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The Holy Father intervenes in Jerusalem controversy, calls for respect for sacred nature of the Holy City
It didn't take long for the Holy Father to get back in action after a 12-day vacation. His Holiness Pope John Paul II once again called for Jerusalem to be granted special international status while Israeli and Palestinian negotiators continue to grapple over its fate at Camp David in Maryland. Addressing pilgrims at his summer residence outside Rome Sunday, the Pope urged negotiators to respect the sacred nature of the city in their attempts to reach a final peace. The Vatican steadfastly maintains that only a special statute, which must be internationally guaranteed, can effectively preserve the most sacred areas of the Holy City of Jerusalem. The Holy Father also reiterated that this is the only way to guarantee religious freedom in the Holy City.
Pope John Paul II bases benefits of vacations on the Gospel as he encourages all to take time to rest
The Holy Father reinforced Sunday at Castel Gandolfo the necessity of taking time off. Holidays must be used wisely, because "they are beneficial to the individual and family, thanks to
contact with nature, tranquility, the greater opportunity to
cultivate family harmony, good reading, and healthy recreational
activity; and, above all, thanks to the possibility to dedicate
yourself primarily to prayer, contemplation, and listening to
God." He cited Our Lord's Own recommendations in the Scriptures to get away and rest a while. continued inside.
Congress set to block botched abortions with bill that would protect the innocent
The House of Representatives is set to dig in and pass a bill that will protect any child born alive. This is to protect those innocent fetuses who somehow come out alive after a botched abortion, something that has happened more than a few times by abortionists who have no respect for life. The bill has been introduced by Republican Congressman Charles Canady of Florida who asserts the measure is necessary in light of the recent Supreme Court blunder on allowing partial birth abortions.
Major countries respond to Pope's plea to forgive debts of third world nations during summit in Japan
The leaders of the world's
seven leading industrialized nations gathering in Japan on
Friday renewed their pledge to offer debt relief up to $100 billion to the
world's poorest countries.The move had come as a response to
Pope John Paul II's call in the year's leading up the
Jubilee Year 2000 to provide a new start for developing
nations weighed down with debt. In recent months, critics
said the G7 was dragging its feet on living up to the
promise made. continued inside.
Final preparations being made for a million people coming to Jubilee's World Youth Days in mid-August
One million youth are expected to descend on Rome in the hottest month of the year in mid-August for the World Youth Days and final preparations are being made for this monstrous and meaningful event. 600,000 are expected outside of Italy with 400,000 from Italy itself. Organizers are holding their collective breath that the weather will cool some and that facilities will be available with no breakdowns to accommodate so many young pilgrims in the Eternal City for the Jubilee Year festivities that will begin on the Solemnity of the Assumption and continue through August 20th. continued inside.
Church and community ransom remaining hostages in Philippines standoff that had a bloody history of martyrdom
Two Catholic schoolteachers abducted
by Muslim rebels in March were released on Friday and four
Malaysians were released separately. The Abu Sayyaf Muslim separatist
group from a school on Basilan island along with dozens of
students, other teachers, and a priest. Father Ruel
Gallardo, two other female teachers, and a male teacher
were killed in May when rebels clashed with the military,
and two other men were beheaded in April by the rebels.
Academia and Manuel were the last two hostages being held
after the others were released over the past few months.
Trial of Bishop's murder being sandbagged by Guatemalan government and military
Meanwhile in Guatamala the trial for the murder of Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi the justice system continues to be bogged down despite the president's promise it would be completed by now. Bishop Gerardi was killed in 1998, a day after he presented a
report that accused the army of a large part of the atrocities
committed during the civil war that lacerated this Central
American country for 36 years. For reasons that belie credibility, the judicial authorities say it probably won't be even tried until next year. That is a sad commentary to the memory of Bishop Gerardi and the Church and human rights community are disappointed and very suspicious of the corruption going on at the highest levels in trying to sabotage the trial. continued inside.
Italian nun, martyred in East Timor last year, posthumously receives prestigious "Servant of Peace" award
A beloved Italian missionary nun, martyred in East Timor, was posthumously presented the "Servant of Peace" award for her dauntless efforts by the "Path of Peace" Foundation, the Christian and humanitarian entity carrying out the Vatican Mission at the United Nations. She was killed last year on October 26 during the terrible slaughters in East Timor by Muslim militias. She was enroute to a group of refugees with food and provisions in carrying out the works of mercy, something she had done in East Timor for 40 years, when she was brutally murdered. continued inside.
Capuchins crack down on organizations profiting from Padre Pio products
The Capuchin Fathers of San Giovanni
Rotondo and the religious province in which Padre Pio lived have
asked that the picture of the religious beatified by John Paul II
not be used for commercial purposes. Some important Italian consumer associations have presented a
denunciation for fraud. The friars consider the consumer
associations' action useful; they took the initiative without
first consulting the friars because, as they explain in an
official statement, for years they have been trying to "stop an
indecent situation that, regretfully, through a series of
mistakes, has implicated and damaged the good name of the
religious province." continued inside.
Cardinal George to return favor, travel to Mexico City for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December
Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of
Chicago, will visit Mexico City in December, returning a visit made
last year to the Windy City by Cardinal Norberto Rivera,
Archbishop of Mexico City. The agreement between the two red-hats has allowed for Cardinal George to provide Mexican priests for many of the parishes of Chicago where there are one million Hispanics. continued inside.
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