, has cleared all hurdles and is now ready for canonization according to the rector of the Basilica of Guadalupe, Msgr. Antonio Macedo Tellado. While the Vatican has not made anything official, the rector hoped the Aztec Indian peasant and visionary of Guadalupe might be canonized as early as later this year or early 2001. Yet he was careful to assert that these were his personal thoughts, "I am not affirming he is going to be canonized. But the possibility to do it is there." There have been some who have sought to undermine his canonization claiming he was a myth perpetuated by zealots, but those claims are totally unfounded and all findings prove he was truly flesh and blood and obedient to all he was asked to do by both Our Lady and the Church. continued inside.
Vatican mourns over terrible mud landslide in Philippines, sends condolences to Cardinal Sin and poor people of Queson City
Keeping the Pope aware of the terrible tragedies in Queson City just outside of Manila in which numerous poor people were killed and thousands lost their homes in a torrential mudslide, Cardinal Angelo Sodano sent a telegram to the Philippines' Shepherd Cardinal Jaime Sin assuring the people of their prayers and deepest sympathy over their loss. The Secretary of State informed all that the Holy Father was well aware those most affected were the poorest of the poor and offered encouragement through the Word of God in Sacred Scripture. continued inside.
South Africa faces a delightful dilemna: More seminaries needed to house growing number of seminarians
While the population in South Africa is dwindling badly due to the AIDS epidemic, the numbers are swelling in Catholic seminaries as the Church has 500 preparing to be priests. The increase is so dramatic that there is overcrowding in the Cape Town seminaries and the Bishop there has called it a crisis if they are not expanded soon and more built to accommodate the mushrooming vocations in the Church in South Africa.
Anti-Catholic bias reeks of revenge and resentment in Canadian's report to the UN on Genocide in Rwanda, ignores rampant witchcraft
Meanwhile farther north in Rwanda, a report prepared by a known Catholic basher from Canada has caused ripples of resentment by the Church for it accuses the Church of doing nothing to stop the genocide there in 1994. The slaughter of the Tutsis is still being blamed on the Church, just as liberals continue to blame the Church for their inaction during World War II in respect to the Jews. But the truth is the Church did all it could during that time and also during the terrible times in Rwanda. Strangely silent in the report was the documented proof of witchcraft, Marxism and Islamism which stirred the intense hatred of the Hutus for the Tutsis in deadly tribal warfare. Yet, as is the case so often now days, the Church is blamed because they are a convenient scapegoat and that is the modus operandi of the prince of darkness in manipulating his legions on earth.continued inside.
More problems ahead for Nigerian Christians as students balk at being transferred for fear of Sharia Muslim Laws
Even farther north as we span the African continent in this issue's NEWS & REVIEWS, there is trouble brewing in Nigeria as thousands of Christian students, destined to fulfill a mandatory one year stint of military duty outside of their own region in Nigeria, are balking at being sent to the northern regions where Islam law is extremely strict and the Sharia laws could spell their doom. This controversial harsh Muslim law has caused consternation throughout Nigeria and this latest uproar by Christian students could cause more violence and retaliation by the Muslim government. continued inside.
In the spirit of ecumenism, Catholic organization helping Russian Orthodox Church with donation of second "floating church" on Volga River
The kind of cooperation a Catholic agency is giving to the Russian Orthodox Church will hopefully prompt the Patriarch to consider reconciliation with Rome and invite the Holy Father to Moscow. The latest gesture of good faith was provided by a Catholic non-profit organization called "Aid to the Church in need" in which they have provided not one, but two "floating churches" to the Orthodox Church to navigate the Volga River in Russia bringing God to the people whose churches had been destroyed during the Soviet Union repression. The first "floating church" was donated two years ago and this month the second was given. This Catholic organization, founded by a German priest after World War II, has been working with the Russian Orthodox Church since 1992 shortly after the fall of communism. continued inside.
Diocese of Ambon in the Moluccas pins hopes on local military to help evacuate Christians from Indonesian isle of terror
Giving up hope that the international community will come to their aid, the Bishop of Ambon in Indonesia resorts to asking for local military help in evacuating Christians off the Moluccan Islands in the Indonesian Archipelago. The violence and killing by Muslim extremists there has necessitated this action as the people feel betrayed and helpless, much in the same manner as what happened in East Timor last year. There hundreds of thousands Catholics were murdered or left homeless as Muslim militia left this former Portuguese territory and predominantly Catholic nation in ruins. You would think after that, the UN and the world community would have learned a lesson and react sooner regarding the Moluccas, but there is no economic gain by going in there compared to say, oh, the Kuwait where there are so many oil interests. Guess this just confirms the addage, "all's fair in love and war." Except what's going on in the Moluccas is void of love, it is not fair and it is definitely a war. continued inside.
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